Discovery has predicted that there will be “carnage” in the streaming arena as the Hollywood studios prepare to launch their own services.
The factual giant used its third quarter financial investor call to talk up its own niche digital platforms, including the recently launched Food Network Kitchen, and once again explain why it moved out of the scripted entertainment business.
David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer of Discovery said that the scripted streaming space was “crowded, aggressive, expensive and risky” and that it was more focused on getting the most out of its library and launching niche digital services.
“It’s a huge competitive advantage especially as we watch our industry peers on the premium scripted side pay whatever it takes to amass enough content for a slice of the fragmenting entertainment space within the direct-to-consumer model. We are not in that series scripted and movie side of the entertainment business,” he said.
“We’ve shied away from the 7 or 8 players that are fighting it out in the entertainment area, it’s getting more expensive and we believe three or four of them are going to make it. It’s going to be a lot of carnage,” he added. “People still love golf, they still love natural history and science, we have a definitive collection of content… that every family and children should watch. We have Chip and Joanna Gaines in 2020 and we have cycling and cars, we’re going in these niches,” he said. “They’re starting to bear real fruit.
On Food Network Kitchen, the direct-to-consumer services that it recently launched in association with Amazon, it said it was already going to double down on the platform.
The service currently offers 25 live, weekly, interactive cooking classes every week and five a day on weekends with a range of celebrity chefs.
Peter Faricy, a former Amazon exec who was recruited last year to run Discovery’s direct-to-consumer efforts, said that it was going to expand the number of live classes to 40. It will launch a new kitchen studio in LA, to build on its existing studio in New York. “That will allow us to serve customers across the U.S.,” he added.
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