Discovery+ Review

Discovery+ Review: 5 Things to Know Before You Sign Up

Discovery+ is the streaming TV home for fans of shows like 90 Day Fiancé, Flip or Flop, The Pioneer Woman and Gold Rush. 

But is it worth subscribing to another streaming service? This review will help you decide.

What Is Discovery Plus And Is It Worth It?

Discovery+ features a streaming library of non-fiction and reality shows, plus exclusive original series. However, it doesn’t carry live feeds of Discovery-owned networks including HGTV, TLC, Food Network and ID. 

Discovery CEO David Zaslav views the service as a complement to every household’s streaming portfolio, which may include Netflix or Disney+.

During an investor presentation, Zaslav said: 

“We’re not in this to be small. We’re in this to be very big.”

David Zaslav, Discovery CEO

Months after that presentation, it was announced that Discovery+ and WarnerMedia are planning to merge. The deal is expected to close sometime in the middle of 2022.

Based on my experience with the Discovery+ product, I believe the service will appeal to three types of people: 

  1. Cord-cutters or cord-nevers who like non-fiction programming and don’t get enough of it from their existing streaming options. 
  2. Pay-TV subscribers who want access to Discovery’s library content ad-free. 
  3. Fans of Discovery’s shows and personalities who want to stream Discovery+ originals in addition to their pay-TV subscription. 

If you’re thinking about joining Discovery Plus, I’ve put together this list of things that you need to know before you sign up. Let’s get started! 

1. How Much Does Discovery+ Cost? 

Discovery+ is one of the more affordable streaming TV options available right now. Its ad-supported plan is $4.99 per month and its ad-free plan is $6.99 per month

Although there is no free plan, some Verizon customers can get complimentary access.

Verizon is offering “discovery+ on us” for up to 12 months to customers with select unlimited wireless plans. Some home internet customers are also eligible.

Discovery+ has a 7-day free trial. There are no contracts or long-term commitments, so you can cancel at any time.

2. What’s Included With a Subscription? 

At launch, Discovery+ offered access to more than 55,000 episodes from more than 2,500 current and classic shows in the Discovery portfolio of networks. 

Those networks include HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.

In addition, Discovery has struck deals to bring non-fiction content from outside partners like A&E, History and Lifetime to the streaming platform. 

Discovery+ primarily features library content, but the second component is original programming.

During its December 2020 investor call, company executives said the service launched with 50 original series and exclusive content will be added every week. 

Four of those originals tie in to TLC’s popular 90 Day Fiancé franchise. Other Discovery+ programming features household names like Chip and Joanna Gaines, Giada De Laurentiis and Mike Rowe.

3. Does Discovery+ Offer Live TV? 

Discovery+ includes library content and exclusive original series, not live TV from its family of networks. You’ll need a cable, satellite or live TV subscription to watch shows as they premiere. 

Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels confirmed during a December 2020 investor call that most shows will not show up on Discovery+ until the end of the current season. 

However, there are exceptions. Some shows are being added to Discovery+ the day or week after they air.

“The vast majority of our linear content will stay on linear and will only be on Discovery+ at a later time after the end of the season.”

Gunnar Wiedenfels, Discovery CFO

The absence of live TV makes the streaming service a tougher sell for some fans of Discovery-owned networks.

For example: Let’s say that you watch TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé on Sunday nights. You talk about it with your friends and occasionally read the blogs to see what the cast is up to.

To continue doing that, you’ll still need a pay-TV subscription.

Discovery is not including live TV because it makes a lot of money from affiliate fees. It wants to continue the relationships with cable, satellite and live TV streaming services, while adding this new source of revenue with Discovery+.

That’s frustrating to many consumers who would prefer if Discovery+ had an add-on option for live TV.

4. How Do You Stream Discovery+? 

Whether you’re at home or on the go, you can stream Discovery+ using an internet-connected device.

Discovery+ is available on devices including phones, tablets, computers, gaming consoles and connected TVs. Supported devices for TV include Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku. (Full list here)

Discovery+ allows up to five user profiles and four simultaneous streams per account. 

