Paramount+ Adds 6.8 Million Subscribers in First Quarter

Paramount+ Adds 6.8 Million Subscribers in First Quarter

Paramount Global

PARA 3.95%

said its main streaming platform, Paramount+, added 6.8 million subscribers during the first quarter, as the service benefited from original content including “Halo” and a “Star Trek” series, as well as National Football League games.

The company, home of CBS, Nickelodeon and the Paramount movie studio, said Paramount+ had nearly 40 million subscribers as of March 31, an increase of more than 20% from the 32.8 million total customers it had as of Dec. 31. Last quarter, the company renamed itself from ViacomCBS to Paramount, a sign of its focus on streaming and a nod to its history as a filmmaker.

The growth of Paramount+’s subscriber base comes shortly after industry leader

Netflix Inc.

reported losing customers for the first time in more than a decade, a decline that highlighted the challenges facing newer streaming companies that have to compete with a much larger field of rivals.

Last week,

Comcast Corp.

said Peacock, a fellow fledgling streaming service, saw its paying-subscriber count increase more than 40% to 13 million in the first quarter, thanks in large part to top sporting events like the Super Bowl and original content such as “Bel-Air.”

Both Paramount+ and Peacock have ad-supported options that are more affordable—Paramount+’s version with limited ads costs $4.99, while the premium, ad-free option is $9.99. Last month, Netflix said it was exploring a lower priced ad-supported version of the platform in hopes of boosting its subscriber base.

Paramount has worked to bolster its streaming platform. Paramount films such as “The Lost City” and “Jackass Forever” will appear on the service shortly after their release in theaters. It has also been building out a library of original content with series such as “Star Trek: Picard” and the video game-inspired “Halo,” which each had new seasons making a debut in the first quarter.

Paramount, which owns separate streaming services for its cable networks Showtime and BET, as well as children-content platform Noggin, said it now has more than 62 million total global streaming subscribers.

The company said its net profit fell roughly 52% to $433 million from $911 million last year due to higher operating costs. Revenue slipped 1.1% to $7.33 billion.

On an adjusted basis, the company said adjusted earnings fell nearly 44% to $913 million, as it ramped up investment in its streaming platform.

Write to Lillian Rizzo at [email protected]

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

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