How Discovery Plus Plans to Keep It Real 2022


Key Takeaways

Discovery Plus launched on Monday and is positioning itself to be the premier destination for unscripted content.The new platform will include 1,000 hours of original content, as well as staple programs on networks like The Food Network, Animal Planet, and TLC.  Discovery Plus is an all-in-one stop for science, nature, and environmental programming. Rawpixel / Mockup Photos

Discovery Plus launched on Monday, and while the streaming space may be jam packed as is, the new platform looks to provide a home for viewers who need a little reality in what they watch. 

As the streaming war wages on heading into the new year, Discovery Plus made its debut on Jan. 4 offering a new home for a variety of shows that focus on real life. Programs from networks like HGTV, The Food Network, TLC, Animal Planet, and A&E can all be found on the new platform. 

With Disney Plus, Hulu, Netflix, and HBO Max already established, Discovery Plus will need to offer viewers something new and different. Programs like Shark Week established Discovery Channel's brand and voice in the world of cable, but what will make Discovery Plus unique in the world of streaming? 

"True crime, different kinds of nature shows, home renovations… we certainly win in terms of volume and variety on that type of content,” Lisa Holme, who oversees Discovery's streaming service, said during a phone call with Ach5. “That is all we do."

What Makes Discovery Plus Unique?

Though a bit late to the streaming game, Discovery Plus will look to gain viewers with a model different from other platforms. New customers may flock to Disney Plus and HBO Max to catch the release of shows like The Mandalorian and movies like Wonder Woman 1984, but Discovery Plus hopes to educate, inform, inspire, and entertain with its content. 

The new platform hopes to be a one-stop shop for television's top non-fiction shows, movies, and documentaries.

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"It's the only service you can have on in the morning and keep on for the rest of the day," Holme said. "Discovery Plus is a great companion for you while cooking or doing other things around the house." 

If unscripted shows and documentaries are all you watch, then Discovery Plus may be one to download. Disney Plus may offer nature shows and documentaries from National Geographic and Netflix has an extensive library of true crime documentaries, but Holme said that nothing comes close to Discovery Plus; it's unmatched in terms of volume and variety on that kind of content. 

"If you are a fan of those kinds of shows then you will never run out of things to watch," she said. "Some services you watch a couple of nature shows and you're going to be out… that's not going to happen on Discovery."

What Does Discovery Plus Offer?

At launch the new streaming platform comes with over 2,500 current and classic shows and offers more than 55,000 episodes to build Discovery Plus's brand, featuring exclusive streaming rights to BBC nature documentaries like Planet Earth, Blue Planet, and Frozen Planet. 

"With Discovery Plus, 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," David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Inc., said in a press release announcing the launch. 

He added the goal is to provide the most complete destination for real life entertainment.

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In an interview with CNBC this week, Zaslav called Netflix and Disney Plus great products, but said that what Discovery Plus offers sets it apart from the rest. 

What Does The Future Look Like For Discovery Plus?

The plan is to release 1,000 hours of original content on the platform during the first year across several of Discovery's well-known brands. The shows focus more on lifestyle and relationships, home and food, true crime, adventure, and natural history, as well as science, technology, and the environment. 

Along with Planet Earth, Blue Planet, and Frozen Planet, Discovery Plus will launch A Perfect Planet, a new five-part series narrated by David Attenborough that will explain how the forces of nature, including weather, ocean currents, solar energy, and volcanoes, shape and support life on this planet. 

Holme said she was excited to see Discovery expand its catalog. “I think in the very beginning, customers will mostly see talent they are familiar with, but one thing I'm excited about is expanding beyond our known intellectual property,” she said.