It’s a new year, and you know what that means … that’s right, a brand-new lineup of streaming services to check out. 2020 was, if nothing else, quite an active year for the movie and TV streaming industry. We saw the launch of some instant hits – like HBO Max, Peacock, and Quibi – last year, and 2021 is shaping up to be another big year for movie and TV streaming. With the recent launch of Paramount Plus, Disney Star, and Discovery Plus, there is a whole new group of contenders out there for the coveted title of best streaming site on the web.
Is anybody else beginning to feel a little overwhelmed with the number of premium streaming options that we have available to us these days? There is no shame in admitting it. I mean, I write TV streaming site reviews for a living and even I am starting to think that it is getting to be a bit much. It’s like every movie studio, cable TV channel, and media production company feels the need to have their own streaming site nowadays. The end result of this, of course, is that viewers are split into camps based on what they can afford.
Let’s just face facts: we can’t all afford to subscribe to all of the best TV streaming sites that are on the market right now. That would be ludicrous, right? You’d be looking at a monthly streaming budget of hundreds of dollars, easily, if you were to have full access to every premium movie and TV streaming site there is. Just think of a few of the key players: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, YouTube TV, HBO Max, Peacock, Apple TV … the list goes on and on.
Unfortunately, that means that, since each streaming service (naturally) wants to tempt customers with high-quality exclusive and original content, chances are, we are probably going to have to miss out on a few of the best TV streaming sites. If, like me, you can’t realistically afford to subscribe to every TV streaming site that might be worth it, you have to learn to be especially strategic when it comes to choosing the subscriptions that you do sign up for.
This is precisely why I write TV streaming site reviews to begin with. Short of signing up for a promotional trial period (if the service in question even has one to offer to begin with), there aren’t too many ways to figure out whether one TV streaming site is better for you than the next one. So, I do my best to make sure that you can get an honest and rare look at every streaming site on the web before you sign up.
And that brings me to one of the most exciting new TV streaming sites to launch this year, Discovery Plus. Even though this service had a relatively quiet launch (at least if we can compare it to the heavily promoted and highly bankrolled rollout of Paramount Plus), this underdog premium streaming service might just have what it takes to be the best TV streaming site for you.
For starters, Discovery Plus has a lot to offer. According to the site’s splash page FAQ, “A subscription to discovery+ gives you instant, unlimited access to more than 55,000 episodes of 2,500+ current and classic shows from the most beloved TV brands, including HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and more.” That is a ton of television.
Not only does Discovery Plus offer thousands of TV series to binge, but it also features some of the most popular and beloved shows and TV personalities in the world, from Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives to rapper Ludacris’s own cooking show, Luda Can’t Cook. But Discovery Plus offers much more than just celebrity cooking shows. With content from HGTV, TLC, ID, Animal Planet, and BBC as well, there is bound to be a little bit of something for everyone here.
So, all things considered, could Discovery Plus be the best TV streaming site for you? Well, let’s dive in and take a closer look at the streaming service and everything that it has to offer to find out!
Discovery Plus is one of the few American TV streaming sites to launch in a foreign market first. India was the first country that had access to the service, and it launched there on March 23, 2020. It wasn’t until January of 2021 that Discovery Plus became available internationally, first with a rebrand of their previous service D Play in Denmark, the UK, and Ireland in October and November of 2020 (to Discovery Plus), then with an official launch in the US on January 4, 2021. Discovery Plus would then go onto replace D Play in the rest of Europe the next day.
The TV streaming site was, as one might have expected, an overnight success. By the time February of 2021 rolled around, the company made an official announcement boasting that the platform was projected to have over 12 million subscribers across its various OTT streaming services (including Discovery Plus, Motor Trend On Demand, Food Network Kitchen, and Golf TV). Although it wasn’t specified, independent analysts suggest that the overwhelming majority of these were Discovery Plus subscribers.
Today, Discovery Plus continues to be one of the best TV streaming sites on the web, especially when it comes to the new age streamers.
Discovery Plus offers a sleek, dynamic, and user-friendly interface that anybody who has used a premium streaming service before should immediately be able to navigate with no trouble. When you reach the site’s homepage, you will be greeted by a large banner that carousals featured titles and suggested series. Just below this, you will find a list of Discovery Plus’s offered channels, or hubs. Click into your favorite to browse brand-specific content.
Situated just above the site’s central banner is a site menu bar of sorts. This allows you to browse by category or genre. As opposed to the typical descending series of rows separating content by type, Discovery Plus takes a different approach, requiring the user to click into a separate page
for each category. While I admire the fact that this TV streaming site is taking a different approach than most, I do think that this layout is slightly less effective than the standard streaming site design. In my opinion, the more forward and back clicking that you have to do, the less intuitive the site. That being said, I understand that this is a minor flaw (if it can be called a flaw at all), and I may just be being especially picky.
Content and Features
We’ve already talked a bit about the kind of content that you can expect to find on Discovery Plus. What I really like about this site, though, is the fact that the content selection is so different from the rest of the best TV streaming sites on the market today. For one thing, there aren’t really any movies to stream here; it is all on-demand TV streaming. So, if you are looking to diversify your array of streaming sites, Discovery Plus would be a great way to juxtapose a film-heavy streaming site with one that is strictly for streaming TV shows.
Secondly, the kind of content that you will find here is unlike any other streamer out there as well. Discovery Plus definitely has something of a niche appeal to what it has to offer. From cooking shows via Food Network to DIY and home renovation shows thanks to HGTV and top-notch wildlife shows from the likes of BBC and Animal Planet, Discovery Plus is quite possibly the most unique TV streaming site on the web at the moment.
That being said, I would characterize the bulk of what is available on Discovery Plus as “light TV.” What I mean is that most of the shows streaming here ere towards the feel-good, the educational – comfort shows you might call them. In other words, if you need a TV streaming site that is brimming with racy dramas or true crime documentaries, this is probably not going to be the best TV streaming service for you (then again, maybe it is; we all need a break from that sort of heaviness from time to time, right?).
Mobile and Desktop Experience
Discovery Plus offers one of the best TV streaming apps that I have ever seen. With mobile apps available on both iOS and Android devices, you don’t ever have to miss out on your favorite shows. I’m not alone in loving this app either – Discovery Plus has the highest-rated streaming app that I have ever seen on the Apple App Store, with an average user rating of 4.9 (out of 5). Discovery Plus is also available on just about every smart TV and gaming platform there is, too.
Pricing and Plans
Discovery Plus, as has become increasingly common as of late, offers a 2-tier subscription model. Either pay less and be subjected to ads or pay a little more for an ad-free experience. Subscriptions to Discovery Plus start at $4.99/month. Watch ad-free for only $6.99 per month, which makes this one of the most affordable streaming services on the market. Plus, regardless of which plan you choose, you can enjoy a free 7-day trial to try it out before paying.