ViacomCBS “solid” Q2; CBS All Access early 2021

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ViacomCBS’s financial results for the quarter ended June 30th 2020 saw another “solid quarter”, according to Bob Bakish, President & CEO. He said that despite the impact of Covid-19 on revenue in the quarter, the broadcaster was successfully managing through the effects of the pandemic, reaffirming the strength of its combined operations.

“Our results underscored our strong progress delivering on our value-creation initiatives, including integration cost synergies, expanded and new distribution agreements, as well as the rapid acceleration of our streaming business, where we achieved record users and revenue in free and pay while building toward the relaunch of our diversified super service,” he added.

Domestic streaming and digital video revenue – which includes streaming subscription and digital video advertising revenue – rose to $489 million, up 25 per cent year-over-year, driven by 52 per cent growth in streaming subscription revenue and robust growth in Pluto TV advertising revenue.

In Q2, ViacomCBS delivered significant multiplatform distribution wins and strong domestic streaming and digital video revenue growth, with record sign-ups and consumption across its free and pay services.

  • In April, ViacomCBS signed a comprehensive, multiplatform partnership with Verizon, spanning pay TV, connected television and mobile – including a significant expansion of Pluto TV’s footprint.
  • In May, the company announced a new deal with YouTube TV, which renewed CBS and Showtime early and brought Viacom’s cable networks to the service.
  • More recently, in July ViacomCBS announced a multi-year renewal with DISH and Sling TV, marking its third cross-company renewal and further demonstrating the value of ViacomCBS content.
  • The company also continued to benefit from strong reverse compensation and recently signed agreements with Sinclair and Cox.
  • Domestic pay streaming subscribers reached 16.2 million, up 74 per cent year-over-year.
  • CBS All Access continued to break records, with its paid subscribers, streams and minutes watched reaching all-time highs in the quarter.
  • Original programming, titles from Paramount Pictures and children’s content from Nickelodeon drove strong subscriber acquisitions and engagement.
  • Showtime OTT delivered its best quarter ever in sign-ups, streams and minutes watched, driven by original programming, including Homeland, Billions and The Chi.

In free, Pluto TV continued to build on its strong momentum in the US and internationally.

Pluto TV maintained its position as the #1 ad-supported streaming TV service in the US, with its domestic monthly active users (MAUs) growing to 26.5 million, up 61 per cent year-over-year. Despite the impact of COVID-19, Pluto TV continued to deliver robust advertising revenue growth in the quarter. In April, Pluto TV entered 17 Latin American markets and achieved robust adoption.

In addition to its presence in Europe, this expansion brought Pluto TV’s total international MAUs to 6.5 million, with its total global MAUs reaching 33 million. Additionally, Pluto TV continued to increase its distribution through multiplatform deals with Verizon, TiVo and LG, and expand its offering with more than 100,000 hours of content now available.

In July, ViacomCBS unveiled the first major step in transforming CBS All Access into a rebranded super service and remains on track to relaunch this differentiated streaming product globally, beginning in early 2021.


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