Discovery+ to Usurp ThreeNow

Three’s streaming service probably will be supplanted by Discovery+ before year’s end, reports Newsroom.

In an interview with Newsroom co-editor and ex-TV3 news boss Mark Jennings, the general manager, Australia and NZ for Discovery, Glen Kyne, revealed Discovery+ would replace ThreeNow soon after its Australian launch:

“Globally, Discovery+ was launched as a brand in the US in December (2020) and since then the total direct to consumer subscription number is just over 15 million and growing rapidly. It is a common global platform but in each market they look to execute differently.

“So when we look at Australia and New Zealand, Australia is the priority market to launch in at the moment and the reason for that is the maturity of the subscription video market over there. You can get sport for $10 a month over there and it is a very attractive market to launch into quickly.”

Kyne expects the Australian launch to be “loosely October” with New Zealand “following quickly.”

Kyne won’t be drawn on pricing but if the US model is followed here, there is likely to be two tiers. A low-priced product that carries some advertising and a slightly higher price for an ad-free service. TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick’s recent suggestion that TVNZ might introduce an ad-free subscription service is bound have been done with an eye on Discovery+.

Launching Discovery+ here will rattle not only TVNZ but also Sky’s Neon service, as Sky’s multi-year deal for HBO content is due to expire within the next couple of years — which means it’s like to join the Discovery platform following its rebranding as Warner Bros. Discovery pending the merger of the two entertainment giants.

In the meantime, Three has started to beef up ThreeNow’s content, with the fast tracking of exclusive premieres like the Framing Britney Spears documentary and the latest season of The Block NZ, each episode of which streams more than seven hours ahead of its 7.30 broadcast.

”We understand how important it is to meet the needs of our audience and that includes having the ability to watch their favourite content where and when they choose,” a Discovery spokesperson told Stuff. “This is particularly important as linear audiences decline and digital audiences increase.”

Kyne also told Jennings Discovery wants to “extend the depth and breadth” of local shows on Three:

“We have been running out of local shows in September, so I think that will start to change and we will extend out to a full season. Currently, on most nights, we have local programmes at 7.30 pm but we want it to run up to 9.30, even later if possible.

“Our local programming is currently 35 percent of our total (that’s counting News and the three hour AM show ) and we are looking to grow that to 40 percent.”

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5 Responses to “Discovery+ to Usurp ThreeNow”

  1. With the news about Discovery+ definitely coming to New Zealand this year I wonder if it makes it more likely about Paramount+ coming to New Zealand as well? We haven’t heard anything official about it so far 🙂

  2. The Peter Jackson Beatles movie is being turned into a 6 hour documentary and will now screen on Disney+ in November. It’s in 3 parts so I’m excited. I love The Beatles so I thought I would mention 🙂

  3. Thanks, Trevor. It’s weird. The news was reported internationally overnight, after Disney clearly issued a media release. But no media release has been distributed in NZ, despite the obvious interest with Peter Jackson, and there isn’t even one on the Disney+ media site. You can read about the doco here: https://whatsondisneyplus.com/the-beatles-get-back-coming-to-disney-this-thanksgiving/

  4. Yes, that does sound weird. I’m assuming it will screen here in New Zealand 🤔

  5. Yes, it will Trevor. Have just received the press release, will post now …

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