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Discovery CEO Says New Venture Will Compete Head-To-Head With Netflix, Disney

Jeff Kotuby

Discovery CEO David Zaslav has big ideas for his company’s future — and it involves taking two of the industry’s titans head-on.

During his company’s time at this week’s Credit Suisse Communications Conference, Zaslav was asked about adding news content for free versions of streaming apps. Zaslav instead took the opportunity to praise two of his competitors — while letting everyone know where his company stands on news content.

“Look, the two global leaders, Netflix and Disney, they’re very clear about what they are,” Zaslav said. “Each of them has a menu of content, and they have a menu of what they can do. And if we look at Disney and Netflix, that’s the neighborhood we want to live in. That’s who we think we are.”

Disney+

Disney+ is a new ad-free video streaming service which offers exclusive series and films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. Disney unveiled that their streaming service will debut in the U.K. on March 24th, 2020.

The Disney streaming service will cost £7.99 / month, or £79.99 / year (£6.67 / month).

The app supports 4K streaming, unlimited downloads, 4 simultaneous streams, up to 7 profiles, with hundreds of avatars for your personal profile.

The first year will include 25 new original series, 10+ movies, 7,500 past episodes, 100 recent movies, and 400 library titles including the entire Disney Vault. New releases like “Toy Story 4”, “The Lion King”, “Aladdin” and classics like “The Little Mermaid” and “Cinderella” will be available to stream.

The company announced original shows and movies that will be available at launch, including the $100 million 8-episode Star Wars spin-off, “The Mandalorian”, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “The World According To Jeff Goldblum,” “Lady and the Tramp,” and “The Imagineering Story.”

You can see the full list of available Disney, Disney Channel, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Nat Geo shows and movies, or all available Disney Plus content by checking out our Disney+ Streaming Movie List.

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Zaslav credits the early success of (Discovery-owned) GB News, a new U.K.-based news outlet, as a way his company can compete with England’s “Big Two” (BBC News and Sky News), by offering content they won’t.

“Local news, local sports. We started the local sports, and we need to build local news,” Zaslav said. “And how important that is, it’s hard to tell — but it is a differentiator. Local content, local sports, local news against hanging out in the neighborhood where you have two other great players, but they’re not doing exactly what we’re doing. And that’s a good thing.”

Netflix

Netflix is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 3,000+ movies, 2,000+ TV Shows, and Netflix Originals like Stranger Things, Mindhunter, Queer Eye, and Russian Doll. They are constantly adding new shows and movies — and have even begun creating original films like The Irishman (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino) and Dolemite is My Name (Eddie Murphy).

Netflix offers three plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” (£6) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Standard” (£9) plan, and 4 devices in up to 4K on their “Premium” (£12) plan.

Netflix spends more money on content than any other streaming service meaning that you get more value for the monthly fee.

Would local news and sports be enough for Warner Bros. Discovery to compete with Netflix and Disney, though? Are they really content on competing with “WandaVision”, “Loki”, “Ozark”, and “The Queen's Gambit” with coverage of local collegiate athletics teams and new store openings downtown? For some, a local spin may be a big selling point, but many others would wonder where the big name shows and movies are.

HBO Max

HBO Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals. It is The Streamable’s choice for Best Streaming Service of 2022.

HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for US$9.99 and ad-free plan for US$14.99. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.

Subscribers will have access to hit HBO series like Succession, Mare of Easttown, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more.

All HBO Max subscribers will get the full libraries of shows like “Friends”, “The Big Bang Theory”, “South Park”, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, “The West Wing”, and more.

They also will get Max Originals that aren’t available to HBO channel subscribers, like “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco), “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick), as well as reboots to “Sex In The City” and “Gossip Girl.”

Granted, Warner Bros. Discovery is at no shortage of big-name movies and TV shows, powered by the libraries of both companies. Warner’s HBO, Warner Bros., Discovery, DC Comics, CNN, WB Games, Turner Sports, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS, TCM, Wizarding World, Adult Swim, Eurosport, combined with Discovery’s wide variety of lifestyle TV shows make for a formidable 1-2 punch that could interest folks from many demographics.

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