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Discovery+ review: Here’s what you should know about Discovery’s standalone streaming service

Discovery’s direct-to-consumer streaming service features a wide library of real-life entertainment.


Fans of factual entertainment have a new premium destination to satisfy their binge-watching needs. Discovery+, which launched on January 4, 2021, is a standalone streaming platform that can be accessed without a TV subscription and comes with a wide library of content from Discover and its subsidiaries. That’s great news not only for Discovery enthusiasts but also for consumers who enjoy documentaries and lifestyle content.

What is Discovery+?

Discovery+ is a standalone service from Discovery. The direct-to-consumer streaming platform is aimed at “people who are less likely to tune in to Discovery’s linear networks.”

That’s an important distinction because Discovery already operates streaming apps that require people to log in with their cable TV subscription to stream content. This new service is available to everyone, so you can access the app and enjoy Discovery shows and original productions without signing up for a contract.

At launch, Discovery+ offers more than 55,000 episodes from Discovery’s iconic brands, the BBC’s Natural History collection, A&E Networks, Group Nine and more. The library will only expand in the future, so subscribers have plenty to look forward to.

How much does Discovery+ cost?

Discovery+ is available in the US starting at $4.99 per month with commercials. Or you can get a commercial-free plan for $6.99 per month. Each account will include up to five user profiles and four concurrent streams, which is quite generous compared to other platforms.

In even better news, Verizon customers will receive up to 12 months of Discovery+ free on select plans.

Does Discovery+ have a free trial?

At launch, Discovery+ is offering a 7-day free trial to new users for either of its plans.

What content is on Discovery+?

Discovery+ offers content from current and classic shows from Discovery’s extensive portfolio of networks – which features HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.

Additionally, subscribers can get top non-fiction content from A&E, the HISTORY Channel and Lifetime, with popular shows including Dance Moms, Storage Wars, Ice Road Truckers, Pawn Stars and more.

Discovery+ library

Users can also enjoy a vast collection of nature and environmental programming headlined by exclusive streaming access to the BBC’s largest natural history offering, including The Mating Game, Planet Earth and Blue Planet.

As far as original content is concerned, Discovery+ has big plans, with several original series already available to stream. The 90 Day Fiancé Universe is expanding to Discovery+ with exclusive new franchises – 90 Day Bares All, 90 Day Diaries, 90 Day Journey and The Other Way Strikes Back!

The talent lineup for Discovery+ is impressive, featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines, Sir David Attenborough, David Schwimmer, the Irwins, Jonathan and Drew Scott, Bobby Flay, Ree Drummond, Guy Fieri, Giada De Laurentiis, Lieutenant Joe Kenda and more. Besides the 90 Day spin-offs, the platform will premiere more than 1,000 hours of original content in year one across niches like love, lifestyle, food, home, adventure and more.

Highlights include Route 66, which follows Kevin Hart along America’s famous Route 66; Mysterious Planet, an epic journey to the ends of the earth narrated by David Schwimmer; Six Degrees with Mike Rowe, in which Mike Rowe poses questions that no one has ever asked; Clipped, a competition where lead judge Martha Stewart assesses topiary creations; and Luda Can’t Cook, featuring Ludacris trying his best in the kitchen. These are marketed as shows you won’t see anywhere else, so they are exclusive to the platform.

What about Discovery+ live channels?

Discovery+ is also offering live “channels,” which are basically non-stop streams of TV series. There are channels available for popular titles like 90 Day Fiancé, Fixer Upper, House Hunters, Property Brothers and more. Channels appear in a dedicated row on the For You screen on your web browser, or you can navigate to your favorite show and see if there’s a dedicated channel for it.

What devices does Discovery+ work on?

Discovery+ works on web and mobile devices, with the option to watch on the big screen via Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast. Owners of Amazon Fire Smart TVs and Samsung Smart TVs with a year model of 2017 or newer can watch directly on their TV. It will also work with Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

Discovery+ is only offering select content in 4K UHD on Fire TVs and Apple TV. Discovery+ states that “most of its UHD content is in our Nature & Animals genre.” To find everything available in UHD, you can simply search UHD, Ultra HD or 4K in the library.

How to sign up for Discovery+

Discovery+ is a standalone subscription service available over the Internet, no contracts involved. You get a 7-day free trial, so take advantage of this period to figure out if you’re interested in adding the platform to your entertainment roster.

To sign up to Discovery+, follow these steps.

  • Step 1. Head to the Discovery+ website and select the Start Free Trial button.
  • Step 2. Choose your desired plan: Discovery+ for $4.99 per month or Discovery+ (Ad-free) for $6.99 per month. Select Continue.
  • Step 3. Add your email and create a password. Select Agree and continue.
  • Step 4. Add your payment information. You won’t be charged until your free trial is up. You also have the option of entering a promotional code.
  • Step 5. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish the subscription process.

Bottom line

Since Discovery+ is more of a niche service for now, we expect it to make a great complimentary subscription to people who already have a subscription to a general-interest entertainment service.

Disney+ did something similar when launching The Disney Bundle package, which includes Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu with commercials.

One thing’s for sure: if you love factual and lifestyle programming, Discovery+ will likely catch your eye. Add in that the price is lower than many other streaming platforms, especially if you don’t mind a few ads, and we expect the service to be a hit among fans of comfort TV and educational content. 90 Day Fiancé fans, at least, have plenty of reasons to subscribe.

How does discovery+ compare?

Check out top streaming services by price, service type, free trials and more. And select Go to site to sign up for the streaming platform that best suits your entertainment needs.

Name Product Service type Pricing starts at Free trial 4K or UHD Number of devices Simultaneous streams
On-demand streaming
7 days
On-demand streaming
On-demand streaming
30 days
The Disney Bundle
On-demand streaming, Sports
On-demand streaming

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