ViacomCBS says streaming up 56% year over year to some 30 million subscribers

Oyin Oladejo as Lt. Joann Owosekun, Ronnie Rowe Jr. as Lt. Bryce and Emily Coutts as Lt. Keyla Detmer in Season 3 of "Star Trek: Discovery."
(Image credit: CBS All Access)

Just eight days before launching its bigger-and-better Paramount+ streaming service, ViacomCBS today reported that its global streaming subscribers reached nearly 30 million for the fourth quarter, which ended on Dec. 31, 2020. It didn't break down the numbers by service — ViacomCBS is home to things like CBS All Access, Showtime and BET+ — but did note that 19.2 million of those subscribers were in the United States — a 71 percent increase year over year. 

The growth came from exactly where you'd expect if you're a regular watcher of CBS All Access. The service is home to all things Star Trek, including Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery. Q4 also saw the reboot of Steven King's The Stand  and it's the exclusive home for the UEFA Champions League soccer competition, which pits the best clubs in Europe against each other.

MORE: Paramount Plus review

Pluto TV also continues to get its day in the sun. It's one of the more popular ways to get stream free movies and shows, with its monthly active users up 80 percent year over year to 43 million. Some 30.1 million of those are in the United States.

But now, all eyes are turned toward Paramount+. It is, in one sense, a rebranding of CBS All Access, which has plenty of cache in the United States but means almost nothing abroad. It already was home to all kinds of great ViacomCBS content. The shift to the Paramount+ brand also allows expansion outside of America. It'll launch in Latin America next week, too, and hit the Nordics on March 25. We're still waiting on more detailed country availability, however. 

See also: The best shows on Paramount+

The Paramount+ price also is roughly the same as CBS All Access. A commercial-free option will be available at launch for at $9.99 a month, or $99.99 a year. And an $4.99 version (with ads, and without the live stream of your local CBS affiliate) is coming in July.

Paramount+ also will have live sports, of course, and you should still be able to watch the NFL, too.

And we expect Paramount+ to be available on the same streaming platforms — which is to say all of them.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.