Warner Bros. Discovery Report a Profit Thanks to ‘Barbie’

Warner Bros. Discovery has reported a profit in its streaming operations and a boost from the ‘Barbie’ franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Despite facing industry challenges such as Hollywood strikes and a sluggish U.S. advertising market, the company managed to shrink its overall losses while increasing revenues.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s Financial Highlights:

  • The company’s overall revenues rose by 2% to $9.97 billion.
  • The net loss was reduced to $407 million, compared to a year-earlier loss of $2.28 billion.
  • The adjusted EBITDA increased by 22% to $2.96 billion.
  • The earnings per share showed a loss of 17 cents, which was more than the anticipated 9 cents loss.
  • Global streaming subscribers decreased slightly by 0.7% to 95.1 million.

CEO David Zaslav acknowledged the challenges faced, including the impact of the dual Hollywood strikes and the U.S. ad market’s condition. He emphasized the importance of reducing churn and enhancing audience engagement for the success of their streaming service, Max.

The streaming segment at Warner Bros. Discovery reported $111 million in adjusted EBITDA, a significant improvement from the previous year’s loss. Revenues in the streaming segment grew by 5% to $2.43 billion, with distribution revenue and ad revenue seeing increases due to subscriber price hikes and growth in ad-lite subscribers.

The studio segment, powered by the success of ‘Barbie’, saw a slight decline in adjusted EBITDA but an increase in overall revenues. However, TV revenue dropped significantly due to the strikes and comparisons with large licensing deals from the previous year.

The networks segment experienced a decline in both revenues and adjusted EBITDA, with advertising revenue falling due to audience declines and a weaker ad market.

Looking ahead, analysts are focusing on the potential outcomes of labor settlements and the resumption of film production and major releases. Warner Bros. Discovery is also paying down debt, with CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels highlighting a stronger financial profile by the year’s end.

Despite the current challenges, Zaslav is optimistic about the company’s future, aiming to leverage its diverse portfolio and streaming service to achieve growth and stability.

Key Takeaways:

  • Warner Bros. Discovery posts $111M streaming profit.
  • Revenues rise to $9.97 billion, with a reduced net loss of $407 million.
  • Streaming subscribers see a minor decrease to 95.1 million.
  • The studio segment’s revenues increase, thanks to ‘Barbie’.
  • The networks segment faces a decline due to weaker ad revenues.

For a more detailed exploration of Warner Bros. Discovery’s financial results and strategic outlook, readers can visit The Hollywood Reporter’s full article here.