From my testing of Discovery+ so far, the user experience is good. I’ve tried out Discovery+ on my phone, computer and streamed it to a TV using a Roku Express 4K+ player.

The first thing I noticed was how quickly I was able to browse Discovery+ with no lag or buffering.

When you launch the Discovery+ app, you’ll see a “For You” section with personalized content recommendations based on your viewing history.

Navigation is sorted by genres: food, relationships, true crime, etc.

Home Screen For You Section Discovery+

You can browse by the Discovery brand that most interests you. And when you select a brand logo, you’ll see a list of the best that network has to offer — including trending content.

When you click on a show, you can either watch it now or add it to “My List” to stream later.

ID Channel Page Discovery+

5. Discovery+ Pros and Cons

For most people, Discovery+ isn’t likely a replacement for Netflix, Disney+ or even HBO Max.

However, it may be a good complementary service depending on your household’s streaming budget and desire for additional non-fiction and reality programming.

Pros Cons
Affordable plansNo free tier
Tons of non-fiction and reality contentNo live TV option
Ad-free option

Discovery+ is a great value if you don’t have a pay-TV service, but it may not be essential if you’re keeping cable, satellite or a live TV streaming service.

Look at it this way: With YouTube TV or Philo’s unlimited DVR, you can record your favorite shows from Discovery’s family of networks to create your own personal library of content to stream at your convenience.

And unlike with Discovery+, YouTube TV and Philo subscribers can still watch the latest episodes as they premiere. 

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31 thoughts on “Discovery+ Review: 5 Things to Know Before You Sign Up”

  1. ****WARNING**** It not all that its cracked up to be!
    The hype and the promise seems very exciting, stream all your favorite shows with or without commercials, yay, WOW great! However most all of the content is a culmination of all your favorite old and rehashed shows you have probably already seen multiple times already over and over. And if you are looking for new content well that’s just great. So I watched Home Town’s new show; Ben’s Workshop. Oh good that is one of the favorite parts of Home Town, however the 1/2 hour show is barely just over 15 minutes in content. I can’t even imagine what it would be like without our the additional commercial free version. Actually it’s worse than regular cable TV. Ouch what are we paying for? And the Property Bro’s selling out, to watch their rehashed rehabs exclusively on DP, Ouch boys boys when is enough, enough!! Oh yea almost forgot, Food Network, they are touting new content with Giada and Bobby in Italy, GREAT! I’ll watch that season. OH NO the season is only 4 shows of just over 42 minutes long. Oh brother what a waste of signing up for that. Well I’ll watch the Magnolia Station, I have loved watching the Gains for years and have missed their home improvement show Fixer Upper. Well I believe they have gotten a bit to mighty for their own good. And Jo Jo sorry you are not a Chef or a home cook for that matter. Go back to what you guys do best. Construction, oops I spoke too soon, just watched the first show of Fixer Upper now exclusive to DP Network. Episode 1 seemed flat, boring, and lacked the enthusiasm that Chip and Joanna once had when they were hungry for it.

    I’d like to know how this network plans on making it, how many viewers are you going to need signing up? Millions upon millions I would assume, a simple calculation says that with a net of 1 million subscribers the viewership fee gained is only $5-7 million a month. Not enough to be profitable. You are selling the hell out of advertising time on cable just to get people just to sign up. So as a businessman I have to ask myself, who is going to pay your content providers? Commercials. With a worse record of commercial time than that of regular cable. You’ll be able to seduce the public on content and nurse them through on a very short leash because the bottle will run empty before we are satisifed.

    I will continue to watch DP but believe I will be out of content after a month or two of binge watching, like Flea Market Flip, which I did on Saturday almost all night long and into the wee hours of the morning. I will probably drop off at the end of that second month after I have totally sat in my Barcalounger for multiple hours and a time while just letting the warm glow of light from Discovery Plus cable TV wash over myself.

    1. I could see that from the onset. I just don’t need a rehash of shows we’ve already seen. I was also concerned about how long the subscription was. I didn’t like the satellite tv subscription that you could not get out of before the end of the subscription period (2 years), and i was concerned that this would be the same. If I don’t like it, do I have to wait a year to can Discovery+?

