Paramount Narrows D2C Losses, Revenue Up 21%, Linear TV Ads Down 10%

Paramount Global slightly narrowed its second-quarter losses for its direct-to-consumer (D2C) operations by 5% (to $424 million in its negative operating cash flow) while overall revenue grew 21% -- to $1.67 billion.

After-market Monday trading of Paramount stock was up 6%. The company's stock closed up 3% to $16.09 before releasing its second-quarter earnings report.

Overall D2C revenue grew 40% to $1.7 billion, with subscription revenue -- the main driver of Paramount's D2C business --  gaining 47% to $1.2 billion, largely from Paramount+. By itself, Paramount+ was up 47% in overall subscription/advertising revenue.

A smaller piece of the D2C business -- advertising revenue -- grew 21% to $441 million in the period, driven by growth at Paramount+ and Pluto TV.

Last month, company-wide, Paramount recently completed upfront deal-making for the upcoming 2023-2024 TV season at a low- to-mid-single-digit percentage gain in advertising volume. Paramount+'s overall revenue was up 47%.



In somewhat disappointing news, Paramount+ grew just 700,000 during the period -- lower than analysts' estimates of 1.5 million.

During the period, the Paramount+ "Essential" ad-supported plan grew to $5.99 (from $4.99). Just days before the end of its second-quarter period, Paramount launched “Paramount+ With Showtime,” its premium priced streaming option of June 27 at $11.99/month.

Paramount+ subscribers now total 61 million. Company executives warn that Paramount+ is expected to lose one million subscribers in the next quarter due to the ending of legacy Latin American-based business deals.

The company's trimming of financial losses would be in line with its projections that this year would see a narrowing of its losses.

Paramount's "TV Media" group -- its live, linear TV networks and TV stations-- slipped 2% to $5.16 billion, pacing with expectations.

Digging deeper, much of the decline came at the hands of advertising revenue -- still suffering from overall marketplace weakness -- down 10% to $1.95 billion. On the positive side the company says national TV advertisers -- including pharmaceutical, retail, movie and travel marketers -- are showing an uptick.

Licensing revenue from its TV media group grew 17% to $1.2 billion.

Paramount's ‘Filmed Entertainment’ business was down 39% to $831 million, due to comparisons to huge theatrical box-office success from the prior year with “Top Gun: Maverick." 

Overall, Paramount Global slipped 2% to $7.62 billion -- over-delivering on analysts' projections of $7.43 billion.

Paramount also announced the sale of book publisher Simon & Schuster to private equity firm KKR, for $1.6 billion.

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