Discovery said it has passed 11 million direct-to-consumer streaming subscribers and will reach 12 million by the end of February, a gain of about 7 million subscribers since December. The parent of cable networks HGTV, TLC, Food Network and the Discovery Channel launched streaming service Discovery+ on January 4 in the U.S. and is rolling it out globally. Executives have not provided a specific target number of subscribers but have described the service as a valid complement to Netflix, which has surpassed 200 million paying customers around the world. Verizon has signed on as a key distribution partner, bundling one year free of Discovery+ with many customer plans. The streaming numbers came as the company reported flat revenue for the fourth quarter of just shy of $2.9 billion and diluted earnings of 76 cents a share. The revenue number exceeded Wall Street analysts' forecasts, while the earnings undershot expectations. The consensus forecast by analysts for streaming was 10.5 million subscribers. A 5% rise in domestic distribution revenue offset a dip in international distribution and ad revenue. Advertising was flat, with the company saying that higher pricing and monetization of content on new platforms like streaming were offset by "secular declines… Read full this story
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