Discovery is exploring opportunities tied to the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart home to build new service layers that cater to its passionate audiences and is also planning to launch a mobile subscription service for children in the Philippines.
Discovery Networks International president and CEO Jean-Briac Perrette revealed latest insights into the company’s strategy at the APOS convention, organized by Media Partners Asia, in Bali, Indonesia.
The company is going to launch a preschooler-focused service under the Discovery Kids brand designed to help parents avoid the safety and quality issues of various existing online content services. The Philippines, a mobile savvy market, will be the first to debut the new service as a mobile subscription offering.
“We have the leading kids service in Latin America, so this move is not out of the blue,” said Perrette. “We are using some of that content knowledge and taking it around the world.” He added: “We see a lot of free kids services that have major content quality and safety issues. As a parent, no way I’m handing the device to my child that is not in a safe environment.”
Video will not be the only emphasis of this new children’s service that Discovery is developing. “Kids don’t just want to do videos, but also games, books, audiobooks. So we’re not just focusing on videos,” Perrette said. “Our future is not about sight, sound, motion, but about multimedia and other applications of those services.”
The Internet of Things, meaning the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items that have software, connectivity and the like that enables them to connect and exchange data, is also in focus for Discovery.
After the completion of the $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive in March, the company now owns the industry’s largest group of cable channels targeting vertical communities around such interests as animals, true crime, food, travel, DIY, sports and more, he highlighted. And Discovery is pursuing linear and non-linear programming and media other than video such as podcast, text and service layer to expand its reach. And it is moving toward offering users more real-life experiences and help.
To take food as an example, Discovery is aiming to develop service layers incorporating smart home elements. “We are in talks with appliance companies about taking our global repository of food, chefs, recipes and the development of IoT and barcode scanning for the manufacturers to be able to tell you the 10 ingredients you have in your refrigerator and the top 10 recipes you can make,” Perrette said.