Cynopsis Special Report: Discovery: Real Brands for Real Life

 

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM DISCOVERY

DISCOVERY+
STREAMING HOME OF BRANDS YOU LOVE
YOUR FAVORITE SHOWS + PERSONALITIES + EXCLUSIVE ORIGINALS
Reaching new audiences with
45% of subscriber base coming from non-cable households

55,000+ Episodes Library
200 discovery + Originals Each Year

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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read

 

Monday May 10, 2021

Discovery: Where Linear and Streaming Coexist In Harmony By Design

Cathy Applefeld Olson

In a market where advertisers are increasingly pressed to choose between putting budget behind linear or digital, Discovery offers a fresh perspective this season: How about both?

Bucking general industry declines in linear viewership, audience across the company’s 17 networks—including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN and Animal Planet—are up across demos. Streaming service discovery+ launched in January, and has amassed millions of subscribers who spend an average of three hours a day engaging with Discovery’s content. And the highly anticipated Chip and Joanna Gaines-powered Magnolia network perfectly exemplifies the company’s broad-minded approach to reaching and inspiring viewers across all platforms. Magnolia, which already has content up on discovery+, will debut as a stand-alone app this summer and then premiere as a linear network in January.

Jon Steinlauf, Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer, and Jim Keller, EVP, Digital Ad Sales and Advanced Advertising, share their insights on why linear and digital don’t need to fight, but are better together for brands that want to maximize reach across the full gamut of viewers.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM DISCOVERY

 

DISCOVERY NETWORKS
REACHING MORE WOMEN

 

4 OF THE TOP 6 CABLE NETWORKS W25-54
#1 HGTV, #2 TLC, #3 FOOD NETWORK, #6 ID
62 of the Top 100 shows – W25-54

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Here TO SEE WHAT OUR REAL BRANDS FOR REAL LIFE CAN DO FOR YOU

Long Live Linear
JS: The whole linear conversation is an interesting one as we hit this Upfront market. For us, the demand holds for linear and we look at it as an upside opportunity. We are pouring 5,000 new hours of content into linear this year. That means every single night across the Discovery chain of linear you’re going to see 15 hours of new content. No one’s doing that, because they either can’t make the numbers work, or they care a lot more about streaming than they do about linear or broadcast or cable or the bundle. We are going against the grain by saying we want to keep the money coming in.

Linear + Digital: Better Together
JS: Linear viewership has really become this groundswell of 40-plus people. Our 40-plus viewership right now is up year over year. So while people think, “We’re writing off linear. The bundle is falling apart with cord cutting, cord-nevers and too many ads”…. We hear all these things but then we look at our business, which is different than other people’s business because we do have these amazing brands. We go for genres, passion points that most other people don’t even compete in. So we like to say there is no natural predator, and we tend to go against the grain. [At the same time], one of the great challenges our advertisers face is the cost of incremental reach. In some cases that means getting into the homes that don’t have cable, or that watch a lot of streaming without advertising. There is this mission now amongst advertisers to find unique reach so they can reach some of those strategic targets with more scale.

The Promise of Discovery Premiere
JS: One reason we’re so committed to linear is the CPM levels for Discovery as a portfolio are significantly lower than the CPM levels for broadcast. We see the gap as being too wide. When we see what broadcasters are up against now—the cost per 1,000 in broadcast prime—and the ratings in broadcast prime, the mix of content, the priorities of the companies that own the broadcast networks… we are charging forward with a concept we built in 2018 called Discovery Premiere. The idea is you can take the best of Discovery programming and build a broadcast network and sell it as a special package only in first run. So when “Chopped,” “90 Day Fiance,” “Home Town,” “Queen Sugar” are in first run… you build this package and you start to see we have 20, 30, 40 shows that can do a 1 rating. And in today’s world if you do a 1 rating you’ve got yourself a hit. The hits of Discovery as a stand-alone package, at $20 less than broadcast prime—we are going all in.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM DISCOVERY

Discovery Premiere – Our Replacement to Broadcast Prime


Only First-Run Episodes of Our Biggest Hits
Reaching Valuable Consumers at CPMs Well Below Broadcast Prime

Fan Favorites Include
Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay
HGTV’s Home Town, Renovation Island, Celebrity IOU
TLC’s 90 Day Fiancé
Discovery’s Gold Rush, Deadliest Catch, Expedition Unknown
OWN’s Queen Sugar

