Discovery Communications - Licensing.biz

Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications claims a position as the world?s number one non-fiction media company.
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Indeed, it reaches more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 170 countries.

Caleb Weinstein, SVP explains: “Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services.”

The company merged its licensing and programme sales businesses last year to create Discovery Enterprises International. Weinstein continues: “This streamlined access to Discovery’s international content allows us to take our brands and content to wider audiences around the world.

“The team has a renewed commitment to maximize third-party sales and franchise opportunities across Discovery’s world-class brands, content and properties.”

Discovery International Licensing, the licensing arm of Discovery Enterprises International, extends the Discovery experience to a worldwide audience through a range of entertaining and informative products and services.

The range includes programming-focused and brand-based licensed products, plus strategic third-party merchandising partnerships. The licensing arm also offers home video rights to programming broadcast on many of its channels, creating a library of over 5,000 hours of content.

Discovery Networks International distributes 19 television brands in 35 languages to 926 million cumulative subscribers in more than 170 countries.

Such a wide range of material helps the team at Discovery Enterprises to reach a varied audience with its licensing and programme sales and keep consumer interest throughout different ages, thus maintaining brand loyalty.

Weinstein explains: “We are very fortunate that our brands and programmes appeal to all ages and gender. We are therefore able to launch a broad spectrum of consumer products that target both the older and younger generations.

“We have a strong and loyal fan base and are able to cater to them through long-term brand programmes to entertainment-based franchises. We can capture the interest of consumers from a young age and build a loyal consumer base who will stay with us into later life.”

The nature of the company’s properties also gives a direct and effective means of marketing through the programme itself. Weinstein says: “We maintain that all our consumer products reflect the quality of our channel offerings. As a multi-media company, it is important that we maintain consistency across all our platforms and our consumers trust us to deliver this level of high standard in everything we do. We reflect this quality within our products, packaging and the partners we work with.”

Up to now, Discovery Enterprises has concentrated on the licensing of programme franchises, such as American Chopper, Miami Ink and LA Ink. The Ink line incorporates unique designs by the show’s artists, bringing tattoo art to life.

The majority of the licensing programme is fashion-focused and continues the current trend for tattoo art, making it relevant to today’s market. Primary categories include apparel, accessories, and stationery, while DVDs, calendars and publishing use imagery taken from the series.

More programming licences are also on the cards as Weinstein explains: “We are about to launch Deadliest Catch which is now in its fifth series and one of the highest-rating shows ever seen on Discovery Channel. Product categories include apparel and accessories, stationery, and gift.”

The firm also plans to launch a licensing programme for the German, free-to-air channel DMAX, which is targeted to young men, with relevant products for this demographic.

Weinstein concludes: “The plan for the next year is to work bigger and better in order to build out product offerings across the international markets. In the current climate, it is important to strengthen relationships with retailers, including those who don’t traditionally work with licensed product, and develop initiatives that incorporate retail space that will automatically carry our product, for example live shows and exhibitions.”

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