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‘Rajinikanth is an absolute trooper’: Discovery Plus launches in India, headlined by ‘Into The Wild with Bear Grylls’

‘Into the Wild with Bear Grylls and Rajinikanth’ will be the Discovery Plus streaming app’s first big offering to Indian audiences

‘Into the Wild with Bear Grylls and Rajinikanth’ will be the Discovery Plus streaming app’s first big offering to Indian audiences  

The infotainment brand enters the OTT streaming space with their new app, curated for the Indian market, with a host of specials

Joining the OTT platform race in the country is now infotainment giant Discovery with the launch of its streaming app Discovery Plus, that will lock horns with the other binge-watching mediums that already exist in India today. The difference? Everything is unscripted.

“We come from a background of providing 25 years of factual entertainment, and our content is hugely valued by our loyal audience. In the recent past, we have also focused on localisation, and now our programs are present in several regional languages as well. While the television network continues to be in demand, why enter the OTT space now? We realised that over 40-odd streaming websites existed, but they all provided only scripted entertainment. At the most, some had a few shows that cater to the unscripted segment, but there was no dedicated platform,” explains Megha Tata, Managing Director – South Asia, Discovery.

The Discovery Plus app has been formulated to allow easy discoverability of content

The Discovery Plus app has been formulated to allow easy discoverability of content  

The app launched earlier this week with an introductory offer of INR 299 per year, and has been curated specifically for India. Offerings include marquee programs from Discovery’s massive library of content such as Bear Grylls (Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Man vs Wild), Josh Gates (Expedition Unknown); kid-friendly shows like Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, Crikey! It’s The Irwins, Kids Baking Championship; blue-chip documentaries and specials like Racing Extinction, First In Human, India Emerges: A Visual History, and all-time favorites like Body Hack, Say Yes to the Dress, American Chopper, Deadliest Catch and more.

“Our content is replenished every year, and the aim is for it to reach the tier 1 and tier 2 cities as well, where consumption on OTT platforms are increasing too,” adds Megha.

Megha Tata

Megha Tata  

The Discovery Plus app is instantly pleasing to the eye, and the easy-to-use and accessibility features indicate the level of design and insight that has gone into its making. Says Issac John, Business Head – Digital (South Asia), Discovery, “The app has been formulated to allow discoverability of content, as nobody has the time to go wade through hours of shows. We have features such as ‘#MindBlown’, which is a curated destination featuring learning focused collections of kids-friendly science and wildlife content, and ‘Shorts’ that will feature hundreds of free short-form videos that will satisfy the emerging Indian mobile user looking for infotainment on the go.”

    The offerings are spread across 40-plus genres, including Science, Adventure, Food and Lifestyle, in 8 languages including Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali and Marathi. The content will be curated from brands such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, BBC, TLC, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, ID, Food Network, HGTV, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Motortrend and VICE.

    Issac John

    Issac John  

    Issac also says, “We put in about two months of user research, another two-and-half-months to design the architecture, and then another eight solid months of coding before we finalised the app. We also didn’t want the price point to be a barrier for the Indian user, and came up with a figure that is really economical and among the cheapest when we compare it to other platforms.”

    The line-up for Discovery Plus’ premium content across all key genres includes their much-anticipated Into the Wild with Rajnikanth, Coronavirus: The Silent Killer, Mythbusters, Wild Karnataka and Project Runway among others.

    In fact, Rajinikanth’s TV debut show will be launched first on Discovery Plus at 6:00 am on March 23 much before the television premiere which is at 8:00 pm. Discovery Plus will also have exclusive videos including Behind The Scenes for the Superstar’s fans.

     

    “After the unprecedented response to PM Narendra Modi’s episode with Bear Grylls, we were looking for other big names to participate in this adventure. We had a lot of actors who were interested and approached us, in fact. But then we reached out to Kavithalaya for the opportunity to collaborate with Rajinikanth sir for an episode with Bear Grylls, and once they agreed, it was a no brainer,” smiles Megha.

    “Rajinikanth sir agreed to the proposal immediately, and he was as excited as us to make his television debut after 43 years in the industry. What an absolute trooper he was! The episode will speak volumes about his commitment to his craft of entertaining people, and it truly will feature him in a never-before-seen avatar,” they sign off.

    Google Pay’s collaboration with Discovery Plus

    Discovery Plus is also launching with one-of-a-kind rewards with mobile payments app, Google Pay.  Google Pay users who tune-in to the premiere of Into the Wild with Bear Grylls featuring Rajinikanth on March 23 at 8:00 PM on Discovery, can match  the audio for the first four minutes of the show or the promos leading up to the show with Google Pay’s ‘On-Air’ feature, and get a reward upto 100% off on Discovery Plus annual  subscription price.

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    Printable version | May 26, 2020 4:33:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/rajinikanth-is-an-absolute-trooper-discovery-plus-launches-in-india-headlined-by-into-the-wild-with-bear-grylls/article31099169.ece

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