Discovery CEO David Zaslav explains why he built his company's new streaming video service to complement Netflix, Disney+

Key Points
  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav explains the strategy behind Discovery+, his company's new streaming video service.
  • Discovery+ will launch on Jan. 4, 2021.
  • Zaslav told CNBC the next 12 to 24 months will determine the winners and losers in streaming. He expects the losers to consolidate.

A View from the Top is a Q&A series exclusively available on CNBC Pro. Alex Sherman will regularly speak with a business leader about decision-making, investing and industry news.

It's David Zaslav's moment to shine. The Discovery Communications CEO officially launched Discovery+ last week, his company's flagship streaming service. For $4.99 per month ($6.99 without ads), consumers will get 55,000 episodes from more than 2,500 shows that have historically appeared on networks including HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and TLC. The subscription service also includes a slate of 50 new original series. Similar to Disney+'s launch, Verizon will give 12 months of the ad-free Discovery+ plan away for free to many of its wireless subscribers.

During a Dec. 2 remote presentation of the service, Zaslav said Discovery+ was the most "clear and distinct" subscription streaming product, given its complete focus on unscripted series.

He explained why the next 12 to 24 months will isolate the winners from the losers in the so-called "streaming wars," and told CNBC why he didn't give subscriber goals for how many people he expected to subscribe to Discovery+.

Here's the full Q&A: