Drive | Drive features in C21 News Analysis: On the Plus Side
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Drive features in C21 News Analysis: On the Plus Side

With a vast library of intellectual property and an ambitious originals strategy, Discovery+ is the latest big player to enter the streaming wars. Can it do for unscripted what Netflix did for drama?

Excerpt: For Ben Barrett, co-MD of UK coproduction fixing agency Drive, Discovery+ is “a great opportunity to sell content that Discovery’s channels would not have bought even six months ago.” However, he adds that it’s “too early to say if it’s a gamechanger,” and also shares Young’s concerns about a reduction in linear commissions from the group.

“Something you would never have previously pitched to Discovery is now something they’re interested in,” Barrett says. “When you’re pitching ideas to Nat Geo/Disney+, the focus now is very much on whether it would work on the streaming service. Is this a brand that will work in D2C that we can put up in lights? I’ll be interested to see if Discovery takes the same approach. I hope there is still a demand for linear hours because these channels all commission hundreds of hours a year. As the market moves more to D2C, do they still need that?

“Discovery has a vast catalogue of shows that haven’t gone into distribution. Ten years ago, you used to see big Discovery shows on Channel 4 six months later; now they’re all safeguarded for the streamer. If you get to a point where the focus is totally on D2C and linear becomes second, you might see it becomes about fewer hours, which would be a problem.”

Published by Clive Whittingham on on 23-04-2021.

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