Discovery Plus Exceeds 11 Million Subscribers


Discovery’s fourth-quarter earnings report beat forecasts early Monday, as the company also revealed early subscription numbers for its newly launched SVOD service, Discovery Plus.

The company reported earnings of 76 cents per share and revenue of $2.889 billion, vs. Street projections for per-share earnings of 72 cents on revenue of $2.83 billion.

During Q4, Discovery officially entered the streaming wars with a standalone streaming of its own, Discovery Plus, which launched on Jan. 4 for $4.99 to $6.99 a month. Execs there have preciously said they expect the service to have an addressable market of 70 million domestically and 400 million globally.

In the company’s fourth-quarter earnings release Monday, Discover CEO David Zaslav claimed that Discovery Plus has surpassed 11 million paying subscribers since launch, and is “on pace to be at 12 million by the end of the month.”

The streamer debuted during the company’s current fiscal first quarter with over 50 original programs and a library of over 55,000 previously aired episodes in its library from Discovery-owned channels such as HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Animal Planet and others.

While Discovery Plus joins a crowded market of newbies such as Apple TV Plus, HBO Max and the formidable Disney Plus, it has sought to differentiate itself with a focus on unscripted programming. As Variety previously reported, Discovery’s joint venture with home improvement gurus Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia Network, will debut digitally first on Discovery Plus on July 15 before taking over the linear DIY Network in Jan. 2022.

Discovery also increased its stake in Oprah Winfrey’s OWN to 95%, up from its prior holding of 73% during Q4.

Shares of Discovery were trading at a new 52-week high going into its earnings report, with the stock up around 66% year to date, even amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that brought television and film production to a standstill for months and set the industry on edge.


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