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Published in Nikkei Sangyo Business Journal, June 5th, 2015CuriosityStream_HomePg


In the past few years, on-demand streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, have radically changed the way Americans watch movies and television programs. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of people who subscribe to these services, which offer affordability, flexibility, and convenience. Joining this rapidly growing industry is Curiosity Stream, a subscription video on-demand service, which was launched on March 18 this year. It specializes in streaming documentary programs, attracting viewers who are attuned to informational and educational content. 

Because media services that generate income through advertisement often feature highly entertaining content, they provide fewer documentary programs, such as those about science or nature. Yet, according to a study conducted by Curiosity Stream, approximately 25% of TV viewers are interested in non-fictional content, with documentaries being their main interest.   

To meet those needs, Curiosity Stream was created by John Hendricks, the founder and former president of the Discovery Channel. After retiring from the world’s largest documentary channel, which he had started thirty years ago, Mr. Hendricks came up with the idea of creating a company that could essentially become the online Discovery Channel./

Curiosity Stream offers over 1000 titles, largely documentary programs on science, history, and technology. For now, most of these titles have been licensed from other content providers, such as BBC and NHK, but the company is also in the process of producing its original short 7-10 minute programs called “Curiosity World.”  CuriosityStream_ProductWall

Subscription starts at $2.99 a month for standard resolution, $5.99 for high-definition content, and $9.99 for 4K video. Since viewers can watch as many programs as they want for a flat fee, it is a great deal for documentary fans, who range from young people to stay-at-home mothers keen on educating their children. 

When asked about the difference between CuriosityStream and other streaming services, the company’s president, Elizabeth Hendricks North, has said: “Because our company specializes in documentaries and factual entertainment programs, we can insert detailed tags for all the contents, and allow viewers to perform a detailed search on them.” The company plans to expand its business outside the U.S. this year, starting mainly with other English-speaking countries.