The launch was announced Thursday in a joint press release issued by executives at Amazon and Discovery Communications. The add-on will exist in Amazon Prime Video Channels, a marketplace where third-party content providers offer subscriptions to their services directly to Amazon customers.
Content from add-on subscriptions is distributed natively through the Amazon Prime Video app for smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, streaming set-top boxes and game consoles. Amazon Prime Video is freely accessible to anyone with an active Amazon Prime membership, which costs between $6 a month and $12 a month. A standalone subscription to Amazon Prime Video is available without a Prime membership for $9 a month.
Content providers like Discovery have some incentives when it comes to offering their subscriptions natively through Amazon Prime Video Channels: This week, Amazon’s chief executive revealed the company has more than 200 million Prime members, including more than 142 million members in the United States who have unfettered access to Amazon Prime Video and the Channels marketplace.
Amazon also natively integrates its Prime Video service and Prime Video Channels marketplace into its line of Amazon Fire TV streaming devices, of which around 50 million are on the market today — a fact that was not lost on Discovery executives who spoke with enthusiasm about their new partnership.
“Today’s launch on Amazon Prime Video Channels expands access to Discovery Plus for millions of Amazon customers beyond Fire TV streaming devices and Fire TV Edition Smart TVs,” Gabriel Sauerhoff, an executive in charge of content partnerships at Discovery, said in a statement. “This innovative relationship provides multiple, compelling ways for us to reach and delight consumers with a truly differentiated streaming experience through.”
As a standalone service, Discovery Plus offers two subscription tiers: An ad-supported version at $5 a month and a commercial-free version for $7 a month. Both versions contain the same amount of content, which Discovery Plus says amounts to tens of thousands of hours of general entertainment, lifestyle and knowledge programs from across its library of TV shows and documentaries.
At launch, only the more-expensive subscription is available to Amazon Prime Video subscribers through the Channels marketplace, though Discovery says the cheaper, ad-supported version will be available in the coming months.
“Adding Discovery Plus and its exciting roster of top brands reinforces Prime Video Channels’ promise of bringing the best shows to our customers, all in one place,” Soumya Sriraman, the head of Amazon Prime Video Channels, said in a statement.
Launched in early January, Discovery Plus offers hundreds of programs from Discovery Network’s portfolio of cable channels, including the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Oprah Winfrey Network, HGTV and TLC. It also offers third party content from A+E Networks (A&E, Lifetime, History Channel) and BBC Worldwide.
In addition to Amazon Prime Video Channels, Discovery Plus is available as a standalone service across most popular smart television platforms, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV.