Discovery reported its Q4 earnings Monday, sharing that it had passed 11 million streaming subscribers and is on track to reach 12 million subscribers by the end of February.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav shared that most of the 7 million streaming subscribers added since the end of Q3 were Discovery+ subscribers. He also noted that customer retention was high, with lower customer churn than expected, saying that he’s happy with the conversion rate of free trials to paid subscriptions.
While Discovery+ faced tough competition by launching after Disney+, Peacock, HBO Max, and Apple TV+, the company set out to differentiate itself by focusing on unscripted programming, including a wide range of exclusive, original series across verticals including lifestyle and relationships; home and food; true crime; paranormal; adventure and natural history; as well as science, tech and the environment, and a slate of documentaries.
“We are off to a promising start in 2021 with the successful launch of discovery+,” Zaslav wrote in Discovery’s Q4 report Monday. “We have now surpassed 11 million total paying direct-to-consumer subscribers globally and are on pace to be at 12 million by the end of the month, underscoring the value of the investments we’ve made in content, beloved personalities and brands with huge consumer appeal, supported by industry-leading DTC capabilities. Our unmatched global scale and ability to serve consumers everywhere with a truly differentiated offering across platforms, as well as our robust cash flows, even amidst the significant investments in our next generation initiatives and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, position us to achieve sustainable long-term growth and drive long-term shareholder value.”
Discovery+ launched on January 4 in the US. The streaming service costs $4.99/month or $6.99/month for ad-free viewing. Discovery has a deal for 30% off the subscription cost, along with running a promotion with Verizon, giving many Verizon customers a free year of access to the service.