- Discovery Plus launched today as the selection of streaming services continues to grow.
- Starting at $US4.99, the Discovery Plus subscription includes shows from brands like Food Network, HGTV, TLC, BBC, and Discovery Channel, which airs the popular Shark Week program.
- It will also include a “Fixer Upper” reboot featuring home renovation duo Chip and Joanna Gaines starting on January 29, as well as additional shows as part of the couple’s Magnolia Network.
- Discovery Plus is the first new streaming service to launch in 2021 as cable TV looks to be on the decline and as more viewers signal a preference for streaming platforms.
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What can I watch on Discovery Plus?
As USA Today notes, Discovery Plus will offer “real-life” content versus original, scripted programs, such as Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit.” Think wildlife documentaries, cooking shows, and home renovation programs.
Discovery Plus is home to “55,000 episodes” of shows from a variety of brands like HGTV, Food Network, TLC, A&E, History Channel, and of course, Discovery Channel, which airs the popular Shark Week series each year. Discovery Plus will also feature content from BBC, including the show “A Perfect Planet” featuring David Attenborough’s unmistakable narration.
You’ll recognise titles like “Dance Mums” and Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” on the platform. Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis’ “Bobby and Giada in Italy” will also begin airing with the launch of Discovery Plus.
A feature called Discovery Plus Channels will land on January 29 that will bring in shows like “90 Day Fiance” and a reboot of “Fixer Upper,” the popular home renovation program featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines. The couple will also be airing additional shows as part of their Magnolia Network offerings, like a cooking show called “Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines.”
How does the cost compare to other streaming platforms like Netflix?
It costs $US4.99 for a Discovery Plus subscription with commercials. The ad-free option costs $US6.99. Compare that to the largest streaming platform’s prices: The basic package for Netflix is $US8.99, while the most expensive premium option costs $US17.99.
How can I watch it?
You can download the app on your smartphone, watch it on a laptop or desktop, or add it to your repertoire via Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and more.
What does Discovery’s streaming service mean?
It signals one more step away from traditional cable TV and another toward what is shaping up to be a crowded streaming market.
Discovery Plus is the first new streaming service to launch in 2021. Last year, HBO Max and Peacock joined the race, and Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus were introduced in November 2019. The so-called “streaming wars” kicked off around the same time as viewers showed an increasing tendency to opt for streaming platforms instead of paying for expensive cable bundles.
That trend has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, as people have remained in their homes and as theatres and other means of entertainment have largely shuttered. The combined number of US subscribers for the largest streaming platforms is up 50% from this time last year, according to a recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal, with the average American household subscribing to about three services.
Some studios have even opted to take theatrical releases directly to streaming platforms. Disney Plus debuted “Mulan” in September was available for free to all subscribers starting in December. And “Wonder Woman 1984” was released simultaneously on HBO Max and in theatres on Christmas Day.
Warner Bros. announced in early December that it would release not just “Wonder Woman 1984” but all of its movies in 2021 on its HBO Max platform, as well as in theatres. The move signalled a greater investment into its streaming business but angered many in the filmmaking world as directors and critics speculated what the future of traditional cinemas will look like.