Warner Bros. Discovery Ended 2023 With a Profit on Streaming, Beating Disney & Paramount to Making Cord Cutting Profitable




One of the biggest questions in streaming was when it would become profitable for major studios. Now Warner Bros. Discovery has announced it ended 2023 with $103 million in profit, becoming the first major studio to become profitable with streaming. This comes as Netflix has long been seen as one of the few streaming services that are profitable.

“After executing against our strategic plan to reposition the company, we are now on solid footing with a clear pathway to growth. We generated $6.2 billion in free cash flow and paid down $5.4 billion in debt in 2023, which puts us at 3.9x net leverage. We have an attack plan for 2024 that includes the roll-out of Max in key international markets, a more robust creative pipeline across our film and TV studios, and further progress against our
long-range financial goals and are confident in our ability to drive sustained operating momentum and enhanced shareholder value.” Said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Warner Bros. Disocvery.

This $103 million in profit may be small by studio standards, but it is a huge turnaround from the $2.1 billion lost in 2022. Warner Bros. Discovery ended 2023 with over 97.7 million streaming subscribers across all of its streaming services. Total revenues for the 4th quarter of 2023 was $10.284 billion, down 7% from the year before.

Warner Bros. Discovery blamed a significant part of its drop on TV revenues impacted by the 2023 strikes.

Disney and Paramount both reportedly expect to be profitable this year or in 2024. NBCUniversal date to become profitable on Peacock is still unknown.

“Total DTC subscribers were 97.7 million which included 1.3 million subscribers from our acquisition of BluTV. Excluding BluTV and TNT
Sports Chile, subscribers increased by 0.5 million vs. the end of Q3. Global DTC ARPU(7) was $7.94, a 7% ex-FX increase from the prior year
quarter after adjusting prior periods for the transfer of TNT Sports Chile.” Warner Bros. Discovery said in its earnings release.

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