Discovery’s long-in-the-making streaming service is nearly ready. The media giant has revealed that its Discovery+ service will launch in the US on January 4th, 2021. It’ll cost the $5 per month you’d expect for some specialty services, but that still includes ads — you’ll need to spend $7 per month to avoid interruptions. It’ll be available on “major” mobile and TV platforms with up to four simultaneous streams.
International rollouts started in the UK in November, but coverage should reach 25 countries in 2021 that include Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil and “parts of Asia.”
Verizon (Engadget’s parent company) will run a promo at the same time that offers a year of free Discovery+ to new and current wireless subscribers with a Play More or Get More Unlimited Plan, while those with Start and Do More Unlimited plans will get six months. Those with new 5G Home Internet or Fios gigabit plans will also get the full year, while other new Fios customers will get between three to six months.
The US service will lean heavily on Discovery’s TV catalog. There will be exclusives on launch, including American access to BBC nature documentaries, a “first look” at Magnolia Network material and the curated 90 Day Journey series. You’ll initially see much more conventional material, though, including Discovery channels like TLC, Food Network and Animal Planet as well as content from A&E, History Channel and Lifetime.
Whether or not Discovery+ thrives isn’t certain. It may be what you’re looking for if you thrive on documentaries and reality TV. It’s more specialized than similarly-priced services like NBCUniversal’s Peacock, however, and its channels don’t have quite as much cachet as Disney+ brands like Star Wars and Marvel. This could make the most sense if you mainly subscribe to cable for your fix of nature, home improvement and cooking shows — otherwise, it’s yet another streaming service competing for your attention.