StoryScout 2024

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

discovery+ Report Card: 11 million subscribers. What does it mean? A Dan Salerno podcast

Discovery’s new streamer discovery+ released early subscriber data: 11 million have signed up in the few weeks after launch.

I ask veteran programming exec Dan Salerno:

  • What can we learn from the numbers?
  • Is discovery+ ‘cannibalizing’ the channels’ program pipeline and ultimately revenues?
  • Where are the documentaries that made the Discovery brand?

Dan gives a positive grade to the launch: “They’re all in, and it shows!”

Listen to Dan Salerno (19′)

The First Look

Don’t miss our February 5 podcast where Dan focuses on discovery+’s look and functionality, also earning his thumbs up. Below are sample screenshots that he discusses.

Channels vs Subscribers: The breakeven math

In my December 4 discovery+ outlook, I shared back-of-envelope math:

  • “At the discovery+ price point of $4.99 / month*, or $59.88/year, around 20 million U.S. subscribers for the new service would match the $1.14 billion Cab/Sat subscriber revenues guess-estimated for 2026.”
  • Read my analysis here.

discovery + SCREENS

Home Page featuring a key highlight and the discovery+ Originals link, followed by their key network brands

discovery+ Originals and Trending Shows follow the same horizontal menu format.  Most of the trending titles are popular legacy brands and spinoffs

Relationships category with horizontal menus for Trending and Highlights. A&E Network brands are integrated with Discovery Networks and discovery+ Originals brands.

Horizontal menus with their Featured selections and Recommendations. Network logos make it easy to differentiate titles within their parent brands. 
Nature and Animals category. Trending titles are exclusively Animal Planet character led series with only a modest presence for traditional blue chip wildlife.

New York TImes Loves discocery+
  • Forget ‘Succession.’ You Can Watch ‘90 Day Fiancé’ for 100 Hours Straight.
    Discovery’s new app has taken off largely because viewers love watching people fix houses, tour diners and bicker about their relationships. (Read more here)

Selling Your Documentary to Netflix course