Discovery’s long-awaited direct to consumer product will be coming to market “very soon,” CEO David Zaslav told an investor conference Thursday morning.
“We will come to market with a global attack,” Zaslav said at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia conference.
“I think this is probably the most important thing we’ll do as a company since I’ve been at Discovery. And we’ve been getting ready for it for years,” he said. "It’s one of the reasons we got into local sports. It’s the reason we did Scripps, because we own all of that content globally."
Zaslav noted that the growth in broadband gives Discovery a path to consumers at a time when cord-cutting is eroding the number of people who can watch the company’s cable channel.
“We really feel that we have a moment and it’s critically important that we reach everybody everywhere in the world and that’s where the industry is going,” he said.
He noted that one of Discovery’s challenges is that it is not available on every device. “We will be very soon and we will be in a way that’s aggressive," he said.
“One of the keys is getting partners to help. So we’ve been very quietly over the past year working aggressively in getting all of our stuff together and we’re quite close," he said. “When we come to market, which will be very soon, we just want to check all the boxes."
Zaslav said that the company owns all of its content it has already airs and has not been selling it, which means it will be available immediately when the DTC service launches.
On top of that, Discovery has been producing and stockpiling additional original content in anticipation of a direct to consumer launch.
Zaslav said that because Discovery has focused on unscripted content, its DTC offering will be different than Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus or HBO Max. It might even serve as a companion to any or all of them.
“The more and more we talk to consumers and we look at the research--there’s a lot of great product out there that’s scripted series and scripted movies--but we really have something different. And people want more than just more shows,” he said.
“When you look at us domestically, you look at the brands that we have, people look at Food and Home and Chip and Jo [Gaines] and Oprah. We’re the only player that has brands that people love that are really curation portals where all these super fans, Zaslav said.
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