At an affordable price of $ 4.99 per month in the US ($ 6.99 for the ad-free version), you have access to an impressive library of over 55,000 episodes of Discovery’s iconic brands. Where Quibi tried to do something completely new with its “fast pieces” of TV series, movies and documentaries, Discovery + sticks to what it does best and what it has managed to do for years, only this time, all diverse unwritten content is nicely packaged in a user-friendly streaming service. It lacks some important features from the platform that we would like to see, but in general Discovery + makes a convincing debut in Streaming Wars.
Discovery Plus TV series and movies
With over 55,000 episodes from Discovery’s huge catalog of unpublished series, the content section is not lacking. Discovery +’s selection is very diverse and offers engaging real-life crime series such as American Detective with Lieutenant Joe Kenda, which provides unique insights into disturbingly real cases around the United States.
If you’re more interested in home repair and DYI projects, Chip and Joanna Gaines bring their bubbly personalities to the Magnolia network, which will be home to several new series such as The Courage to Run, Restoration Road with Clint Harp and The Lost Kitchen. Other popular HGTV hosts such as Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead of Flip or Flop Fame are featured in new Discovery + Originals that can only be seen on the streaming service.
And as a brand known for releasing jaw-dropping nature documentaries such as the BBC’s Planet Earth and The Blue Planet, it’s no surprise that Discovery is bringing even more nature documents to its new platform. At launch, David Attenborough’s A Perfect Planet and Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure offer stunning glimpses of some of the planet’s most fascinating features such as volcanoes and oceans.
Looking ahead, the streamer is working on several Discovery + Originals, including an unwritten series called Route 66 starring comedian and actor Kevin Hart. Per Discovery, “Route 66 has Kevin Hart hitting the road, walking along America’s famous Route 66 to see what’s happening to America. He wants to visit people and places and take friends on an exploration of the heart of the United States from Chicago to LA.”
Discovery +’s user interface
Although not groundbreaking compared to other streaming services, Discovery + offers an attractive user interface that is easy to navigate. App and website layouts have a colorful selection of logos that highlight Discovery Inc.’s various networks, including TLC, Discovery + Originals, History, and more. There is also a “Top Genres” section conveniently located at the top of the page, which contains links to shows focusing on lifestyle, home, food, true crime, adventure, relationships and nature, to help you find the types programming you like.
Streaming pillars such as adding shows to a “favorites list” and features like “keep watching” are readily available across the platform. Some 4K content is available at launch also at no extra cost (4K content on Netflix costs extra), especially seen on Discovery + Originals and some of the high-production nature series such as Planet Earth and A Perfect Planet. Overall, there is far less 4K content than Netflix or Amazon, but since many of the shows fall into the reality TV genre, I did not expect Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio while watching Joanna Gaines make homemade comfort food. Sure, it would be nice to have more 4K content, but it’s not a deal-breaker for this type of programming.
The noticeable omission at launch is the lack of a “download option” for offline viewing. While a source close to the service informed IGN that offline viewing options are about to work in 2021, this oversight is hard to ignore, as streamers such as Amazon and Netflix have made this feature common in recent years.
How and where to watch Discovery Plus:
Discovery + is currently available in the US and UK through the partnership with Sky. The streamer also announced a multi-year agreement with Vodaphone in Europe, which will bring the platform to several markets across Europe, including Germany, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Romania, Portugal, Greece, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland and Iceland. No exact timetable has been revealed for the European rollout. In terms of availability, Discovery + can easily be found on many streaming platforms and set-top box devices:
Discovery +’s price
In terms of pricing, Discovery + drops to the lowest level of streaming services to $ 4.99 per month with ads and a modest $ 6.99 for the ad-free version. For 55,000 episodes to binge at launch, we would say that it is a pretty good deal in terms of streaming services that Apple TV + launched with only a handful of shows at the same price. And while it’s (at the time of writing) a 7-day free trial and even 12 months free for eligible Verizon Wireless customers, it’s nice to see Discovery + offer a limited “free level” just like Peacock introduced back in August 2020.