The founder of CuriosityStream thinks he’s found the balance between SVOD price and profits. He says he can build a $10B business from subscribers paying $20 a year. YouTube announces a new initiative to remove hate speech. Will it be any more effective than the changes the video platform has already made?
Chapter 1: How SVOD can be cheap and profitable (2:00)
In an interview with CTAM, the founder of Discovery Channel and CuriosityStream John Hendricks talked about his strategy for balancing SVOD price and profits. He thinks he’s found away where viewer, company, and advertisers win. I present what he had to say and discuss the merits of his analysis. Part of his argument is based on CuriosityStream being able to replicate Discover Channel’s success in the pay TV bundle.
Chapter 2: The validity of top-down analysis (7:45)
Will is a little skeptical of Mr. Hendricks analysis. He thinks there is a big difference between getting Discovery Channel in a bundle and paying for CuriosityStream a la carte. However, there are signs that many consumers will want a Discovery-like service in their entertainment bundle.
Chapter 3: The value of originals, distribution, and low price (12:00)
CuriosityStream has been very careful to ensure it has global rights to the originals it commissions. It is essential to have these so that the company can address big markets like China and India. It is also important to have a solid distribution strategy, and CuriosityStream is making sure it is available everywhere a potential customer may be. The $2.99-a-month price is low enough that many people will subscribe to have the right to watch the shows, even if they don’t. \
Chapter 4: How advertising fits in (16:30)
CuriosityStream is taking a different approach to advertising to minimize the impact on the viewer experience while also providing a significant opportunity for brands.
Chapter 5: YouTube’s new policy banning hate speech (18:00)
YouTube announced a new policy that will remove “videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion.” We discuss if this new policy will be useful, and if YouTube can ever reach a point where its platform is “safe.” Neither Will nor I can see a way that YouTube can effectively do this without killing the goose that laid the golden egg.