ViacomCBS surpassed quarterly revenue estimates driven by high streaming and advertising growth following the launch of Paramount Plus in March.
Revenue rose 14% to $ 7.41 billion in the quarter and the net earnings attributable rose to $ 899 million, or $ 1.42 per share, from $ 501 million, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier.
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Thanks to streaming
The company has 36 million global streaming subscribers after adding 6 million in the first quarter. Streaming revenue rose 65% year-on-year and advertising revenue jumped 21% to $ 2.68 billion, driven by CBS ’broadcasts of Super Bowl LV and NCAA basketball tournament games.
“We’re clearly seeing the benefit of putting the full power of ViacomCBS behind Paramount Plus,” said ViacomCBS President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish on an earnings call on Thursday.
Leaning into streaming content strategy
ViacomCBS plans to use the $ 2.7 billion in cash it raised in March to develop more original series and movies, especially for streaming; accelerate international launches; pursue incremental streaming sports rights, and reduce the amount of content it licenses to third-party streamers, preserving more of that content for its own streaming services.
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The bulk of that investment will happen over many years, the company said Thursday. It expects streaming content spending for 2021 to more than double from 2020.
Also, during the first-quarter earnings conference call, ViacomCBS said the acquisition of Chilevision will (along with Telefe Argentina) contribute to making Paramount Plus one of the largest content creators of the Spanish language.
This will place ViacomCBS as a direct rival to Televisa-Univision, a newly formed Spanish media venture that will launch its planned streaming platform in the United States and Mexico next year before expanding elsewhere in Latin America and Europe.