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Discovery Surpasses 15 Million Streaming Subscribers, Adding 10 Million So Far in 2021

Derek Walborn

Discovery announced they now have 15 million paying direct-to-consumer subscribers. That includes subscribers on discovery+, along with their previously launched international platforms including dPlay, which was rebranded to discovery+ late last year.

On CNBC’s Squawk Box, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said, “People are spending on average about 3 hours with the product, and churn is at the very low end of all of our competitors.”

The company last reported 12 million streaming subscribers as of the end of February, and shared that they had 13 million of the end of March. They have added nearly two million new subscribers in April. The company launched on Prime Video Channels in mid-April, as well as Comcast Xfinity Flex. They have also been offering a free Fire Stick Lite to new customers.

Zaslav said “We now have 15 million total paying direct-to-consumer subscribers across our global portfolio driven primarily by discovery+, having crossed 13 million total paying direct-to-consumer subscribers at the end of March…We continue to expand the reach of discovery+ with recent launches on Comcast Xfinity and Amazon Prime Video Channels.”

During their December Investor briefing, the company said they had 5.2 million paying subscribers globally, meaning they gained nearly 10 million subscribers in 2021. In February, the company said 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.”

Discovery+ is a new kid on the block in the world of streaming content. premiering on January 4th of this year.

The service launched with 55,000 episodes of content from Discovery’s large catalog of 2,500 reality-based series. The programming draws from channels like HGTV, TLC, Investigation Discovery, OWN, BBC, and Animal Planet to cover an impressive range of subject matter from serial killers to killer whales. 50 original series debuted at launch, which made for an additional 150 hours of brand new, exclusive content. The platform is available at $4.99 a month with ads and $6.99 a month without.

Last month saw Discovery also gaining the rights to stream content from All3Media, adding another 250+ hours of reality TV programming to the service. Shows involved in the deal include dating programs “Naked Attraction” and “The Undateables,” as well as a hefty helping of Gordon Ramsay in “Gordon Ramsay: Shark Bait” and “Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine.

In stark contrast to the screaming celebrity chef, discovery+ has also just launched a new channel called Immersions. This channel features meditative short and long-form nature footage. From gently crashing waves to slow sunrises and even placidly munching goats on a sunny farm, the channel is meant to be more moving art than entertainment. Immersions definitely provides discovery+ subscribers with a unique reprieve from the din of personality-based reality drama and DIY power tool programming.

While the platform’s launch was met with mixed reviews from people who already dip into Discovery’s content via other services, discovery+ will no doubt continue to regain the rights to stream the programs that previous deals had spread to other outlets and gain new viewership in the process.

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