Discovery Tells Ad Buyers Its Product Is More Than Its Programming

Discovery Communications wants to prove out the value of its digital properties – both the ones they own and the ones where they’ve invested.

“How do we create [intellectual property] on every device, not just linear?” said Discovery CEO and president David Zaslav during the media company’s Tuesday upfront. “As a cable channel, it’s all about how you find your audience and continue to nurture them.”

One of Discovery’s most important digital investments is the 40%, $100-million stake it has in digital holding group Group Nine Media.

Group Nine properties, which includes Thrillist Media, NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker, command about 4 million monthly video views, 75% of which stem from 18-to-34-year-olds.

“It wasn’t long ago that as a TV network, your product was your programming, but agencies and clients are looking for more,” said Ben Price, president of advertising sales for Discovery Communications. “We can now push that content through linear, digital and social through channels like Snapchat. … No team sells in a silo.” 

Discovery is also investing in its own apps, including a TLC app on Amazon devices for “Say Yes To The Dress.”

“We see this as an opportunity to have a direct economic relationship with the Amazon subscriber,” Price added. “We need to create currency with our IP on every platform.”

Discovery launched a number of network apps in August and claims that visitor sessions, on average, reach about 65 minutes per session, while achieving 20% growth in streams.

Because ads are unskippable and Discovery reaches a captive audience in-app, its mobile and digital extensions are an incremental selling point to agencies and advertisers.

“Media agencies are under more pressure than ever to prove results for clients and want to know if a product can help them find multiple consumers on many platforms,” said Paul Guyardo, chief commercial officer for Discovery. “We’ve included post-campaign analytics with Moat, including viewability tracking, because clients asked for it.”

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