Lockdown drives record audiences for Discovery UK
June 8, 2020
Discovery UK has reported that its share of adult audiences has grown by 16 per cent this year, from 4.2 per cent to 4.8 per cent, with its SOCI (share of commercial impacts) up by 15 per cent this year, from 7.1 per cent to 8.1 per cent. Growth was driven by strong performances across its portfolio of factual, lifestyle and entertainment channels, with Quest becoming the number one non-PSB owned channel for men and Food Network, HGTV, Discovery Channel, ID, Really and DMAX all hitting double digit growth in share of adults.
Quest has become the number one non-PSB owned channel for men this year, growing its share of male audiences by 29 per cent, and its share of 16-34s by 86 per cent. Its mix of antiques/collectible, motoring and extreme jobs content has attracted more viewers than ever before during lockdown. Core franchise Salvage Hunters continued to reach new heights with its top rating episode ever in April, while Quest original Born Mucky: Life on The Farm was up 29 per cent on slot average for its premiere run.
Food Network has seen a significant increase in viewing this year with viewers seeking out programmes to help them find inspiration in the kitchen. The channel has grown its share of adults by 51 per cent this year and its share of 16-34s by 52 per cent across the same time period. Meanwhile traffic to its recently refreshed website has tripled driven by recipe searches.
Since its rebrand from Home to HGTV on January 21st, HGTV has grown its share of adults by 33 per cent (vs. the 12 wks prior) and its share of 16-34s by 21 per cent across the same time period. The networks’ investment in original content for the channel has fuelled growth, with Sarah Beeny Renovate Don’t Relocate s2 becoming the biggest commission on HGTV or Home in over a decade.
Discovery Channel remains the number one pay factual channel for adults. This year it has grown its share of adults by 13 per cent and its share of 16-34s by 32 per cent. Discovery Channel UK original Richard Hammond’s Big became the best performing new series launch in over two years. While the Gold Rush franchise continued to deliver record ratings in its tenth series and spin off series’ Gold Rush: Parkers Trail s3 and Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine s2 were their best yet.
Across the rest of the portfolio, ID, Really and DMAX all hit double digit growth for share of adults and 16-34s, while Quest Red and TLC grew their share of 16-34s by 35 per cent and 37 per cent respectively.
As well as linear viewing, Discovery UK’s free live streaming and catch-up service dplay has seen views more than double in the first five months of the year, with unique visitors up by over 100 per cent. Record levels of viewing were bolstered by the launch of HGTV original Sarah Beeny Renovate Don’t Relocate s2, as well as Quest original Born Mucky: Life on the Farm, and key franchises Salvage Hunters, Ghost Adventures and My 600lb Life.
James Gibbons, EVP and GM, Discovery Networks UK, Ireland, ANZ said: “During this unprecedented time viewers have flocked to our channels for our entertaining real-life content, from food and home, to restoration and adventure. Our portfolio has had double digit growth for audience share and SOCI, with increases in 16-34 viewership a particularly encouraging sign that our channels are capturing the imaginations of younger audiences. While dplay, our burgeoning ad-funded streaming service, continues to go from strength to strength driven by our popular British and American franchises. This year, viewers across linear and digital can look forward to more new content, products and services to keep them entertained.”