The Paramount+ streaming service reached 63m subscribers around the world in the third quarter of 2023, parent Paramount Global has reported, helping drive a 38% increase in the media giant’s direct-to-consumer revenue.
The Hollywood writers and actors strikes, however, caused nearly $60m in “strike-related idle costs,” the company said, with more costs expected in the fourth quarter.
Paramount+ added 2.7m subscribers in the quarter and the company said it believes that its streaming losses peaked in 2022. Paramount Global is now “clearly advancing on the path to streaming profitability,” said president and CEO Bob Bakish on a call with analysts.
For its filmed entertainment division Paramount reported revenue up 14% from the third quarter of the previous year to $891m, thanks to the performances of releases including Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. Theatrical revenue in the division was up 63% to $377m.
But the division’s operating income before depreciation and amortization showed a loss of $49m, compared to a profit of $41m in the previous year’s quarter. That was due to the timing of theatrical releases and the impact of the strikes, said Paramount Global chief financial officer Naveen Chopra.
As well as strike-related idle costs, said Chopra, the strikes had a $20m impact on revenue from third party studio rental and production services.
Asked about the company’s film plans going forward, Bakish said Paramount’s slate might grow from the current eight films a year to 12 a year but would continue to feature “a mix of franchises and new ideas.”
Paramount’s direct-to-consumer division, which as well as Paramount+ includes free ad-supported streaming service Pluto, saw revenue for the quarter climb to $1.69bn. The division produced a loss of $238m, compared to a loss of $343m in the previous year’s quarter.
Paramount Global’s overall revenue was up 3% to $7.13bn, with operating income reaching $621m and net income $295m.
– Armessa Movie News