In a dramatic move to increase its profile around its soaring streaming business, ViacomCBS is changing its name to Paramount.
“An iconic global company deserves an iconic global name,” Bob Bakish, president/chief executive officer, and Shari Redstone, non-executive chair of the company’s board of directors, said in a joint memo to ViacomCBS staffers. “One that reflects the power of our content; one that reflects our role as stewards of a rich heritage and as leaders in the future of entertainment. With this in mind, as we’re announcing today at our investor event, ViacomCBS is becoming Paramount Global, or, more simply, Paramount."
Bakish and Redstone tout that the success of Paramount+ and now two years later, the merger of Viacom and CBS -- have moved the company to new ground, writing: “In that time, we have shown the world what we knew from the start: that together, aligned around a shared vision and shared strategy, we create a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts.”
The name change will take effect on February 16. The company’s shares will trade on the Nasdaq stock exchange as PARAA.
As part of its quarterly earnings results, Paramount+ added 7.3 million subscribers -- now totaling 32.8 million in the quarter.
Total global streaming subscribers -- Paramount+ and Showtime -- grew a collective 9.4 million to 56 million subscribers by the end of 2021.
streaming revenue grew 48% to $1.3 billion, driven by subscriber revenue and advertising sales. In a virtual investors day presentation on Tuesday, Bakish says business is so strong
that the company now has raised its future global subscriber estimate to climb to 100 million by 2024.
A year ago, ViacomCBS had projected it would hit 65 million to 70 million subscribers in that year.
Total company-wide revenue -- including its TV networks, stations and other business -- rose 16% to $8 billion.
Advertising revenue was up 1% in the period to $2.6 billion, reflecting less political advertising and lower linear TV impressions versus the same period a year before. Affiliate revenue grew 2% to $2.1 billion. Licensing revenue gained 45% to $1.9 billion.