Dplay, which is due to launch in Q2 on StarzPlay, will be available as an add-on for a monthly subscription rate of AED/SAR15 in the GCC. Rates for other markets where StarzPlay operates will follow a similar price structure as the platform's current tiered pricing approach.
StarzPlay and Discovery have inked a three-year deal that will see the MENA debut of Dplay, Discovery’s online video-on-demand (VOD) service, on StarzPlay, BroadcastPro ME can reveal. Although a launch date has not yet been confirmed, Dplay will be available in Q2, 2020, through existing StarzPlay apps including via Apple TV.
According to the deal, any new or existing StarzPlay subscriber in the GCC may choose to access Dplay for an additional AED/SAR15. Rates for other areas where StarzPlay has a footprint will vary but will follow a similar price structure as the platform’s current tiered pricing approach. Subscribers, both existing and new, will be able to trial the service for a period that may extend up to one month.
Dplay will be available on StarzPlay as an individual branded add-on with a large library comprising thousands of hours of content curated under specific verticals including food, motors, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), lifestyle and crime among others. While the content will be similar to the UK service, it will also include a lot of locally created content especially from Fatafeat, the Arabic food and lifestyle channel, owned by Discovery. Some global franchises that will be available on the new service include Shark Week, MythBusters, Gold Rush, Expedition Unknown, House Hunters International, Say Yes to the Dress and Fast ‘N’ Loud. DPlay is also the global SVOD home for some of the BBC’s landmark natural history programmes like Planet Earth, Blue Planet, and Life and Dynasties, and this will be available now to MENA audiences through StarzPlay.
Francesco Perta, Director of Business Development commented that with this partnership, Discovery is reaching out to an audience in MENA that could previously see its content only in the linear space.
“We have curated content around specific genres like crime, food and lifestyle to name a few, which we call passion verticals. If you are passionate about food, we have hundreds of hours of content under food; likewise, if you love home, lifestyle, motors, STEM… you name it, we have it. All our content lies in the non-scripted space, so our offering really complements StarzPlay’s current proposition,” Perta commented.
StarzPlay COO and co-founder Danny Bates told BroadcastPro that the addition of Discovery’s content will not only “complement StarzPlay’s core package” but is also the beginning of the platform’s 2020 strategy to move into an “aggregation model”.
“In 2020, we plan to bring other key global content services and offer them to our customers as an add-on to our primary service. We see a huge opportunity with the distribution network that we have built within the region to now aggregate other services onto the platform. We are live with more than 20 telcos in the region and have partnerships with most consumer brands like Android TV, Samsung TV, Apple TV.
“Adding Dplay to our service is really exciting because of the breadth of content it has and because it’s very different from our core offering. Usually, globally, people tend to subscribe to two to three services so we want to have the ability to have a platform where customers can buy all those services in one place. The other key to this is that we have created the most flexible payment options for the MENA audience. With one click, you can add a Dplay subscription from the app you have downloaded.”
Discovery’s Perta added that this partnership was the best way to bring Dplay to the widest possible MENA audience.
“StarzPlay already has a vast footprint as well as a strong and extensive distribution network across the region so by adding our service to theirs, we will be able to benefit from their B2C and B2B partnerships,” Perta added.