Paramount+ is steadily carving its space in the crowded streaming arena, boasting a growth to 61 million subscribers, as revealed in their latest quarterly earnings call on Monday. This growth was fueled by an addition of 700,000 new subscribers in Q2.
On the traditional TV front, revenues capped at $5.2 billion for the quarter, marking a minor YoY dip. The company’s 2023 upfront closed with an increased volume, as noted by CEO Bob Bakish. However, as CFO Naveen Chopra highlighted, linear advertising is trailing in its recovery pace compared to digital advertising, with a 10% YoY drop.
In a major strategic move, Paramount Global sealed the deal to sell off publishing titan Simon & Schuster to private equity firm KKR at a whopping $1.6 billion. This decision follows a long-sought intent to divest the publisher. The inflow from this sale is earmarked to pare down debt, as per Chopra.
With ongoing industry challenges like the SAG-AFTRA and writers’ strikes, the company is bracing for more free cash flow come fall, thanks to production delays. To navigate this, Paramount has rejigged its fall offerings, featuring shows like Yellowstone that are ready for airing.
Paramount+’s strategic moves showcase resilience in a competitive streaming landscape. While subscriber and revenue growth is commendable, the decision to divest non-core assets, like Simon & Schuster, underscores a focus on core strengths and financial health. The true test, however, will be how Paramount+ navigates the evolving streaming realm and changing advertising dynamics in the coming quarters.