If you thought that were just far too many streaming services keep up with, let alone afford, then you are very correct. Based on the number of companies that keep trying to release new streaming services to the already busy landscape though, it seems that corporations aren’t paying attention.
The past year alone saw the introduction of Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, and the failed Quibi experiment, comes the news that there is going to be yet another streaming service trying to break into the market. Discovery has announced that it will be launching Discovery+ (no extra points for originality) in the US on January 4, 2021 (as reported by Screen Rant).
Discovery already owns a large number of channels including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, and Animal Planet, so they definitely have the large volumes of content that streaming service start-ups require.
The biggest issue here though is the lack of scripted content in the form of big series and movies, which is arguably what most people spend their time watching. It will be interesting to see if people are willing to subscribe to a new service that only offers a mix of reality shows and documentaries. Their shows might be interesting, but are more the type of content that you watch in small doses rather than a full-on binge.
Discovery has not announced any form of pricing yet for its new service, though given the lack of aforementioned scripted content, they would need to make it really affordable to win people over to it otherwise it will quickly go the way of Quibi.
Update: $4.99 a month for an ad-supported subscription, $6.99 for an ad-free version.
Personally, I think Discovery should rather focus on just licensing their content out to other networks (like they are still doing in South Africa through MultiChoice) to bolster their own content rather than trying to compete in an already crowded market.
Having to juggle content between Amazon, Netflix and Showmax along with wanting to “unofficially” catch up on the latest episodes of The Mandalorian on Disney+ is already a painful experience and hopefully, we see more consolidation with content coming across these more established streaming services rather than just getting new services we will never get to and inevitably miss out on their offerings. This approach is something which Multichoice is considering doing through its DStv platform locally, but given their desire to break bank accounts with exorbitant fees as pointed out by HTXT, it’s probably not going to be a feasible solution for our country yet either.
Last Updated: December 3, 2020