CuriosityStream Exceeds Revenue, Subscriber Targets

Downtown Silver Spring-based streaming service CuriosityStream saw a fifty percent increase in subscribers last year, according to reports.

Washington Business Journal reported last week the company now has 23 million global subscribers, its content is now available in 175 countries, and the company is planning to increase its subscription fees.

WBJ’s Drew Hansen wrote in his report that CuriosityStream executives did not detail the price increase and its timing. “We spent a great deal of time reviewing the current state of the streaming industry,” chief executive officer Clint Stinchcomb said on an earnings call last week. “While this further review increased our confidence in the uniqueness of our value proposition, it also underlines how significantly our pricing has diverged from the rest of the industry. As such we believe we are nearing the right time to better align the value we bring to our subscribers.”

CuriosityStream was launched in 2015 by Discovery Communications founder John Hendricks, who retired from Discovery in 2014 after leading the company for 32 years, according to WTOP. “It really is carrying the same original mission of our founder,” former chief operating officer Peter North said in a 2017 interview with the Source. “He’s always been looking for programming that will help enlighten everyone who watches it.”

The company licenses shows from outside filmmakers around the globe, but much of what is available is original programming, and the company operates on a different business model than typical television channels.

“Television is moving in a different direction, pursuing ad revenue through cable distribution,” North said in 2017. “We have a direct relationship with our subscribers. It’s totally ad-free.

“It’s not only great for our members who watch it, it’s great for filmmakers as well,” he continued. “They don’t have to produce films that have ad breaks carefully inserted every seven minutes, or have been expanded or contracted to fit a 60- or 30-minute television schedule.”

The company picks films individually rather than follow a common streaming service practice of bulk licensing a number of films from a single source.

“We want every film in our library to be a gem, so we pick them one at a time,” North said. “We try to be careful with those and make sure that we’re covering all of the subject areas that we promise, which are science, technology, civilization and human spirit, which is a category more about adventure and exploration.”

The company is headquartered at the Station Square office complex in downtown Silver Spring.

Graphic courtesy CuriosityStream

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