Discovery Communications has been late to the TV Everywhere party, but the company is making up for lost time in a big way today: It has rolled up nine of its networks into a single app for authenticated cable subscribers.
Discovery Go, available now, offers users live and on-demand access to Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, Velocity, Destination America, American Heroes Channel and Discovery Life.
Missing from the lineup: OWN, Discovery Family, Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia. Discovery said OWN is excluded as that network is a joint venture between Discovery and Oprah Winfrey's Harpo, Inc., but the other three networks could be added in the future.
The service allows users to browse by network, across 14 genres (including pets, survival, weddings, investigations and history) and curated playlists.
"Pursuing our TV Everywhere agenda is a big initiative for Discovery," as the company tries to keep its cable subscribers happy, said Paul Guyardo, chief commercial officer, Discovery Communications.
The decision to combine all those networks into a single app allows users to save spaces on their tablets and mobile devices. "There's only a certain amount of real estate on the phone, so you can only expect people to download so many apps," said Guyardo. But more importantly, it gives Discovery a new way to share content with audiences who might not otherwise be aware of it.
Having one app will also create greater exposure for some of Discovery's smaller networks.
"We have a great network called Velocity, which is for car enthusiasts, and it might be difficult to stand up a standalone app for Velocity, but you can take all of that great Velocity content and you can stick it into the aggregated app," Guyardo argued. "So a Discovery viewer or an Animal Planet viewer or TLC viewer can now be exposed to Velocity content. Same with our great network ID [Investigation Discovery], which has become the No. 1 network for women in September. By putting that together with Discovery and Animal Planet, those shows are going to get more exposure."
The app is available to authenticated subscribers of cable companies including Cablevision, Time Warner Cable and Cox. But AT&T, Verizon FiOS, DirecTV and Dish subscribers will have to wait until Discovery renegotiates its deals with those companies. While the app isn't yet available to Comcast subscribers, Discovery says those users can access TV Everywhere content through Comcast's Xfinity app.
Discovery Go's launch is timed to tomorrow's premiere of Discovery's new documentary Racing Extinction, which looks at how the planet is on the verge of losing thousands of species.