Discovery Inc. has lifted the veil on its anticipated global streaming service.
With the tagline of “Stream what you love,” Discovery+ will launch in January 4, 2021, with an ad-supported, “ad lite” version set for a US$4.99 monthly fee, and an ad-free version to be available for $6.99 a month.
David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Inc. called the launch “a historic day for our company,” and touted that the new service will boast “more assets and more advantages than any new service,” launching with over 50 original series. He predicted it will be “a huge global success… The global SVOD market will never be the same.”
He said original content will launch via the service “52 weeks a year”, and that Discovery+ will boast the company’s entire library — more than 55,000 episodes.
Zaslav cited a partnership with the BBC that will bring, in his words, the “deepest and most definitive collection of science, nature and wildlife programming” to viewers. That alone, he said, “makes it a must-have for every family in the world.”
The exclusive BBC natural history content includes The Mating Game, a new series produced with Sir David Attenborough; A Perfect Planet, which will be available at launch; Planet Earth and Blue Planet, plus content from digital-first brand The Dodo.
Content partnerships with environmental organizations include The Explorers Club, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), The Nature Conservancy (a U.S.-based global conservation organization), Oceana and World Wildlife Fund.
The service will also feature exclusive content from Chip and Joanna Gaines, including Magnolia Table, and the new iteration of their flagship series, Fixer Upper: Welcome Home. Both celebs appeared in the launch presentation, as did Will Packer and Kevin Hart, who will collaborate on the road trip series Route 66. “You’re getting a point of view into the real world of today,” said Hart of the series.
A partnership with A+E Networks sees A&E, Lifetime and History will see top franchise content from the nets, joining the 20+ networks to be part of the content offering. Series from the A+E stable to be featured on the service will include The First 48, Bring It, Dance Moms, Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars, Intervention and 60 Days In among others.
Discovery has also established what Zaslav called “a landmark partnership” with Verizon in the U.S. that will give its customers up to 12 months of the new service for free, depending on their plan with the telco. Distribution partners also include Sky in the UK and Ireland, and TIM in Italy with more to come.
During the presentation, Zaslav touted it as the premiere international destination for unscripted in streaming, and flagged the company’s “massive global footprint” as driving the ability to bring the service to an initial 25 countries worldwide at launch, including the UK and Ireland, and India. At the presentation, JB Perrette, president and CEO of Discovery International, touted a “global and local secret sauce” based on original content from global territories, ranging from true crime series from the “home of Nordic noir” to food content from around the world. Eurosport content will also be coming to the service over time.
From a user experience, each brand will appear as a content hub via the interface. Ad partners include Lowe’s, Kraft and Toyota, among others.
The platform will also serve as the streaming home of the Olympics in Europe, beginning with the Tokyo Games in 2021 in certain markets.
MORE ON DISCOVERY+ ORIGINALS
The streaming service will feature more than 1,000 hours of original content in its first year across Discovery’s verticals.
In the U.S., Discovery+ will feature an exclusive first look at content from the Magnolia Network, the forthcoming multiplatform joint venture with Chip and Joanna Gaines.
The Magnolia Network preview includes advance access to some of the Gaines’ projects, including the aforementioned Fixer Upper: Welcome Home and episodes of the cooking series Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines; Road to Launch, conversations between the Gaineses and various talent from the network’s programming slate; the documentary Courage to Run, which chronicles a meeting that inspired Chip to train for and complete his first marathon; and premiere episodes from ten upcoming Magnolia Network original series.
The preview will be exclusive to Discovery+ until the launch of Magnolia Network later in 2021.
At launch, discovery+ will be home to 90 Day Journey, a series featuring a collection of stories focused on fan-favorite couples from TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé, as well as new tentpole series and titles including: 90 Day Bares All, 90 Day Diaries and The Other Way Strikes Back!
In the paranormal space, Discovery+ has struck an exclusive multi-project deal with director Eli Roth (Hostel, Borderlands).
Among other originals slated for 2021 include Six Degrees with Mike Rowe; lifestyle series Long Island Medium: There in Spirit; food titles including Bobby and Giada in Italy and Cakealikes; home series Clipped and Frozen in Time; and true crime series Queen of Meth and American Detective with Joe Kenda.
On the adventure slate, Discovery+ will debut the aforementioned Route 66 (w/t) and Pushing the Line. Nature and science titles include Mysterious Planet, narrated by Davi Schwimmer.
Finally, among the documentaries to stream on the platform are P.S., Burn This Letter Please, The Impossible Row and My Beautiful Stutter.
With files from Jillian Morgan, Daniele Alcinii