‘Consumers subscribe to Discovery Plus for the knowledge it provides’

In a conversation with exchange4media, Issac John, Digital Head – APAC, Discovery talks about the recent campaign - The Big Learning Festival on Discovery Plus and the platform’s journey so far 

e4m by Sonam Saini
Updated: Oct 9, 2020 9:42 AM
Discovery

Discovery Plus - a video streaming platform which offers a premium real-life entertainment has launched a first of its kind festival called the Discovery Plus The Big Learning Festival. The Big Learning Festival is dedicated to celebrating the platform’s key target audience of lifelong learners. 

Both existing and new subscribers of Discovery Plus app between October 7 and October 11, 2020, stand a chance to win from a huge pool of focused learning-oriented rewards such as laptops, SmartTVs, iPads and FireTV sticks.

Speaking about the Big Learning Festival, Issac John, Digital Head – APAC, Discovery said, “It's about six months since we have been launched and as a brand we really believe in listening to what our consumers are saying about the app. When we looked at their reactions and associations they have with Discovery Plus - the number one user review that we get that this is an app that is great for entertainment and helping them to learn about new things about the world. We thought that there was a very organic association with learning that was coming through.”

He further explained, “We thought to take a step ahead and celebrate the lifelong learner in each of us. Hence, we used this consumer insight and thought of celebrating this as a week of learning wherein we can celebrate a lifelong learner in each of us irrespective of the stage of age we are in and that was the thought behind the campaign. The aim was to solidify our association with consumers and also bring a level of user engagement on the app which is beyond just watching. We have never gamified on the app before.”

Launched just before the lockdown began on March 16, Discovery Plus satiated the unmet need of a differentiated product offering premium real-life entertainment. Just before the campaign, Discovery Plus announced 34 BBC special shows that the platform is bringing to it's consumer. 

Speaking about the Discovery Plus journey, John shared, “We launched in India on the eve of lockdown. The two aspects that came out clearly through the launch - the trust that people have in Discovery as a brand, they are experiencing the same in the digital product. The user reception has been very encouraging and way beyond our expectations. The second thing - we have heard from our consumers that they really love our breadth of content. Hence, we experimented with the investigation as a genre which is our top performance genre. We have introduced Top Gear which is the world's number one Auto Show. The consumer is sampling a lot of breadth in our content genres, we are not just an app for existing brands that are in India. We are getting known for bringing premium BBC, motor trend and investigation content. We are also planning to launch a couple of new genres in the coming weeks.”

The OTT service offers thousands of hours of exclusive content across 40+ genres, including Science, Adventure, Food and Lifestyle, in 8 languages including Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali & Marathi. Discovery Plus is a freemium platform (both SVOD and AVOD), priced at Rs 299 per annum. The platform also has Discovery TV content available on the platform apart from the premium content especially available for its paid subscribers. 

“We might be slightly different from the rest of the other OTT platforms which also have TV content on their digital platforms. Majority of the other apps, they skew a lot of AVOD heavy watch time. Some of the existing apps which have a very strong premium layer actually majority of consumption is coming from the content which is free. In our case the split is very either. It's more like 55% AVOD and 45% SVOD. We are skewing very heavily on SVOD content because of all the premium and exclusive content.”

Speaking on the India market and consumer spending for infotainment content, John shared that through TV lense Discovery is classified as an infotainment brand and that is how it gets reported in BARC. “For the tier II and tier III consumer Discovery is a brand that is essentially a stepping stone to knowing more about the world. They don’t look at Discovery with the same lens as trade and the media looks at it. Their perspective is not that Discovery Plus is a content infotainment brand, they believe we are a brand that can help them to know more about the world and that's the core customer who is coming after us. People don’t subscribe to shows, people subscribe to Discovery Plus because of knowledge that the platform provides. We have also started tapping very passionate communities like Auto or food content.”   

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