First-quarter revenues at Discovery, Inc. rose by 4 percent to $2.8 billion, with distribution revenue gains in the U.S. and improved ad revenues internationally.
The company said it has topped 15 million paying direct-to-consumer subs since the introduction of discovery+ in January of this year.
“The global rollout of discovery+ is off to a fantastic start by any measure,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO. “Key metrics, including subscriber additions, customer engagement, and retention, are exceeding our expectations and demonstrating sustained momentum into the second quarter. We now have 15 million total paying direct-to-consumer subscribers across our global portfolio driven primarily by discovery+, having crossed 13 million total paying direct-to-consumer subscribers at the end of March. Our strong direct-to-consumer performance underscores the outstanding value and appeal of our content, brands and personalities to both consumers and distribution partners alike. We continue to expand the reach of discovery+ with recent launches on Comcast Xfinity and Amazon Prime Video Channels. At the same time, we continue to extend our overall engagement with viewers across screens, anchored by another quarter as the most-watched pay-TV portfolio in the U.S. and our seventh consecutive quarter of international share growth.”
U.S. revenues hit $1.8 billion, a 3 percent increase, with ad revenues slipping 4 percent to $980 million while distribution revenues gained 12 percent to $796 million, primarily driven by the launch of discovery+ and increases in contractual affiliate rates, partially offset by a decline in linear subscribers.
International revenues were up 7 percent to $987 million. Ad revenues gained 16 percent to $435 million. Distribution revenues were $514 million, flat compared with less year and down by 2 percent excluding foreign currency fluctuations as lower contractual affiliate rates were partially offset by higher next-generation revenues due to discovery+ subscriber growth.