Discovery Plus Review
Discovery Plus is the latest streaming service to enter the market, providing an ambitious content library at launch with a focus on non fiction material. Fans of reality TV can expect updates from top shows such as Toddlers & Tiaras and fresh takes on 90 Day Fiance, plus shows from channels including A&E, Lifetime and History.
There are a number of top features fans can enjoy with a discovery+ subscription. For example, there are exclusive originals on offer, as well as collections and box sets. New Gold Rush and 90 Day Fiance episodes are available on the same day as US cable programming schedules, and there is a 30 day catch up feature available.
To read about the Discovery channel instead, click here.
Pros and Cons
7 day free trial. Users can decide if they want to sign up for a paid subscription before parting with any cash.
Full box sets. Viewers have access to complete collections of top shows such as 90 Day Fiance and its various spinoffs.
Watch both live and on-demand. Subscribers can watch their favorite shows on-demand or check out what’s airing live with the What’s On TV guide feature.
Price bracket. Some people may not want to pay $6.99 a month when they are already signed up for other services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or Disney Plus.
Longer free trial elsewhere. While the US offers a 7 day free trial, discovery+ offers UK customers a 14 day free trial.
Potential technical issues. As the platform is brand new, there could be some issues which haven’t been worked out by developers yet.
Genres and channels
The genres available at Discovery Plus range from Reality and Entertainment to Sport and True Crime. There is a full A-Z list of the categories in alphabetical order, as well as sliders of the top categories with details of the top shows in each.
Discovery+ also provides on-demand access to the following channels:
- Animal Planet
- Quest Red
- Food Network
- Discovery Science
- Discovery Turbo
- Discovery History
To watch shows live, the What’s On tab at the top of the menu provides access to a dynamic TV guide, showing what shows are available live on the above channels. The options let viewers browse ahead or behind, from earlier or later in the day to a week before and ahead of time.
Top discovery+ shows and movies
- 90 Day Diaries
- American Detective With Lt Joe Kenda
- Onision: In Real Life
- Donald Trump: A Faking It Special
- JonBenet Ramsey: What Really Happened?
- The Impossible Row
- What Killed Maradona?
- Rachel Khoo’s Chocolate
- Amy Schumer Learns To Cook: Uncensored
- Three Men Four Wheels
- Chasing Ocean Giants
- Empires of New York
- Hiroshima: 75 Years Later
- Faking It: Jimmy Savile
- William and Harry: Brothers In Arms
- Breaking Amish
- Dr Pimple Popper
Discovery Plus states on its website that there are over 55,000 episodes available on the platform, with more added daily. Some of the content highlights include an award-winning natural history collection from the BBC, including the following titles: Africa, Planet Earth II, Blue Planet II, Frozen Planet, Serengeti. There are also full box sets for a number of popular shows, as well as a comprehensive selection of categories. These include:
- Animals and Nature
- Health and Medical
- Home and Property
- Reality and Entertainment
- Science and Engineering
- Survival and Adventure
- True Crime
- Gold Rush
- 90 Day Fiance
Many people will get Discovery Plus in order to access top shows from History, Lifetime and A&E. Titles include Dance Moms, The First 48, Ice Road Truckers, 60 Days In and Married At First Sight.
There is also a feature called Discovery+ Channels coming to the platform by January 29, 2020. The setup allows subscribers to watch non-stop streams of shows they love, such as House Hunters, Chopped, 90 Day Fiance and Fixer Upper.
Discovery Plus states that users can stream from their mobile devices, tablets, computer, games console and connected TV.
On the customer support page, the following devices are listed as compatible with discovery+:
- Android and Android TV
Customers can access the help center by navigating to support.discoveryplus.com. Here, the searchable database features popular topics such as Manage my account, Subscriptions and payments, Technical, Our content and Supported devices.
