Posts tagged with "Discovery"

A new service seeks to streamline your streaming

January 8, 2021

As the streaming landscape keeps getting more crowded, a new entrant is looking to help declutter it, The Wall Street Journal reports

Struum—a Los Angeles-based streaming service co-founded by former Discovery and Walt Disney  executives—won’t offer its own slate of original programming when it launches this spring. Instead, it will aim to give customers à-la-carte access to all content from hundreds of niche streaming services, offering users a way to stream individual shows and movies from various platforms without having to subscribe to each plan separately.

Co-founder Paul Pastor told the Journal that Struum would give more visibility to lesser-known services—which he said have “fantastic content” but have trouble “being part of someone’s daily habit,” because there is only so much money households will spend on streaming services every month.

The coronavirus pandemic has been a boon for major streaming services, including Netflix., Disney’s Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, whose subscriber base soared last year in the midst of growing demand for content from shut-in customers. Some 95% of U.S. households subscribe to at least one of these three services, according to Parks Associates, a research firm.

Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, whose Tornante is Struum’s main financial backer, told The Wall Street Journal that the decision to invest was a no-brainer.

“When I heard about this idea of an aggregation platform that would pick up smaller streaming services that don’t have brand awareness particularly like Netflix does have, I thought this was a great idea,” he said.

Struum declined to name any of the services whose content would be available on its platform at launch, but said it has already struck deals with nearly three dozen services—accounting for more than 20,000 TV series, movies, and shorts.

Subscribers will get monthly credits that can be used toward watching shows and movies, the company said. Its co-founders—who also include Lauren DeVillier, formerly of Discovery, and Eugene Liew and Thomas Wadsworth, formerly of Disney—said there would be multiple packages to choose from. A likely one, they said, would cost subscribers $9.99 a month for 100 credits, which should allow them to watch about one program a day.

The co-founders said Struum would sort out the economics—for example, how many credits should a hit show or movie be worth compared with more run-of-the-mill programming—on a case-by-case basis with each streaming partner, depending on demand. The company will share subscription revenue with the streaming services.

Research contact: @WSJ

The Dodo, Group Nine’s animal brand, is expanding into pet insurance

October 22, 2020

The Dodo, the animal-centric video brand of Group Nine Media, has built an audience of more than 90 million followers across social media platforms. Now it is getting into pet insurance, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Group Nine—itself, backed by Discoveryhas taken a minority stake in Petplan, a pet insurer headquartered in New York that was acquired by private-equity firm Warburg Pincus last year. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Group Nine’s chief executive, Ben Lerer, will join Petplan’s board of directors.

The deal includes an equity stake, as well as a brand-licensing and marketing-services arrangement through which Group Nine and The Dodo will be paid to promote Petplan’s offerings.

The pet insurer will be renamed “Fetch by The Dodo” in May 2021.

The acquisition is the latest effort by Group Nine, which was valued at about $1 billion last year, to create new revenue streams at a time when many digital media companies, big and small, are trying to diversify beyond advertising, the Journal notes.

“For digital media, I think we all have the challenge of needing to be good at multiple things at once,” said Lerer. “My belief is that the best way to reinforce multiple business lines is to build great brands, because a great brand can be leveraged in a bunch of different ways.”

In buying into Petplan, Group Nine and The Dodo won’t be starting from scratch, he said. Petplan has more than 250,000 paying subscribers, the companies said. People familiar with the business said that number includes around 50,000 net new members since May 2019.

Research contact: @WSJ