Discovery Plus (stylized by the company as discovery+) launched over a year ago in the U.S. with hundreds of hours of original and library content from Discovery Inc.'s portfolio of networks, including Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and most recently Magnolia Network.
“Our ambition is simple: bring consumers the definitive and most complete destination for real life entertainment at a price point that makes this the perfect companion for every household's streaming and TV portfolio,” Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said in a statement. “There is nothing like it in the market today. We launch with significant advantages, including the world’s greatest collection of nonfiction brands and content, built over more than 30 years across popular and enduring verticals, as well as powerful partnerships with leading distributors and platforms.”
Zaslav‘s bullishness might be well-founded, as Discovery reported 18 million streaming subs as of July, a boost from 15 million in April. While the reported numbers were for all of the company‘s direct-to-consumer offerings, Zaslav said, during the company's earnings call February 22, the “vast majority” of added subs were for Discovery Plus.
Discovery Plus is available in the U.S. for $4.99 a month. Subs can shell out $6.99 a month for an ad-free version. Not sure if you want to pay for another service? Discovery is offering a free seven-day trial.
Accounts include up to five user profiles and up to four concurrent streams.
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Where can I stream Discovery Plus?
Discovery has also partnered with Verizon Communications in the U.S., Sky in the U.K. and Ireland, and Vodafone in Europe. (Vodafone subs in the U.K. who pay monthly get the platform for free for six months.)
New Verizon Fios Home Internet or 5G Home customers will get a year of ad-free Discovery Plus. New and existing customers with Play More or Get More Unlimited plans will also get a year of Discovery Plus while Start or Do More Unlimited plan customers will get six months.
The multiyear Vodafone deal will give Vodafone TV and mobile customers in 12 European markets access to Discovery Plus. The markets include Vodafone subs in the U.K., Germany, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Romania, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland and Iceland.
Discovery also plans to launch the service in 2021 in the U.K. and Ireland, India, Italy, the Netherlands, the Nordics, Latin America, and in parts of Asia.
What content will I be able to watch?
Discovery Plus boasts a bevy of original content at launch (more than 150 hours to be exact).
Subs can watch more than 50 exclusive series, including 90 Day Bares All, American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda, Amityville Horror House, Amy Schumer Learns to Cook: Uncensored, BattleBots: Bounty Hunters, Bobby and Giada in Italy, Dr. Pimple Popper: This is Zit, Frozen in Time, HGTV’s House Party, Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines, Mysterious Planet and Super Dad. New episodes of Jesse James’s Monster Garage will also stream on the service.
In its first year, the company said it will have 1,000 hours of original content.
Magnolia Network has also launched on Discovery Plus — and the Magnolia app — as of July 15, adding more than 150 hours of content to the platform. The linear version of Magnolia took over DIY Network in January 2022. Magnolia Network shows officially premiering on Discovery Plus July 15 include Fixer Upper: Welcome Home, Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines, Homegrown, Family Dinner and First Time Fixer, said network officials.
“From the beginning, our aim for Magnolia Network has been to tell good stories,” said Chip and Joanna Gaines in a statement. “And while our plan has evolved along the way, our original vision for this network has remained the same: to create a space where people leave feeling like it was time well spent.”
What does the merger of parent Discovery with WarnerMedia mean?
In April, AT&T and Discovery Inc. completed their transaction to merge AT&T‘s WarnerMedia assets with Discovery. The new company, which has been touted as a “TV and streaming giant,” is called Warner Bros. Discovery.
WarnerMedia‘s assets include HBO and streaming service HBO Max. Those assets, along with Discovery‘s portfolio of networks and Discovery Plus, put the new company in a better position to compete with streaming juggernauts Netflix and Disney Plus.
Initially, it was unclear what the fates of Discovery Plus and HBO Max would be after the merger. But, during an investment conference last month, Discovery chief financial officer Gunnar Wiedenfels said the company plans to combine the products into one “blowout DTC product.”
“Right out of the gate, we’re working on getting the bundling approach ready,” Wiedenfels said during the Deutsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom investor event. “But the main thrust is going to be harmonizing the technology platforms, building one very strong combined direct-to-consumer product and platform, and that’s going to take a while.”
One other goal the combined company has is to reach 200 million DTC subs.
”For me, after we close this deal, it is going to be two absolute missions,“ Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said back in July. “Mission No. 1 is drive direct-to-consumer to 200 million subscribers in every language in the world, and with a product that’s easy to navigate and use.”
At the end of 2021, AT&T reported that HBO and HBO Max had 73.8 million subscribers globally. Combined with more than 18 million from Discovery‘s DTC subscribers, that puts the new company well below its goal.
Zaslav pointed to the new company‘s focus as a path to success.
”We‘re not in the phone business when this deal closes,” he said. “We‘re not in the retail business, we‘re not in the cloud business. We‘re not in the cable business. With that singular focus, I think we’ll drive a great culture.” ■
Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.
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