Discovery said it surpassed 11 million direct-to-consumer streaming subscribers and hit 12 million by the end of February, a gain of around 7 million subscribers since December.
The parent company of cable networks HGTV, TLC, Food Network and Discovery Channel launched the Discovery + streaming service on January 4 in the United States and is rolling it out globally. Executives did not provide a specific target number of subscribers, but described the service as a valuable addition to Netflix, which has surpassed 200 million paying customers worldwide. Verizon has signed up as a key distribution partner, offering one free year of Discovery + with numerous customer plans.
The streaming figures came as the company reported stable fourth-quarter revenue of just under $ 2.9 billion and diluted earnings of 76 cents per share. Revenue exceeded Wall Street analysts’ forecasts, while profits exceeded expectations.
The consensus forecast by analysts for streaming was 10.5 million subscribers.
A 5% increase in domestic distribution revenues offset a decrease in international distribution and advertising revenues.
Advertising was stagnant, with the company claiming that rising prices and monetization of content on new platforms such as streaming were offset by “secular declines in the pay-TV ecosystem and lower ratings.”
Discovery shares recently set an all-time high above $ 50. They were up 2% in pre-market trading.
“Our unmatched global scale and ability to serve consumers everywhere with a truly differentiated offering across all platforms, as well as our robust cash flow, even amid significant investments in our next-generation initiatives and the COVID-19 pandemic in course, position us to achieve sustainable goals of long-term growth and long-term shareholder value, ”CEO David Zaslav said in the company’s earnings release.