        1. Thank you. That was my main question. This doesn’t sound terribly enticing to me. Certainly not as enticing as the plugs they are showing for the service. I have an Amazon Firestick and I am guessing I could watch Discovery+ on my TV via the stick, but I’m not 100% sure. I am older and I don’t want to watch any show on my iPad (or anything smaller).

        2. I will never get Discovery + I researched and I want nothing to do with any thing Oprah owns including the networks she owns already these people are just plain greedy. They are what u call the rich get richer on poor people.

          1. I agree with you on your comment. Oprah came from a very poor family and forgets that some of us can’t afford another $5.00 expense. After researching Discovery+ over and over, I don’t think its worth spending any money on. If repeats are seen then just continue watching the old shows on DIY…Animal Planet.

  2. There are 2 reasons I’ll not be signing-up for Discovery+, or any other streaming services for that matter. I don’t own, and have no intention of buying, a Smart TV. 2) Why should I pay for re-runs. I pay for satellite tv and thus are already paying for re-runs, plus I get newest content. I’ve noticed many shows are shifting to Discovery+. Dr. Pimple Popper comes to mind. Does this mean that there will no onger be this show on TLC via satellite TV?

  3. LaDedra Jo Kinard

    It will not take my debit card information stating it is the bank and the bank states it is not them. So I guess I will not be getting Discover +

    1. Same for myself…. tried 3x to put in “correct” credit card details but, theyre cheap system wouldnt take my numbers claiming “invalid”…. so i went to netflix, hbomax & prime which are all far superior and these punks lost a customer forever. I plan on passing the word at work to steer clear of these nitwits.

  4. I cut the cord a few years back. I do have an antenna for local channels. I love love love
    PHILO because of the variety of shows for $14.99 a month, well worth the cost. I was and am sad however that the Discover + “ad” is always on every show I watch!! And like Tony, I too binge watch so if as Tony says….. my fave Ben’s workshop is short and Chip and Joanna Gaines has changed why spend the additional $5 or $7 a month? I will continue with PHILO. Thanks for this website after reading the various responses I now have my answers …….

  5. So, answer the question from Marcia dated Feb 10, 2021 asking if Dr Pimple Popper will no longer be on TLC via satellite TV? Every time I talk to a Dish rep they can not give me an answer as to what programs have gone to DP and which ones stayed. Why can’t you give us a line up of what we no longer have on Dish that have gone over to DP. Someone should know. Plus y rate just went up by $5 just this month. Great service, she said with tongue in cheek.

    1. Discovery Plus is the same price. Either 5 or 7 dollars. As for the shows, Discovery is “experimenting” what they’ll put on Discovery Plus vs. the networks like TLC. So there is no official word on whether that show will air new episodes back on TLC at some point.

    2. Seems to me that Dr. PP is getting pretty full of herself…she started on YouTube and now apparently needs an exclusive format. This would be a GREAT time for a dynamic dermatologist to fill the slot that Dr. PP will be opening. I like her show, but not her attitude.

  6. Honestly I think this is so wrong. It is my understanding that I will not be able to watch my shows because they are moving to DP. I am a huge Ghost Adventures fan and now will not be able to watch the show. I would have to spend a lot of money in order to do so. I am older and have no desire to watch my shows on a phone, laptop or I-pad. I pay a good bit of money each month to watch my programs on TV. This DP does not make sense to me. When I get home from working all day, want to relax and watch my favorite shows, I do not want to watch them on a freaking I-pad or phone. I want to enjoy TV with my family. Now there is some Rocket Scientist out there that wants to take that away.

  7. The whole sticking point here is that the fans of the cable package Discovery Channels have made the shows popular. And THEY’RE not free! We pay a heftier price tag for Cable packages (mine is Comcast) that include the ID channel and others.

    Maybe I’m looking at it simplisticly, but, I think the simple thing matters. Why pay more? It’s wrong to ask for more when the same shows are being handpicked by Discovery plus to include or NOT include on regular Cable.
    Cable used to be the bomb. You had to pay for it, but, it is worth it. Now, Cable subscriptions are like having old fashioned rabbit ears and antennas.
    Grumpy in NJ. Pat D.

