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ViacomCBS adds 6 million global subscribers to reach 36 million mark

The growth was fueled by strong increases in users and product monetisation.

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New Delhi: ViacomCBS added six million new streaming subscribers in the first quarter of 2021, reaching a total of 36 million global streaming subscribers said the company on Friday, while reporting financial results for the quarter ended 31 March.

The entertainment giant delivered 69 per cent year-over-year growth in streaming subscription revenue, largely driven by the significant momentum of Paramount+. The year-over-year growth in streaming advertising revenue was 62 per cent, reflecting the continued domestic growth and international expansion of advertising supported streaming service Pluto TV.

ViacomCBS’ cable networks unit also grew quarterly revenue 14 per cent to $3.26 billion.

“In Q1, we accelerated our expansion in streaming with the launch of Paramount+ further enhancing ViacomCBS’ ecosystem of premium, pay and free services. The strong consumer response we have seen is evident in today’s numbers. In addition, we now have almost 50 million global Pluto TV MAUs," said president and CEO Bob Bakish.

On Paramount+, the biggest drivers of sign-ups were live sports and specials, including the Super Bowl, NCAA Tournament, UEFA Champions League, Oprah with Meghan and Harry and The Grammy Awards, as well as kids’ content, and original programming, including The Stand and Star Trek: Discovery. Globally, Nickelodeon programming was a significant driver of sign-ups and engagement on Paramount+.

Showtime OTT delivered its best quarter ever in signups, streams and hours watched, driven by originals, including Your Honor and Shameless, as well as theatricals, said the company.

"Our early momentum in streaming is a testament to the breadth and relevance of our differentiated offerings, as well as our opportunities for growth through Paramount+, as we continue to ramp the availability of live sports, original series and blockbuster movies over the course of the year. ViacomCBS also achieved another strong quarter of results in our advertising and affiliate businesses, which continue to demonstrate the extraordinary power of our company to reach audiences and deliver for our partners globally," added Bakish.

Paramount+ will be available in 45 markets by the end of 2022, said the company, which expects to have up to 75 million streaming subscribers globally by 2024. Management has ambitious plans to compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney+ in the streaming arena, and to direct billions of dollars into content investment for its services in the coming years.

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