Discovery now has 15 million subscribers across its streaming services, including Discovery+, the company reported Wednesday. Discovery+ has surpassed 13 million paid subscribers as of the end of March.
Discovery had 11 million streaming subscribers as of February when the company reported Q4 numbers. At that time, Discovery CEO David Zaslav shared that most of the 7 million streaming subscribers added since the end of Q3 were Discovery+ subscribers.
Discovery+ launched in the US in January and announced plans to expand to more than 25 markets this year. The service entered the streaming world with tough competition from Disney+, Peacock, HBO Max, and Apple TV, but has been drawing viewers in with a focus on unscripted content and making some content exclusive to the service.
Zaslav says the numbers for Discovery+ have exceeded expectations within the company. With further international expansion on the roadmap, the CEO is confident that Discovery+ will continue to see growth.
“The global rollout 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,” Zaslav said in the Q1 earnings report. “We now have 15 million total paying direct-to-consumer subscribers across our global portfolio driven primarily by discovery+, having crossed 13 million total paying direct-to-consumer subscribers at the end of March. 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.”
Along with reporting on subscriber numbers, Discovery reported that advertising revenue dropped 4% in Q1, compared to the first quarter of 2020. However, distribution revenue increased thanks to Discovery+ and carriage fees.