  8. Question: Anyone getting annoyed with needing to re-enter password and user name. It seems to me that if the TV is the same as we use ALL the time, it would be unnecessary! ANYONE??

    1. I haven’t experienced this yet, but it doesn’t surprise me.

      I am EXTREMELY pissed!! I was so excited about Discovery+!! But let me complain a bit…if I watch the trailer of any show, I can never access that show again, well, at least to watch it (you can watch the last few seconds of the trailer all day long). Example (one of the many, many times I tried)…I just watched the trailer and I’m super excited to watch the series (movie, limited series, whatever). Whether I watch the trailer until the end or stop in the middle of the trailer, it always gets caught in some sort of Groundhog Day loop. At the very least, they should have the show you just previewed to start playing. NOPE. It’s a completely different and non-related show that starts playing. Not a trailer, but the actual show/movie/series, whatever. “Okay, okay, that’s okay. I can overlook that. Just let me exit out and go back to the show.”

      HAHAHA, jokes on you, Jack!! Try going back to the show you wanted to watch. It will say “resume”, you feel optimistic. You must be on the right track.

      HAHAHA, NOPE. It starts in the last seconds of the trailer you’ve already watched that caught your interest in the first place. So, you watch the same trailer from a few minutes ago, of the show you want to watch, but guess what…it’s the show you want to watch, right?

      WRONG!!! It is the same GD show you don’t give two @#$%’s about and never even showed interest in. Rinse. Repeat. Someone. please tell me what I’m doing wrong. I was so excited about this…but it looks like I will be quitting Discovery+. I am so very disappointed. Sorry for the rant.

  9. I got discovery + because they said that HGTV new show where going to be seen there, but all I see are old episodes and seasons, that I have already seen, property brothers nothing new, love it or list it nothing new, the first 48 nothing new and other shows that I watched on regular cable and TV, I still have to wait to see the new episodes, I thought there were already on the channel when I subscribed but all you have are old episodes and seasons. I really would like to see all those show you took from cable on time on discovery + thank you

  10. After watching your video I have decided not to get it because it doesn’t offer anything I need. I am currently using Hulu basically for the live tv because I can’t seem to get any antennas to work for local news. With Hulu I get all my shows and live tv so I’ll stay with that at least for now.
    Thank you for the information I was looking for and helping me decide.

  11. My impression is the same as Josette’s. Led to believe Discovery plus would get the new stuff! Wrong!!! I’m very disappointed in not only D+ but also CowboyChannelPlus! Saw plenty of reruns on Discovery before; now the same. I won’t even go into CC+! And how much is your newsletter going to cost if I subscribe to it. Thanks for the info.

  12. I didn’t grow up with cable and don’t have it now and would only watch discovery in a hotel room randomly. So even if everything on there are re-runs, it’s all new to me! There are a bunch of shows I’ve always wanted to watch and never could! So for 5 bucks a month for stuff I’ve always wanted to watch since I was a kid, totally worth it! I’m looking forward to Mythbusters, How it’s Made, Forbidden Histories, and Dirty Jobs! Can’t wait!

  13. Not sure what all the negativity here is all about! I heard about Discovery Plus months ago in the USA, and was thrilled to hear it was coming to Canada. I used to have cable but cancelled it last year due to the increasing prices. Since I cancelled cable I’ve lost touch with a lot of the shows on TLC, and so many more under the Discovery umbrella that I loved. For me this was a thrill to be able to watch all of them again! Everyone on here is complaining about reruns, however there are so many of us who haven’t watched each series and each have missed tons of episodes and want to re-watch the “old shows”. I think this will appeal to a lot of people who have gotten rid of cable, and want to binge watch a whole series.

  14. I signed up for Discovery+ during their $0.99/month special because from the Discovery+ ads on HGTV I got the impression that there would be a lot of content on Discovery+ that wasn’t available on HGTV, such as Property Brothers, Boise Boys, Love it or List it, etc… Wrong! I found that the same shows and episodes are on both channels. So, not being interested in the other stuff on Discovery+, and not seeing any point in paying even $0.99 for something I already get for free, I cancelled.

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