Discovery+ to launch in Canada

The ad-supported tier will maintain the company's focus on ad-light, engagement heavy viewing experiences.
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Discovery is bringing its factual programming to Canadian viewers more apt to streaming with the launch of Discovery+ on Oct. 19.

Discovery+ features 200 original series, a collection of natural history content licensed from the BBC and 60,000 episodes of content from networks including the Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, OWN, Travel Channel, Animal Planet and Magnolia. Over 1,000 episodes will be subtitled for French audiences at launch.

The ad-supported subscription tier still comes with a $4.99 CAD price tag per month, with the ad-free tier costing $6.99 CAD.

Discovery+ has been slowly rolling out to more markets since first launching in India in March 2020, including the U.K. and Ireland last October and the U.S. in January. In the company’s most recent quarterly financial update in August, Discovery said its full portfolio of streaming services (which also includes Food Network Kitchen, MotorTrend On Demand and GolfTV) had reached 18 million subscribers, with “most” of those being paid Discovery+ subscribers.

One of the main selling points of Discovery+ on the ad front was offering an ad-light experience more palatable to viewers. The initial five minutes of brand messages per hour were trimmed to four in Q2 as demand for the more engaging light ad load stayed strong and drove rates that were significantly higher than what the company charges on linear TV.

That focus is going to continue in Canada, where the company says it will have lighter ad loads, cross-platform capabilities and incremental scale and reach. Ad partners in Canada at launch include The Trade Desk, MediaMath, Adobe, Magnite and Freewheel.

Corus, which co-owns and distributes the Canadian versions of several Discovery networks through a joint venture, has established a new integrated marketing partnership to promote the streaming service across linear TV, radio, digital and social.