India is one of the strongest drivers of subscription growth for discovery+: Issac John

Issac John, Business Head, Discovery+, explains how Discovery+ has seen a 60% growth month-on-month in user base in India, with 10 million+ downloads across platforms

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Updated: Dec 7, 2020 5:44 PM
Issac John Discovery+

After making its debut in India eight months ago, Discovery+ is upping the ante by launching India originals and introducing six new LIVE feeds of Discovery Network. To commemorate the global launch of Discovery+, the India based app is also rebranding itself with a brand-new logo.

According to Discovery Digital Head, APAC, Issac John, Discovery+ is one of the strongest drivers of subscription growth for the OTT service globally.

The first set of original shows launched by Discovery+ includes Mission Frontline featuring Rana Daggubati, Ladakh Warriors: The Sons of the Soil with Randeep Hooda as the narrator, and Secrets of Sinauli: Discovery of the Century presented by Neeraj Pandey and featuring Manoj Bajpayee, as the host. The three shows will debut on 9th December.

Starting 15th December, the platform is also introducing six new LIVE feeds of Discovery Network including Dkids, HGTV, Food Network HD, Travel Channel HD, DMAX HD, and Eurosport HD along with existing feeds from marquee channels like Discovery HD, Animal Planet HD, TLC HD, Investigation Discovery HD, Discovery Science and Discovery Turbo

Within the first half of 2021, Discovery+ will have the largest-ever content offering in the real-life entertainment and learning space with a wide range of more than 200 new and exclusive (local and global) titles to further strengthen our content offerings.

Along with India produced Originals, Discovery+ will also be launching other Indian titles including shows such as Amma & Appa, The Indian Dream Hotel, The Ganges with Sue Perkins, Aerial India as well as exclusive launches like A Perfect Planet featuring Sir David Attenborough, The End of The Storm, The Impossible Row and the latest seasons of Top Gear and Gold Rush among many more.

Discovery+ has added over 600 marquee shows across 60 different sub-genres including survival, sports, biopics, mystery, lifestyle, nature, science, military, crime, investigation, adventure, food, travel, to name just a few. The app has been the first destination for all the users who look for differentiated content in the real-life entertainment and learning space.

Speaking about the subscriber growth, John said that the paid subscriber base is growing 60% month-on-month. Discovery+ has over 10 million downloads across platforms. The SVOD platform is increasing its reach on big screens.

"Our subscriptions are growing by 60% every month in user base since launch. We have 10 million+ downloads across platforms. We have increased the number of platforms over the next few months. Very soon we will available on Mi TV, LG TV, and Samsung TV," he stated.

Discovery+ is currently available on Amazon Fire TV and Android TV. "Just these two platforms contribute 45-50% of our watch time. We are getting a strong feedback that our viewers love to watch Discovery+ with their family," he revealed.

Queried about the Discovery subscriber base, John said, "India would be one of the strongest drivers of subscription growth for Discovery+ globally."

He also said that going forward Discovery+ Originals will become a mainstay of the platform's content. "In the next four months, we will be adding 200+ titles on the platform between now and April 2021."

In terms of audience profile, Discovery+ has a 60:40 split. The age group of 26 to 35 is its key audience base. "When we had launched Discovery+, our audience was majorly males. It was 65-70% male audience but over the last 3-4 months what we have done is to understand what are females really watching on the platform and try to serve them. The consumption has become lot more even right now 60:40 split," John noted.

He further added that the Top 8 cities contribute 50-55% of the consumption while the remaining consumption comes from smaller towns and cities.

Discovery+ has a content library of 10,000+ hours. Each month it adds 500-800 hours of content. Adventure/travel, all-access shows, science and auto, are top content genres on the platform.

Given that 50% of Discovery+'s consumption is happening in living rooms, it is looking at having its presence across telcos as well as connected devices smart TVs, smart devices, and hybrid boxes.

"Consumers have a couple of devices and we should be available on all of them. Very few platforms develop Apple TV apps in the initial days but we have prioritised Apple TV because it is a core consumer base," he stated.

While Discovery+ is a subscription-led service, it will also have ad model. Unlike, other OTT platforms it will have select advertisers on-board to offer them deeper engagement.

"We will have a mix of ad and subscription revenue. Our inclination is more towards subscription because we are one of the biggest pay-tv players globally. We had a select few advertisers on-board and we didn't go overboard to open up our inventory. Going forward, we will partner with select advertisers to offer deeper engagement," John averred.

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