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Discovery Surpasses 11 Million Streaming Subscribers in First 6 Weeks of Discovery Plus’ U.S. Launch

Jeff Kotuby

Discovery announced their newly launched streaming platform, discovery+, surpassed 11 million paying subscribers. That includes subscribers on their previously launched international platforms including dPlay, which was rebranded to discovery+ late last year.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav said that they expect to reach “12 million by the end of the month, underscoring the value of the investments we’ve made in content, beloved personalities and brands with huge consumer appeal, supported by industry-leading DTC capabilities.”

During their December Investor briefing, the company said they had 5.2 million paying subscribers globally, meaning they gained nearly 7 million subscribers in 2021.

CEO David Zaslav said in an interview with CNBC, that “substantially more than half of that was discovery+ subs in the U.S., with the majority of the other subs are discovery+ subs outside of the U.S.” That would mean that there are more than 4 million paying discovery+ subscribers in the U.S.

Over a similar time frame, Peacock was able to accrue 15 million sign-ups (not subscribers) and HBO/HBO Max added 7 million in all of 2020 (but at a higher price point).

In comparison, Disney+ amassed 26.5 million subscribers in their first 6 weeks.

Discovery took a page from Disney’s playbook and reached a deal with Verizon to offer the service for free for one-year to their Unlimited subscribers. Unlike Peacock and HBO Max, they also had deals with Roku and Amazon Fire TV out-of-the-gate.

The company had been running a promotion, offering 30% off their ad-free plan. While the service normally costs $4.99 with ads and $6.99 a month without, with the discount, streamers can get the ad-free plan for $4.90 a month.

The much anticipated streaming service launched on January 4, 2021 with 55,000 episodes of TV across 2,500 series with content from HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, OWN, Animal Planet, Discovery and the soon-to-debut Magnolia Network. The service also includes content from BBC, A&E, History, Lifetime, The Dodo, and Popsugar.

At the end of January, they launched Discovery+ Channels, a series of 24/7 streams showing beloved properties like Fixer Upper, 90 Day Fiancé, and more.