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DISCOVERY+ Streaming Launch & wide Roll-out of Hulu Watch Party Feature



Above: Photo / Discovery

New and interesting options for streaming entertainment coming 2021

Discovery is behind a handful of networks including: Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, ID, OWN, TLC and Animal Planet.  The company will be joining as a new contender in the so-called streaming wars with the big hitters like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+ and Peacock. This year, the only new streaming platform, Quibi, launched and within the same year, rather tragically called in quits. 

The service will be available among all the major device platforms that will include smart TV’s, web based, phones and tablets.  There was no mention to specific platforms, more information will likely be disclosed closer to the start date. Those that are customers of Verizon unlimited wireless will be able to opt for 12 free months of Discovery. 

Discovery+ is set to launch its new streaming platform at the beginning of next year on Jan 4, 2021.  The monthly price will have the option of $4.99 with ads, or $2 extra for $6.99 a month without adds. Discovery+ launched last month in UK and Ireland, with plans to expand to more than 25 additional international markets, including the US next year. 

The new streaming service will have over 55,000 episodes of TV in its arsenal.  Discovery will provide of entertainment with a wide mixture of shows in its library, as well as movies and new and exclusive original content.   There are reports of plans for shows including the likes of Chip and Goanna Gaines (Fixer Upper), David Attenborough, comedian Kevin Hart, and big name chefs like Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiss. 

“We’ll see, but people love our channels… We’ve never been stronger to the cable bundle.” he continued to say about the networks are “effectively like the NFL times five right now for women.”

-CEO David Zaslav

Haven’t joined in on a Watch Party? 

Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have had watch party features for a while now.  Hulu and Disney+ are now rolling out its own versions, to allow for friends and family to share some entertainment connectedness. 

Hulu started testing the new feature back in May for select users that allowed for a group up to eight people to watch TV shows and movies together.  Through the website, the party can chat with one another throughout the videos, commenting in real time, even allowing their own playback feature (in case you have to grab a snack).  

The then limited feature is now fully functional and available for all on-demand Hulu subscribers (those that have ad-free or ad-supported options).  There should now be a “Watch Party” icon on Hulu’s main page, once in, you will be provided a link that can be shared to up to seven other Hulu subscribers. When all members have joined, the initiator (the host) starts the show or movie.  The feature is only supported on, so it will not be accessible through the app.

Disney+ also recently rolled out its own version of a watch party, called “GroupWatch”. The main difference, however is group members are limited to reacting through emojis, with no options yet for written communication.

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