Discovery+ Launch Impact

Discovery+ launched January 4th, positioning itself as the definitive SVOD for real-life entertainment (link). Antenna observed the service’s launch with respect to the broader market.

Total Premium SVOD Sign-ups grew 2% MoM from December to January. Discovery+ drove the increase, claiming 19% of Sign-ups.

If we remove Discovery+ from the equation, total Premium SVOD Sign-ups in January fell 17% from December — a month where gift giving is material and two of the biggest films of the year were released direct-to-streaming (as we documented here).

Some more insights from launch month:

  • Plan Mix: Over half of Discovery+ Sign-ups opted for the Ad-free ($6.99/mo) plan. For comparison, just below a quarter of paid Sign-ups to Peacock chose the Ad-free ($9.99/mo) plan in July 2020.
  • Trial Conversion: Nearly 90% of Discovery+ Sign-ups converted from Free Trial to Paid Subscription. For comparison, Disney+ converted less than three quarters of Sign-ups from Free Trial to Paid Subscription in November 2019.
  • Distributor Mix (Billing Relationship): The majority of Discovery+ Sign-ups came via third-party distributors including Apple, Amazon and Roku. When Disney+ launched (November 2019), over half of Sign-ups came via the Direct channel — the same is true for HBO Max (May 2020) and Peacock (July 2020).

Note: this analysis excludes certain plans and offerings including the AppleTV+ Hardware Purchase Free Trial, Discovery+/Verizon, Disney+/Verizon, HBO Max/AT&T & ‘Activations’, and Peacock’s Free Tier & Comcast/Cox.

Brendan Brady is a Content Strategy Associate at Antenna, a measurement and analytics company providing insight into purchase behavior and subscription metrics across the new media landscape.