Discovery has been talking about an international streaming service since 2019. Now executives have signaled that they will finally lift the curtain on the expected service to investors in early December.
In a quarterly call for earnings with investors, Discovery's president and CEO David Zaslav said the lifestyle-heavy television brand is almost complete its plans for its expected streamer and will share more over the next month. Company executives have privately referred to the service as Discovery +, although the streamer's official name has not been confirmed.
"Our plans for an aggregated direct-to-consumer offering are clearly in focus and we look forward to taking a look at our product, roadmap and go-to-market strategy in early December," said Zaslav. "… We have an ultimate path to drive engagement and scalability, an unparalleled library of beloved brands and personality-driven content that supports a list of exclusive and window-related content, all of which culminate in a platform that is globally oriented and locally attractive. ”
The service can also remove a page from other streamers' playbooks with a branded approach. Zaslav expressed his admiration for Disney + 's "pretty clever" and "a bit retro" approach to having branded hubs. "I'm an old type of cable, and when people look at cables, it works because of the curation," he said. "Everyone has their six favorite channels."
While some details, including ad strategy and price, are not yet known, Zaslav said the streamer would focus on leveraging the company's global footprint and localizing based on the market in which the service operates from ad-supported and subscription-based tiers, although the company is working to strike the right balance between the two.
The comments provide a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes plans for the anticipated streaming service that investors and marketers have been watching as new services from Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCUniversal enter the fray, trying to put consumer eyeballs and in some cases To attract advertising dollars. It is also a sign of the growing importance of building global services as growth in the US is not the magnitude that most mass media companies ultimately seek.
For Discovery, the global orientation is already evident in the company's relocation abroad: The company has concluded sales agreements in Norway, Sweden and Great Britain, which give the company more flexibility in entering the direct customer business in these markets. In the UK, consumers will be presented this month with Discovery +, an aggregate offering available to subscribers to the Sky Q subscription TV and entertainment service operated by the UK broadcaster Sky.
Worldwide, Discovery has tried to keep ownership of its own content "for a long time," said Zaslav, laying the foundation for the streamer. The company will also explore the possibility of adding local sports and local news in certain markets to further distinguish them from other streamers, whose libraries are in some cases dominated by scripts and films.
"The real benefit we think we have is that you have mostly big US services with a little local service," said Zaslav. “We have dramatic local – local entertainment, we have all of our brands and cable content in 200 countries in speech, and all over Europe we have local sports. … We have an extensive library, as well as the real local items, and if you look at all of the other players, this is one major disadvantage. We believe we have a significant advantage. "