Discovery Channel Founder to Launch Subscription VOD Service

Following his success at Discovery Channel, founder John Hendricks is ready to move forward with another media venture, only this time one built for online streaming rather than pay TV. Hendricks is scheduled to launch CuriosityStream in March, a nonfiction subscription service that offers nature, history, science and technology content on demand. As with most subscription services, CuriosityStream hopes to tap into the non pay TV market first before pushing to add from pay TV households.

videostream“With the success of Netflix, I just think the timing is right,” said Hendricks. “There’s just too much consumer demand for people to watch what they want to watch” and when they want to watch.

The new VOD service would add to the options available for those looking to cut the cord, options that will soon include offerings from CBS, HBO, Sony, Dish and others.

“Hendricks, who founded Discovery in 1982, compared this moment in streaming video to the early days of cable, when first movers like HBO and ESPN carved out advantages in movies, sports and other categories,” notes The Wall Street Journal. “He says he hopes to be the dominant player in the nonfiction category of streaming. He imagines that his brand of programming will be appealing to about 25 percent of the television market.”

CuriosityStream is reportedly set to launch with 800 titles, many of which will be short-form. While Hendricks intends to bring original content to his streaming service, most of the programming will come from acquisitions. Because nonfiction content is generally less expensive to produce, CuriosityStream plans to produce content in the tens of millions range.

Already set for production is David Conover’s “Big Picture Earth” documentary series that will be available in 4K. CuriosityStream will provide varying resolution, which will reflect in the subscription costs that range from $2.99 to $9.99 per month.