Discovery announces global SVOD launch with goal to become ‘the definitive product for unscripted storytelling’

Discovery has unveiled its international streaming service discovery+. 

An expanded version of the UK service which was launched last month with a free offer for Sky Q customers, the SVOD will enter the increasingly crowded US market on January 4 2021. The streamer will be offered as a US$4.99 per month ad-supported service or US$6.99 per month without ads.

Discovery will hope that it can boost its chances of success via a distribution deal with Verizon, which will give the US mobile operator’s 55 million customers up to 12 months of access to discovery+’s ad-free tier at no extra cost, depending on their wireless plan.

Leaning on its brands like HGTV and Food Network, Discovery claims that discovery+ will launch with the most content of any new streaming service with 55,000 episodes from 2,500 shows, with unscripted content being the focal point of the service.

This will include content from A&E, the History Channel and Lifetime, thanks to partnerships announced by Discovery with those networks. In addition, the streamer will offer original content, featuring stars like Sir David Attenboroughs, Kevin Hart and celebrity chef Bobby Flay.

Following its early UK rollout and January launch in the US, the streamer will expand to more than 25 key markets including the Nordics, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. Italy in particular will be supported by a distribution with TIM.

European customers will have access to Eurosport content via discovery+, with the service also serving as the streaming home of the Olympics – with NBCUniversal’s Peacock claiming that mantle in the US.

David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery, Inc., said: “We have been working methodically the past two years to bring all of our strategic advantages to the launch of discovery+, including distribution and advertising partnerships around the world, a world-class offering of quality brands, authentic personalities and the largest content library at launch, as well as a broad slate of exclusive programming.

“With discovery+, we are seizing the global opportunity to be the world’s definitive product for unscripted storytelling, providing households and mobile consumers a distinct, clear and differentiated offering across valuable and enduring lifestyle, and real life verticals. We believe discovery+ is the perfect complement to every streaming portfolio, and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Verizon to bring this incredible content to their customer base.”

The launch will come at the beginning of a year which will see a wave of new streaming services launch. ViacomCBS will also launch its rebranded version of CBS All Access, Paramount+, in 2021.

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