Discovery+ is the streaming TV home for fans of shows like 90 Day Fiancé, Flip or Flop, Fixer Upper 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.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav views the service as a complement to every household’s streaming portfolio, which may include Netflix or Disney+.
Warner Bros. Discovery formed in April 2022 after the merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia. Zaslav plans to combine Discovery+ and HBO Max into a single product starting in the summer of 2023.
In the meantime, Discovery+ is available standalone. The service appeals to three types of people:
- Cord-cutters or cord-nevers who like non-fiction programming and don’t get enough of it from their existing streaming options.
- Pay-TV subscribers who want access to Discovery’s library content ad-free.
- 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.
Students can get a discounted price of $2.99 per month for the ad-supported plan.
Although there is no free tier available, some Verizon customers with unlimited data plans can get six months of the Discovery+ ad-free plan at no charge.
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?
Discovery+ offers 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, Magnolia Network 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. Some NBCUniversal reality shows have also been added.
Discovery+ primarily features library content, but the second component is original programming.
Some of the trending Discovery+ Originals in early 2022 include 90 Day: The Single Life, Ghost Hunters, Naked and Afraid of Love, King of the Con and Selling the Hamptons.
Fresh content from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ recently-launched Magnolia Network is also heavily featured.
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 some shows as they premiere.
Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels said during a December 2020 investor call that most shows will not show up on Discovery+ until the end of the current season.
“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
However, there are exceptions. For example, Season 9 of 90 Day Fiancé airs Sunday nights on TLC, while new episodes are being added to Discovery+ the same day.
The absence of live TV makes the streaming service a tougher sell for some fans of Discovery-owned networks.
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+, 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, home, true crime, etc.
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.
The service has also launched dedicated “channels” that air endless streams of popular content like Ghost Adventures, 90 Day Fiancé, House Hunters and Fixer Upper.
Discovery+ content cannot be downloaded for offline viewing, but the company says it’s working to make that available.
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.
|Affordable plans||No live TV option|
|Tons of non-fiction and reality content||No free tier|
|Ad-free option||No download for offline viewing|
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.