CLICK Here TO SEE WHAT OUR REAL BRANDS FOR REAL LIFE CAN DO FOR YOU

Adding Up the Benefits of discovery+
JK: We launched with 55,000 episodes of content and about 92 percent of all the content has been viewed at least once. So we’re not a one-trick pony. We launched with 50-plus discovery+ originals and we continue to add more. Consumption patterns have been really fantastic, and then from a data perspective digital video does allow for a lot of ingesting of data by our clients to utilize the assets in a different way either through automation or through direct buys to target differently.
JS: The discovery+ content is fresh in the streaming space. Over the years we licensed very little content to Netflix or Amazon. Our library is vast, it’s unique and it’s almost entirely unscripted. There are two options for consumers. They can buy it for $6.99 with no ads, or $4.99 with very light advertising and no skipability. We have four 60-second breaks and we have a countdown clock. So it immediately tells you when you’re going to get back to content, which we think is important. When you’re in an ad format where your load is so light, each individual ad really pops. In addition to that, we have all the programmatic tools. So we can enable very strategic targeting.

Digital’s Incremental Reach
JK: We’ve found to date that for any advertiser that adds Discovery’s digital assets—that’s discovery+ and our 17 Discovery GO apps—to their linear campaign, they’re delivering an incremental 16 percent reach. We have a bunch of viewers that only access our content through our digital offerings. Discovery+ has only been around four months and what we’ve been most excited about is the stickiness of the content and the overall user experience. The content is being engaged by a younger consumer, about 15 years younger than the average age of our traditional linear assets, and with our “Ad Light” option, viewers are watching nearly three hours of content per day, which puts it at the high end of the overall marketplace in the streaming space.

A Magnolia for All Viewers
JS: Who would think about doing a major launch of a linear channel in 2022? We would. We’ve been planning this launch for at least two years; it got delayed by Covid. We sold it last year during the Upfront and we’re selling it this year. We have incumbents who want to stay with it because the Gaines’ talent is more revered than ever before, after what the country has been through for the past 14 months. It’s not going to be just home, but also food, family, travel. They’re great storytellers, and there are Magnolia shows—like “Lost Kitchen”—that are already getting a lot of traction on discovery+. So discovery+ becomes a test bed for the Magnolia brand.

We’re doing a free, stand-alone Magnolia App in July that will be a companion to discovery+ and feature a lot of the talent from Magnolia network in shorter form pieces and workshops. There’s going to be a lot of shorter form content from the talent of the Magnolia network, which is launching six months later in January. For the network we want to do less adds, particularly in the new original programming, and we want to do storytelling with our advertisers. We want to create pieces that could be :30, :60, 1:20 that will play during commercial breaks but will be more in concert with storytelling.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM DISCOVERY

 

DISCOVERY CHANNEL – A TOP DESTINATION FOR MEN

 

LEADING DESTINATION FOR M25-54 FOUR NIGHTS A WEEK
WITH THE TOP CABLE SERIES

 

MONDAY: #1 STREET OUTLAWS, TUESDAY: #2 DEADLIEST CATCH
THURSDAY: #1 BATTLEBOTS, FRIDAY: #1 GOLD RUSH

 

CLICK Here TO SEE WHAT OUR REAL BRANDS FOR REAL LIFE CAN DO FOR YOU

Advances in Advanced Advertising
JK: We’re looking to do a better job of forecasting and optimizing within our Engage and OneGraph products to allow for that cross-platform measurement and attribution. You can do all the data targeting in the world, whether it’s first- or third-party data targeting, but it’s all about that impact in the purchase funnel and I don’t believe there’s a one size fits all for any marketer. Every marketer is doing something different. We partnered with dozens of third-party research vendors to be able to prove out the KPIs for the individual campaign that’s important for a marketer for that moment. That’s something we pride ourselves on—being flexible to provide solutions to answer the marketers’ question of the moment. And that continues to evolve.

Expanding Data-Informed Ad Offerings
JK: We launched our version of binge ads in March. Our version of pause ads will be launching later this quarter and we’re already up and running with interactive ads. One product we have out in the market that we’re going to expand even further is something we call contextual key word targeting, where a marketer can come to us and say, Any time the word cheese is mentioned in an episode, we want to have an ad adjacent to that. We have that technology in all of our food and home content already, and we’re going to be extending that service to all of our factual content like Discovery, TLC and ID. We’re also working on new commerce and shopping experiences we’ll be able to talk about later this year.

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
@Lynn_Leahey
Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Roberta Caploe
Publisher
@robertacaploe

Cynopsis Ad Sales
Albert Nassour
917-545-3129
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox

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