Discovery+, the streaming subscription service that focuses on lifestyle, nature and sports, is overhauling its subscriptions plans in the UK: its basic plan, the Entertainment Pass, is getting cheaper – but will include advert breaks.
The premium tier, Entertainment & Sport Pass, which also includes Eurosport’s content, will remain ad-free.
These changes will come into effect on March 16, 2022 – but those who wish can still subscribe to the annual plan before that date, at the higher price point, and not get the adverts (see full details below).
Discovery+, which launched in 2020, replaced Discovery’s Dplay streaming service (which used to be totally free), with a combined offering of both free and “premium” channels.
The free tier on Discovery+ includes several Freeview channels, such as Quest, Really, HGTV and others, while the paid tier adds several additional live premium channels, along with their on-demand content – Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, and this year – the Winter Olympics.
Ever since it launched, the paid tier had TWO separate plans: Entertainment (£4.99/month until now) and Entertainment + Sports (£6.99/month) – which also includes the content that used to reside on Eurosport Player (which is being phased out as a standalone streaming platform).
The sports section includes events like the Australian Open, Grand Tour Cycling, snooker, motorsports and more.
Customers can subscribe to Discovery+ either directly, or via Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, which also come in those two flavours (along with a 7-day free trial) –Discovery+ Entertainment and Discovery+ Entertainment + Sport.
Earlier this month, we also reported that Discovery is in talks with BT Sport on a plan to create a combined new TV sports platform that will bring together BT Sport’s content with that of Eurosport and Discovery+.
If those negotiations come to fruition, Discovery’s plans may drastically change yet again – but that’s still in the future.
Furthermore, Discovery is planning to acquire WarnerMedia, which will bring even more changes (a possible combined offer with HBO Max, which is owned by Warner, for example) – but that’s even further down the line.
Discovery+ New Ad-Lite Offer
From March 16, the discovery+ Entertainment Pass is changing. The price will go down from £4.99/month to £3.99/month, and from £49.99 to £39.99 if you pay for a full year in advance.
The new price point, however, means adverts will now be added to the service. According to Discovery, the ads will be limited, and will be “less than half the amount of ads viewers experience through linear television.”
Those who wish to view the content without adverts, will have to subscribe to the Entertainment + Sports pass, which will remain ad-free, at its current price point – £6.99/month or £59.99/year.
Note: As of this writing, there’s a limited-time 50% discount on the annual Entertainment+Sports pass, if you sign up directly.
We’re told that those who subscribe to Discovery+ via Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, will not get the Ad-Lite option at this time, and the price will remain at £4.99/month (for the no-sports tier). However, Discovery is working with Amazon on the launch of the ‘Ad-Lite’ product on Prime Video in the future.
What About Existing Discovery+ Subscribers?
If you’re currently subscribed to the Entertainment Pass (at £4.99/month), your price will go down to £3.99/month after March 16, and you will start seeing adverts.
If, however, you’re on the annual plan (or sign up to it before March 16), Discovery confirmed to us that you will NOT see the adverts until your full year ends.
Then, on your next annual renewal, the price you pay will be reduced from £49.99 to £39.99, and you will start seeing the adverts.
James Gibbons, EVP, GM UK and Nordics, Discovery Inc, said:
“From March, we will bring consumers two distinct products: both offering our premium unscripted content at great value, but with the choice of limited ads or ad-free viewing on-demand.
“By reshaping our offering we are able to reduce the cost of our Entertainment Pass to just £3.99/month, one of the most competitive price points in the market.
“We know there is an appetite for choice amongst our users as research shows us nearly three-quarters of discovery+ subscribers are open to seeing adverts if it means a reduction in price”
How Can I Watch Discovery+?
Discovery+ is a streaming-only app, therefore it relies on your broadband connection. It’s available on most streaming devices sold in the UK, including:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Google Chromecast
- Android / iPhone
- Apple TV
- Samsung Smart TVs
- Sky Q (Subscribers can get a free one-year Discovery+ membership)
- Sky Glass
- Major web browsers
If you sign up via Amazon, you will need to use their Prime Video app to watch – which is also available on almost every streaming device and Smart TV.