Please wait...
Please wait...

Discovery SVoD subs exceed 15m

US factual giant Discovery has passed 15 million subscribers to its SVoD services in the first quarter of 2021, led by its new Discovery+ streaming service.

David Zaslav

Discovery+ launched at the start of the year and helped boost Discovery’s paying streaming subscribers to 11 million by the end of February and 13 million at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

In the company’s first-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said subs had since topped 15 million. The majority of these are to Discovery+, although it also includes other niche Discovery streamers such as GolfTV.

The numbers are on target to beat Discovery’s target of 16 million subs by the end of Q2. Zaslav told investors “the global roll-out of Discovery+ is off to a fantastic start by any measure. Key metrics, including subscriber additions, customer engagement and retention, are exceeding our expectations and demonstrating sustained momentum into the second quarter.”

However, the results, along with a 4% drop in advertising revenue compared with the first quarter last year, driven by ongoing cord-cutting and stiff competition facing its US cablenets, brought a lukewarm response from the markets, with Discovery shares down over 8%.

Discovery stock is still significantly up year on year, having increased in value by more than 50% during 2020 as it geared up for the launch of Discovery+.

Zaslav said: “Our strong direct-to-consumer performance underscores the outstanding value and appeal of our content, brands and personalities to both consumers and distribution partners alike.

“We continue to expand the reach of Discovery+ with recent launches on Comcast Xfinity and Amazon Prime Video Channels. At the same time, we continue to extend our overall engagement with viewers across screens, anchored by another quarter as the most-watched pay TV portfolio in the US and our seventh consecutive quarter of international share growth.”

Quarterly revenue grew 4% to US$2.79bn.


Please wait...