ViacomCBS cracked the $1 billion mark in streaming revenue in the third quarter, but overall results were more mixed, with total revenue rising 13% to $6.6 billion and earnings per share declining to 69 cents.
The revenue number just slipped past Wall Street analysts’ expectations, while the earnings tally, down from 92 cents in the same period of 2020, came up just short of analysts’ consensus.
Streaming revenue jumped 62% from a year ago, reaching almost $1.1 billion, with overall subscriptions increasing 4.3 million around the world to hit 47 million. Earlier this year, the company rebranded and expanded CBS All Access as Paramount+. Along with third-quarter financials, the company also announced a deal with T-Mobile offering postpaid customers of the wireless provider with one year of Paramount+ at no extra charge.
Advertising inched up 1%, with the company citing a dip in political spending compared with the 2020 period. Cable network ad revenue gained 6%. Free, ad-supported streaming outlet Pluto TV continued to be a mainstay, with revenue up 99% and monthly active users rising to 54 million, paced by global expansion.
Paramount Pictures revenue dipped to $580 million, with theatrical proceeds coming from Paw Patrol: The Movie, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, and carryover grosses from A Quiet Place Part II. Licensing and other revenue decreased 12% year-over-year due to lower volume of programming produced for third parties.
Next month will mark the two-year anniversary of the closing of the merger of Viacom and CBS, who share a common controlling shareholder in Shari Redstone’s National Amusements. The long-anticipated merger has been viewed as an initial step, with the company considered a prime candidate for an additional consolidation move.