Discovery is not looking to build an exclusive ad club with its streaming service
Discovery is not looking to build an exclusive club of advertisers around the launch of its streaming platform in January, and is tempering initial expectations.
The cable programmer won’t limit sponsorship opportunities in Discovery+ to just a handful of brands, as previously expected. “We are not doing this as a share of voice,” says Jon Steinlauf, chief U.S. advertising sales officer, Discovery.
Discovery will offer brands greater access and opportunities to help shape how advertising looks on the platform, based on how much they spend.
“We have to temper some of the enthusiasm,” Steinlauf says. “We are looking at this as 'let’s learn as we go. Let’s just see how this goes and what the right size is.' We are not looking at it like a club with eight accounts; we want to accommodate as much as the inventory will allow.”
The platform’s ad-supported version, which costs $4.99 per month, will debut on Jan. 4 with five minutes of commercial time, on par with other streaming services.
It will also utilize ad formats similar to other streaming platforms like prime pods (one-minute commercial breaks), binge ads and pause ads. It will also lean into commerce, with many of the brands that advertise on its channels, which include HGTV, Food Network and DIY, being endemic to the space, Steinlauf says.
In an effort to build in a cushion amid an uncertain year, Discovery is packaging Discovery+ along with its Go apps, which require authentication through a TV provider. This will allow the company to set guarantees with the two together and shift campaigns from one to the other if necessary, Steinlauf says.
Discovery is still out in the marketplace with Discover+.
Discovery announced earlier this month that its streaming platform will debut with initial sponsors including Boston Beer Company, Kraft Heinz, Lowe’s and Toyota.
There’s also an ad-free option for $6.99 a month. Discovery+ will also be available for free to Verizon customers for one year, due to a distribution agreement.