By Nathalie Voit

Paramount Global, formerly known as ViacomCBS, said its streaming service Paramount+ added 6.8 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2022.

The company saw subscriber growth balloon by more than 20% from the 32.8 million subscribers it had as of last quarter. As of March 31, Paramount+’s total subscriber count was nearly 40 million, according to the company’s first-quarter earnings report.

Year-over-year, Paramount said its direct-to-consumer (DTC) business grew 82% to $1.1 billion. The company credits the success of its subscription services for revenue growth. The strong earnings results were driven by a 95% growth in DTC subscription revenue from Paramount+ and its free TV streaming service Pluto TV. According to the results, Paramount also saw advertising sales jump 59% from one year ago.

“The first quarter once again demonstrated the power and potential of Paramount’s unique assets and the company’s continued momentum,” President and CEO of Paramount Bob Bakish said in the report. “Our differentiated playbook – including a broad content line up, a streaming business model that spans ad-supported and subscription, and a global portfolio that links streaming with theatrical and television – drove strength across our entire ecosystem, including DTC revenue growth of 82% and 6.8 million Paramount+ subscriber additions. Our strategy is working, and our execution is strong, as we remain focused on delivering a great experience for consumers and a compelling financial model to our shareholders.”

The news comes as industry leader Netflix reported its first plunge in subscribers after more than a decade. Netflix’s surprising subscriber loss is reflective of a more saturated streaming landscape. Smaller up-and-coming providers like Comcast’s Peacock threaten to supplant established streaming behemoths by offering cheaper, ad-supported viewing options. Even Hulu and more established streaming rivals offer lower-cost, ad-supported subscription tiers. Disney+ plans to do so in the near future.  

Paramount+ has been around for just a little over one year now.