Discovery Launches dplay Streaming Service in U.K., Ireland

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Discovery CEO David Zaslav

The advertising-supported service will offer content from Discovery’s free-to-air channels, namely Quest, Quest Red, DMAX, Food Network, Really and Home.

Discovery Inc. on Tuesday unveiled the launch of entertainment streaming service dplay in the U.K. and Ireland as an advertising-supported offering, taking its reach to 10 markets.

The streamer includes content from Discovery’s free-to-air channels in the region, namely Quest, Quest Red, DMAX, Food Network, Really and Home. "Fans will now be able to access all their favorite shows live and on demand, and at any time and anywhere," the company said.

Series available include Quest’s English Football League highlights show and Salvage Hunters, which follows an antiques dealer on his hunt for hidden gems; Quest Red’s Katie Price: My Crazy Life and The Bad Skin Clinic; Really’s Ghost Adventures and Helicopter ER; and Food Network’s Tom Kerridge: American Feast and Rachel Khoo: My Swedish Kitchen.

Discovery said dplay will be rolled out in more markets "in the near future" amid its content direct-to-consumer push.

"We have nearly doubled the size of our U.K. audience in the last two years and increased our free-to-air scale from two to six channels," said James Gibbons, executive vp and general manager U.K., Ireland and Australia/New Zealand at Discovery U.K. "The launch of dplay is the next step in our strategy to deliver to British audiences the best real-life entertainment, whenever and wherever they want it. The free streaming service will also increase opportunities for advertisers to engage with audiences across multiple platforms.”

The dplay app is available for download online and in the iOS and Android app stores. It will also be available on partner platforms and will roll out on additional devices and platforms in the first half of 2020, the company said. 

Discovery CEO David Zaslav on a recent earnings conference call said about dplay, which Discovery first launched in Scandinavia: "dplay in the Nordics, our Hulu-like AVOD, SVOD offering ... has enjoyed robust growth over the last year." On how dplay fits into the company's broader digital strategy, he added: "Overall our ambitions are to create strong multi-platform ecosystems, driving opportunities for multiple revenue streams from advertising, subscription revenue, sponsorships, as well as e-commerce retail, as well as instruction across a growing suite of direct-to-consumer platforms and regions."