God help me, I cannot afford even one more streaming service — and yet.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference on Thursday, per The Wrap, Discovery CEO David Zaslav said that the company is “quite close” to laying out its plans for a forthcoming streaming service — a likely hub for Discovery’s portfolio of entertainment and home improvement brands, including DIY Network, HGTV, Food Network, and TLC. Zaslav seemed to insinuate the company is currently working on securing partners and developing originals for the platform, something that could help position the service to compete with network-specific offerings like CBS All Access (soon to be Paramount+) or NBCUniversal’s Peacock.
And why is Discovery making a foray into streaming? You know why. “The additional thing that’s happened is, people are getting very acclimated to this idea of subscribing. I think we’re at the very beginning of that cycle, and they’ve subscribed to a lot of stuff,” Zaslav said, according to the outlet. “For us, we’re going to be coming with a fresh library of content, a huge amount of fresh originals at a time when the road has been paved by Netflix and Disney and HBO, and people are getting more and more acclimated to viewing content on devices.”
Zaslav said that Discovery will “very soon” be available on every device, something he said was an immediate challenge. Apps like HGTV are currently available for iOS and Android as well as on the web, but the company has said it is “working hard to add new devices and platforms.”
You can, technically, already stream some of the series that fall under the Discovery umbrella. Discovery Go and HGTV, for example, offer free streams of those channels’ popular series with a TV subscription (some of HGTV’s content doesn’t require a login, but most of it does). But whatever Discovery is cooking up would likely be a designated streaming service more along the lines of Hulu or Disney+. It’s unclear what the subscription model would look like, but given that HGTV’s streaming site offers both Live Now and on-demand options, it’s possible the service would include both. If it’s ad-supported — which I’m guessing it will be — we may even have a chance at a free tier.
And I sincerely hope that’s the case because I cannot subscribe to another freaking service or I will have nothing left over to feed my family. Right now, based on some extremely quick back-of-napkin maths, there are at least 15 different streaming services. The services I do pay for are hiking their prices left and right. Apple just launched a new streaming bundle, for god’s sake — and yes, of course, I plan on subscribing to that too. (I didn’t even count the number of Apple services I’m currently subscribed to for free in the aforementioned estimation.) My children — if I had any — have nothing left over for their college funds!
OK, ok. Maybe it’s not quite that bad. But the buffet of competing streaming services has been bonkers for a minute, and the number of options continues to balloon seemingly by the day. For my fellow DIYers, I pray we get a freemium option for Discovery’s service.
Please, Discovery, do not make me choose between House Hunters and Stranger Things. It’s cruel.