Paramount+ added 2.7 million customers in the third quarter as the company’s streaming service slowly moves towards profitability.
The company, which reported its quarterly results on Thursday, reported that its total base of Paramount+ subscribers hit 63 million. Pluto, its free, ad-supported streaming service, contributed to ad revenue rising 18% for the period.
Pluto and Paramount+ still posted an operating loss of $238 million, narrower than its year-earlier loss of $343 million.
The results show progress for Paramount, which has largely been stuck in the also-ran category of streaming services, but is making headway towards turning a profit. Like most other media companies, it invested in streaming for its future, but hasn’t been able to see the kind of subscriber base that leaders Netflix or Amazon Prime Video have. Also like the other services, the company has focused on profitability over customer growth, leading to steps like higher prices and canceled shows.
Paramount+, for example, surprisingly ended Star Trek: Discovery and canceled Star Trek: Prodigy, which was later picked up by Netflix.
Paramount CEO Bob Bakish noted the improvement in the results, and expects profitability in 2024.
“We now expect DTC (direct-to-consumer) losses in 2023 will be lower than in 2022 – meaning streaming investment peaked ahead of plan,” he said in the earnings statement. “Looking ahead, we remain on the path to achieving significant total company earnings growth in 2024.”
In total, Paramount posted third-quarter net income of $295 million, or 43 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $231 million, or 33 cents a share. Revenue rose slightly to $6.51 billion from $6.39 billion a year ago.
Analysts, on average, forecast earnings of 11 cents a share and revenue of $7.12 billion, according to Yahoo Finance.