Discovery media giant has revealed that its Discovery+ service will launch in the US on January 4th, 2021. It’ll cost the $5 per month you’d expect for some specialty services, but that still includes ads you’ll need to spend $7 per month to avoid interruptions. It’ll be available on “major” mobile and TV platforms with up to four simultaneous streams.
Discovery Plus adds another combatant in the so-called streaming wars, a period over the last year when media giants and tech titans have released a raft of new streaming services. These battles pitting rookies like Apple TV Plus, HBO Max, Disney Plus and NBCUniversal’s Peacock against heavyweights like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have spurred huge corporations to pour billions of dollars into their ambition to shape the future of television.
Discovery Plus already launched last month in the UK and Ireland. In addition to the US rollout on Jan. 4, the service plans to widen to more than 25 international markets next year. The company called out plans to launch the service in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the Nordics (typically Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), Latin American countries including Brazil, and in parts of Asia.
Like many new streaming services, Discovery Plus will be a mix of library shows and movies and new, exclusive originals. In the US, Discovery Plus will have more than 55,000 episodes from Discovery’s own channels, as well as from BBC’s Natural History collection, A&E Networks, Group Nine and others. And the company said it plans a “robust slate” from people like former Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, nature documentary host David Attenborough, comedian Kevin Hart and chefs Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis.
As far as what devices will support Discovery Plus to stream, the company said the service will be “available across major platforms, including connected TVs, web, mobile and tablets,” without specifying particular platforms.
The new service will launch with an extended free-trial partnership with Verizon, offering some of the telecom giant’s customers as many as 12 months of Discovery Plus essentially free. Verizon has made a bit of a habit of offering these kinds of perks to customers: Verizon comped a year of Disney Plus for many customers when the Hollywood giant rolled out its own streaming service a year ago.