- Discovery+ recently announced its foray into original content with the launch of 3 shows, Mission Frontline, Ladakh Warriors: The Sons of the Soil and Secrets of Sinauli:
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- It has been witnessing an increase of 60% month-on-month in its subscribers.
- Issac John, Direct-to-Consumer Head - APAC, Discovery who told us about the platform’s journey so far, the factors that have helped Discovery+ amass a loyal user base, what made them foray into originals, and what the future of Discovery+ looks like.
While the platform has plans of launching more shows as time goes by, currently, the three originals that it has launched are Mission Frontline, Ladakh Warriors: The Sons of the Soil and Secrets of Sinauli: Discovery of the Century.
Meanwhile, within the first half of 2021, the platform aims to have more than 200 new and exclusive (local and global) titles to further strengthen its 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
Moreover, the platform has also been witnessing good growth since its launch. It has been witnessing around 60% growth in its subscriber base month-on-month since its launch earlier this year. Even its install-to-subscription ratio has been strong in comparison to a lot of other apps.
We recently caught up with
Discovery+’s journey so far
Despite its launch in March 2020, possibly one of the most difficult years for businesses across the globe, Discovery+ has witnessed a good run so far. The fact that people were indoors, spending more time with their families also meant they were on the lookout for content that could be consumed along with their families. That helped the platform gain a loyal consumer base.
Currently, Discovery+ is one of India’s highest rated apps on both Android and iOS. Speaking about what worked in their favor, John said, “Our user -adoption metrics on things like ratings and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. We're actually one of India's highest rated apps today, something I would have never thought would have happened in such a short time. So user-adoption has really been like a big check for us.”
While not revealing its exact growth figure, John shared that the platform has been witnessing a steady growth since its launch in March. “One of the key highlights for us in the past 9 months has been our subscription growth. Even in a differentiated space, we have been seeing around 60% growth in our subscribers month-and-month and that is a number that really pleases me. Even our install-to-subscription ratio looks pretty solid in comparison to other apps. So, we have realized that people do not mind paying for content that they really like and that is really encouraging for us,” he shared.
A lot of it has had to do with the kind of content they showcase on their platform. People like gaining knowledge, they like being taken to places they have never seen before. They also like listening to the stories of people who inspire them. Over the years, Discovery has tried to strengthen its offering by listening to its consumers and creating content that they know would help capture their attention.
Also, the fact that people want to watch such content with their families has led to Discovery+ becoming a shared living-room experience. “Around 50% of our watch time comes from our connected TV platforms like Chromecast-related Android, TV, Fire TV etc. So, we’re doubling down on that front as well by launching new platforms by February,” he added.
Foraying into original content
On why they forayed into originals, John explained, “Over the last few months, we got a pretty good sense of what our consumers really love. One thing that came across repeatedly was this sense of unprecedented access that Discovery+ can give them. We had specials where we took our viewers through a live telecast of SpaceX sending their rockets into space. We also had a lot of military specials. When we were thinking of what could our Discovery+ originals be, we felt that one common binding thread could be that our users love going to places where nobody's taken them. It entertains and informs them. So that’s how we came up with the slate of originals that we have announced.”
The shows that Discovery+ has already announced the launch of are 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
Some of the other shows in the pipeline are Amma & Appa, The Indian Dream Hotel, The Ganges with Sue Perkins, Aerial India, among others.
On why all three shows announced have a big star connected to it, John said, “Over the years, we have realized we should make learning accessible to the common man. For us, this is just one way of making it more accessible.”
On what genres they will explore in the future too, John shared that over the last few months, they have figured out the taste clusters of people on the platform. Some of the genres that they will bolster focus on are natural history, wars, history-related content, investigative content as well as paranormal and sports. “We’re really checking boxes of ensuring that we showcase differentiated Indian content because everyone else is making scripted fiction and movies. But India is a land of millions of untold tales and we believe that with our advent into originals, we have a pretty strong lineup,” he shared.
The vision for Discovery+
India is indeed a land of a million untold stories and it will be the platform’s aim in the future to bring some of this fascinating stories under the spotlight, explained John.
“I want Discovery+ to be the undisputed, unparalleled home for real-life entertainment and learning. That’s really our core proposition. And the signs so far tell us we are on the right track. We have so many stories to tell both from India and around the world. And while we tell those stories, there’s an enormous opportunity for us to really add value to people's lives. I think for me and the team, the excitement is to ensure that we stay differentiated and stay true to being this powerhouse of real-life entertainment and learning,” he concluded.