TV & Video Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Walmart+ adds Paramount-owned Pluto TV, without (some) ads.

Walmart+ is now offering a customized version of its FAST/AVOD service, Pluto TV, in addition to Paramount+, which was added last summer. Unique to the Walmart+ offering is a curated list of six titles, one season of which will be ad-free. These titles will rotate monthly. Pricing for Walmart+ is $12.95 per month or $98 per year.

 The Circana Take:

  • With Pluto TV already being among the largest players in the FAST space, gaining access to Walmart’s customer base will likely grow their base. There is a notable synergy here as nearly half of Walmart+ subscribers already use Pluto TV.
  • Adding Pluto TV to the Walmart+ universe may also lead to incremental revenue if Pluto TV users convert to Paramount+. Paramount already operates this flywheel and is further expanding it by hosting the Tony Award’s preshow on Pluto and then driving viewers to CBS or Paramount+.

Peacock beats Wall Street expectations, adds 2 million subs

On its latest earnings call, NBCUniversal reported better-than-expected numbers for the company’s growing SVOD service, Peacock, adding 2 million net paid subscribers, yielding a total of 22 million. While slower than 2022 Q4’s addition of 5 million subs, 2023 Q1 still saw year over year growth of 60%. Revenue was also up 45% year over year, but Peacock’s losses for 2023 are still expected to be about $3 billion.

The Circana Take:

  • As the SVOD universe continues to develop, subscriber growth is a welcome sign of success, but profitability is becoming a more important factor. The service will need to drive to profitability quickly.

Paramount+ crosses 60 million global subs

Paramount Global’s recent earnings call revealed that mid-tier SVOD service Paramount+ added 4.1 million subscribers, bringing their total to 60M. That’s seven percent growth over the previous quarter. And, Paramount’s FAST platform, Pluto TV, now has 80 million global monthly active users. Looking forward, Paramount stated that they will be combining SHOWTIME with Paramount+ at some point in Q3 with a yet to be cited price increase.

The Circana Take:

  • Paramount+ has been among the fastest growing SVOD services. The company’s partnership with Walmart, pending integration of Showtime, NFL broadcasts, leading TV series, and Pluto TV flywheel will keep the service growing during 2023.
  • The new SHOWTIME bundle is an interesting strategy for deflecting headwinds from a price increase that would have otherwise still been likely.