Paramount+ — the streaming service owned by ViacomCBS — finished 2021 with a total of 32.8 million subscribers, the company announced in its fourth-quarter earnings report. The service added 7.3 million subscribers in the three months ending December 31, 2021, meaning that it ended the third quarter with 25.5 million subscribers.
It’s the first time Viacom CBS has broken out numbers for Paramount+, which is home to the larger CBS family of shows, as well as Paramount movies and series.
“In the fourth quarter, you saw the power of strategy and strength of execution across the company,” ViacomCBSp President and CEO Bob Bakish said in an earnings release. “Our success was evident across all lines of business, and spotlighted by streaming, where we achieved our best quarter ever in streaming subscription growth — more than doubling our subscriber additions from last quarter. … This sets us up well for 2022, where I’m tremendously excited to continue to build on this powerful momentum — investing in global content, distribution, and market expansion — to further drive scale.”
By comparison, HBO Max sports some 43.3 million subscribers in the United States alone, but only added about 1.6 million subscribers in the fourth quarter. Streaming giant Netflix, meanwhile, finished the fourth quarter of 2021 with nearly 222 million subscribers.
ViacomCBS says it saw “record subscriber sign-ups and engagement” due to the likes of Clifford The Big Red Dog, Mayor of Kingstown, 1883, and South Park: Post COVID. Adding to that, of course, were live sports like regional NFL games and international soccer.
On the AVOD side of things — that’s industry slang for Advertising Video On Demand — Pluto TV grew to 64 million monthly active users, adding 10 million for the quarter. Revenue for Pluto TV — which provides a linear-like experience with a free channel slate supported by ads — was up 45 percent year-over-year to $362 million.
Globally, all of ViacomCBS’ — which, by the way, is going to rename itself Paramount — streaming entities enjoyed a new record of 56 million subscribers, adding 9.4 million for the quarter. Streaming revenue increased 48 percent year-over-year.
Paramount+ costs $5 a month or $50 a year if you don’t mind advertising in the on-demand content, and $10 a month or $100 a year if you want to get rid of most of the advertising. That more expensive “Premium” plan also includes a livestream of your local CBS affiliate, the ability to watch some movies in 4K resolution, and offline downloads. (There’s also a bundle that includes Showtime.)
Paramount+ is available on every major streaming platform, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Google TV, and smart TVs, as well as web browsers.
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