Digiday recently reported that Discovery, Inc. had informed ad agency executives they would be launching a direct-to-consumer streaming service in  early 2021. Although there has been no official announcement, it is expected to be called Discovery+. (The Information reported that Discovery filed a trademark for Discovery+ on July 10.)

According to the report, Discovery+ will offer subscribers an ad-free version at a higher monthly cost and an ad-supported version at a lower fee. The-ad supported version will have no more than five minutes of advertising per hour. The monthly subscriber cost for either tier is not known.

Discovery will be joining an increasingly crowded streaming video landscape that includes  rival media companies Disney, AT&T, Comcast and ViacomCBS. These four media companies all own broadcast/cable networks and film/TV studios, and two are video content distributors (MVPDs). In addition, all four have a direct-to-consumer streaming service…

…If  Discovery’s streaming service becomes reality next year, it will be met with approval by advertisers. Jon Stimmel, Chief Investment Officer at UM says, “Discovery networks and their infotainment type programming have proven greater stability versus others during quarantine and beyond. It’s due to the living room dynamic and their content appealing to families’ co-viewing behavior that takes advantage of the now more ubiquitous HDTV technology. It’s relatively easy to sample without knowing storylines or requiring an ending. Launching a destination with an already large library of content should attract those that have enjoyed particular shows or have popular lifestyle interests in nature, science, cars, food and home improvement while still being able to explore others they may not have seen. In a world of many SVOD services during a time when households are downsizing costs, a truly free ad-supported streaming option should prove successful, if that’s what they maintain.”

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