CuriosityStream eyes continued growth as it goes public

(CuriosityStream)

CuriosityStream, a subscription video service specializing in factual content, is going public and looking to continue growing.

In August, the company announced a merger agreement with Software Acquisition Group, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which will lead to CuriosityStream common stock being listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol “CURI.”

CuriosityStream already has more than 13 million subscribers across its direct-to-consumer product (priced at $2.99/month or $19.99/year), its deals with traditional linear TV distributors outside the U.S. and its bundled offerings through MSOs like Altice USA, which gives the service to its Optimum and Suddenlink subscribers. Strategic marketing will play a big role in increasing that service's subscriber total.

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Devin Emery, chief product officer and executive vice president of content strategy at CuriosityStream, said his company is already widely circulating its marketing on different channels but admitted that competition like Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu have a lot more resources.

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“We’re not focused on how do we spend all of our money to get impressions. We’re focused on how do we find those communities that have the highest proclivity to sign up and watch CuriosityStream content,” Emery said. He explained that CuriosityStream works closely with YouTube creators to make educational videos. He said the YouTube community trusts its influencers and so his company invests in marketing there because it believes it can attract highly engaged subscribers for CuriosityStream.

When CuriosityStream runs TV ads, Emery said it focuses on older skewing viewers who lost what his company provides when networks like Discovery, History and A&E transitioned away from factual and more toward reality TV.

Emery said his company also intends to use the additional funding from going public for programming. He said CuriosityStream can acquire plenty of good content at relatively low rates and that the company also plans produce more originals like “The History of Home.”

“Then the key for us is making sure that interested people, of which we know there are a lot of them, know about us and are able to find us,” Emery said.

Beyond the programming and marketing initiatives, the product and tech stack are also priorities. Emery said his company is considering interactive and second-screen features that make CuriosityStream “even stickier.”

He said that the company already captures a lot of factual content viewership data that is uses of recommendation algorithms, marketing and other aspects of the business. CuriosityStream will focus on building out and improving its data infrastructure so it can better understand its audience and improve its service.

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