On March 4, CBS All Access, the online streaming service for CBS and other Viacom entertainment channels, will be upgraded to Paramount+, and with it will come a new range of popular shows and original content. Given CBS’ re-investment in the online streaming sphere, we decided to take a fresh look at the increasingly saturated market. 

As specific data about Paramount+ show, likelihood to pick up the new platform is off to a slower start than other recently launched streaming platforms, but it’s important to consider the 5% of respondents who are already subscribed to CBS All Access and will therefore be grandfathered into the service.

Eight percent of U.S. adults are at least somewhat likely to be brand new subscribers to the upgraded service. While this may sound like a low number, it turns out it isn’t far from other streaming platforms’ likelihood to attract new subscribers prior to their launch. 

Disney+, for example, had 29% of the general population reporting a likelihood to subscribe in the week leading up to its launch. 

Discovery+ was just behind that, at 18% likelihood, in the week of its launch. Other services, such as HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock showed 12% and 6%, respectively, by the week leading up to and immediately following their launches.  

Nearly three months after its launch (Feb 2020), Disney+ reported over 28.6 million subscribers to its platform, just a hair under 9% of the general American population (within the margin of error of CivicScience’s 11% of people who reported that they were ‘very likely’ to subscribe). Similarly, HBO Max reached 8.6 million new households four months after its launch, approximately 2.6% of the general population (our CivicScience survey predicted 3% of respondents being “very likely” to subscribe). 

Peacock showed similar proximity to Civicscience projection in the three months following its launch (3% became new subscribers to our 1% of respondents who reported “very likely”). Discovery+, meanwhile has only been available for two months, and reporting remains limited on its subscriber levels. Regardless, Discovery plans to reach a U.S. market of 70 million subscribers over time, which would place it around 20% of the U.S. general population (and near our forecasted 18% of self-reported likely subscribers). 

In other words, should CivicScience remain as accurate with Paramount+ as we have been with other recently released streaming services, then the upgraded CBS platform will be looking at somewhere between 8 – 10 million new subscribers over the next few months, placing it right in line with HBO Max and Peacock. 


Basic consumer demographics only show marginal differences in likelihood to subscribe to Paramount+. Urbanicity, and gender are all fairly evenly distributed across likelihood to sign up. Age, however, shows a slight increase in likelihood among the youngest potential viewers. Household income, similarly demonstrates a slight increase in likelihood but among those who make over $150K a year. 


Perhaps the content on Paramount+ is more appealing to people within higher income brackets, or it could be a natural side effect of having more disposable income.

Potential Draws for New Subscribers

Subscriptions to Paramount+ include a number of channels within its package. And data shows that potential subscribers are especially drawn to content from CBS and the Smithsonian Channel.

And the good news for Paramount+ is that this diverse line-up of available channels has broad appeal across age demographics. 

CBS remains popular to every age group, while the Smithsonian Channel appeals more as age increases, and Comedy Central draws in younger viewers. Interestingly, of the highly promoted TV content on Paramount+’s landing page, “Star Trek: Picard” stands out as a strong draw for viewers, followed closely by “Yellowstone: 1883.” 

And when we cross these leading shows against household income, we see more good news for Paramount+ in finding potential subscribers. 

Almost two-thirds (63%) of people who make over 150K a year are highly interested in “Star Trek: Picard” and “Yellowstone: 1883.” This implies that the income group most likely to become a new subscriber to the platform is also drawn in by its leading available content. 

Take these leading shows and add in a hefty dose of extremely popular and long-running crime procedurals, such as “Criminal Minds,” and Paramount+ certainly has the potential to make waves in the streaming wars. Especially when factoring in other pockets of interesting content, like sports.

While the numbers of new customers are yet to be tallied, Civicscience data clearly demonstrates the potential for Paramount+ to grow commensurately with other newly released services.