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Paramount CEO Bob Bakish Still Sees Value in Licensing Content to Rivals

As streaming companies compete for the limited attention and budgets of consumers, some analysts have suggested that exclusive, original content is the key to attracting and retaining subscribers. But that’s not what many streaming platforms, including Paramount+, seem to think.

Licensing content to third parties “produces enduring value” for Paramount Global, the company that owns Paramount+, CEO Bob Bakish said during the company’s annual shareholder meeting today (May 8). It isn’t only fundamental to Paramount’s business, but it has been fundamental to the media business for decades, he said.

While Paramount’s licensing revenues are down, they are still contributing to a huge share of Paramount’s overall earnings and could be too big to neglect.

Paramount reports its licensing revenues under the title “licensing and other,” so while the numbers aren’t an exact measure of the company’s licensing earnings, they do indicate how the licensing business is doing. The category doesn’t include revenues tied to advertising, theatrical releases and subscriptions. In the first three months of 2023, its licensing and other revenues were down from the same period last year by 15 percent for television titles and 7 percent for films, totaling $1.33 billion. The figure represents 18 percent of the company’s total revenues during the period. Paramount attributed the decline to fewer licensed titles and consumer product sales. During the 2022 year, Paramount’s licensing and other revenues were $6.66 billion, accounting for 22 percent of the company’s yearly revenue.

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