To speak directly with customer support, the opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm, or Saturday to Sunday 12pm to 8pm. The main way to get in touch is by writing to the support team. There is a web form where users can enter their email address, select the topic of their query, enter a subject and description and attach any files before completing the reCAPTCHA and pressing submit.
Discovery Plus offers a 7-day free trial, which gives prospective streamers plenty of time to try out the service and see if they want to upgrade to a paid subscription. Those who sign up with a free trial will have their plan automatically convert to a paid subscription unless they cancel during the free trial period. Those who decide they want a paid subscription do not have to complete any further action, as their payment details would have been entered during signup. There is a minimum term of 1 month, which applies from the date of the first payment and each renewal which follows. The price includes VAT.
Plans and pricing
Discovery+ is being marketed as an affordable platform, costing just $4.99 a month for the ad-lite version and $6.99 for ad-free. The ad-lite version features 5 minutes of ads per hour, so those on a budget can benefit from a relatively low amount of commercials compared to cable television ad breaks.
That said, those who are looking to entertain the whole family with streaming services may find it difficult to decide between Discovery+ and Disney+ if they are on a budget. Essentially, the ad-free version of Discovery+ is the same price as Disney+ for the month.
We recommend that families with young children may benefit more from Disney+, while those who are older – teenagers and adults – would most likely get more out of the nonfiction content slate on Discovery+. Of course, many could pay $14 a month to benefit from nostalgia in the Disney vault and catch-ups from their favorite shows on Discovery+, while benefiting from nonfiction programming on both platforms (Disney+ has a National Geographic section with regular new releases).
One benefit Discovery+ has over Disney+ is the fact that it offers a seven day free trial. Disney recently scrapped this feature, but Discovery is still offering it for now. What’s more, customers with Verizon could be eligible for 12 months on the ad free plan without any charge. This promotion is applicable for Verizon customers with select Unlimited plans, or those who get either Fios Home Internet or 5G Home.
At this stage in the streaming wars, there are a number of competitors. However, discovery+ has made sure their offering is unique and comprehensive. When viewing the non-fiction category for other streaming services, it’s clear that discovery+ offers a much more thorough selection. For example, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus all have a non-fiction branch to their offering, but this is the genre where discovery+ outshines them. Furthermore, while CuriosityStream offers a wealth of documentaries for a low monthly fee, discovery+ offers a similar library of content as well as live TV and top shows in categories such as reality, true crime and lifestyle.
Is discovery+ worth it?
Discovery+ will be a welcome addition to the streaming wars thanks to its unique brand offering with top shows which would previously need to be bought individually on other platforms. There is going to be a decent demographic of teenagers and adults who are fans of documentaries, reality and lifestyle programming signing up for this platform, due to the collections, box sets and access to both live and on demand content. Those who enjoy the flagship shows from key channels such as discovery and HGTV are spoilt for choice with this platform, which offers a well-thought out and organised content library which will leave people entertained for hours.
To cancel your discovery+ subscription, log into your account and click on the person icon in the upper right corner. Then click on subscription and stop automatic renewal. Please note that customers will need to cancel their subscription at least 24 hours before the renewal date.
Click on the Sign In button in the top right corner to enter the email address and password you used to sign up for an account.
This feature does not appear to be available at the time of writing.
Accounts do not seem to be eligible for suspension for those who want to restart their discovery+ subscription later. However, you can cancel your subscription and then log back into your account to restart it at a later date.
Those who do not wish to pay for their subscription will need to cancel their account before the free trial is over. To stop paying for a subscription, users need to cancel the auto renewal at least 24 hours before the billing date. There do not appear to be any refunds offered at the time of writing.
Users can sign up to Disney Plus for the National Geographic section of the site, or use Curiosity Stream, if they want access to documentaries.
Generally speaking, discovery+ accounts appear to be geolocked, which means you will not be able to access content in another country.
Click on the Sign Up button and enter your personal information – such as name and email address, plus date of birth. Then enter your card details and you’ll be able to start watching!