Global media giant Paramount has published its fourth quarter (Q4) and year-end financial results, posting headline growth in its direct-to-consumer (DTC) segments, but an overall contraction in revenue generation.

The conglomerate’s DTC section, headlined by its Paramount+ OTT streaming service, grew 37% over the calendar year 2023, with Paramount+ in particular notching a 69% growth in revenue in Q4 2023, owing in part to a 4.1 million net subscriber gain, the most of any “premium” streaming service in Q4 2023.

Despite this, total yearly revenue across Paramount fell from $30.1 billion to $29.6 billion, with higher costs, most notably stemming from the purchase and integration of the Showtime network into Paramount+.

The DTC segment also still ended in a YoY loss of almost $500 million, although less than what some had projected.

Paramount+ as a service is still yet to be profitable, however in its results Paramount stated that it expects to achieve domestic profitability by 2025, should it attain expected earnings growth across 2024.

On the linear TV side, the company saw a quarterly contraction of 12%, and a yearly contraction of 8%, likely owing to more and more people abandoning traditional TV and cable options in favor of OTT streaming, so-called “cutting the cord”.

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Advertising revenue fell 15% in the quarter, while licensing revenue fell by 25%, indicative of the struggles many large media corporations with heavy investments in TV are facing.

Paramount’s rival, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), posted their own yearly financial results last week (February 23), and revealed a similar struggle for sustainability in the TV area.

The company generated $41.3 billion in revenue in 2023 but made a loss of $3 billion over the same period, primarily driven in particular by lower TV revenues, as well as $6.9 billion of asset acquisition costs and restructuring expenses.

In 2023, rumors had been abound of Paramount and WBD eyeing up a merger, with reports stating that the two media giants had entered talks in December.

Earlier in February, however, talk of any potential merger had reportedly cooled with WBD longer said to be interest in acquiring Paramount, while itself risked being blacklisted from TV carrier Comcast in January.