With an all-star media management team and deep-pocketed big name financial backers, the world’s newest video streaming service, Struum, announced that it is preparing to take on some of the biggest players in the business.
Calling itself a new breed within an established industry, Struum said when its subscription service launches this spring it will offer a simpler way for people to discover programming within an increasingly cluttered video on demand landscape, where Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube, HBO Max and Disney+ control nearly 75 percent of the market.
Despite that dominance, Struum CEO and former Discovery exec Lauren DeVillier said there are more than 250 niche and specialty VOD services just dying to get their content in front of increasingly frustrated, underserved consumers.
“Our mission is simple: to create the easiest way for people to find more of the content they love by providing value through a single subscription,” DeVillier said in a press release that touted the appeal of doing away with dozens of different passwords and free trials for a one-stop-shop.
“With our platform, we will help viewers uncover new content and platforms, but also provide all [streaming] VOD services with the opportunity to be more easily, and frequently discovered by fans,” DeVillier added.
Struum said it has already struck deals with nearly three dozen services and already amassed more than 20,000 TV series, movies and short films. Ultimately, users will purchase credits to access this portfolio of content and discover what they like, but where things take a different turn is when a user finds a service they really like and routinely visit.
“If Struum sees a customer is routinely accessing content from one service, it will suggest they may be better managed by that service,” a TechCrunch review said, noting that customers could then subscribe directly to that service from within the Struum app.
“In other words, Strumm acts as a customer acquisition engine for its partners, in addition to hosting their content,” the report added.
Serious Comp, Serious Backing
Competition within the media industry is even more intense than it is in most businesses, especially when it comes to licensing or finding successful programs, or as increasingly the case, producing original content.
Arguably few people are more aware of this market dynamic than former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, whose Tornante investment firm is the leading financial backer of Struum.
“With so much proliferation in the niche and specialty streaming landscape, there is a clear need for a resource that helps [consumers] seamlessly discover and consume content,” Eisner said, calling Struum unmatched and unlike anything else currently available.
But Then There’s Quibi …
To be sure, neat ideas and celebrity backing are no guarantee of success, as was made clear by the short-life and swift demise of Quibi, the $2 billion streaming service created by media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Interestingly, streaming set-top device maker Roku is reportedly looking to purchase Quibi’s content, in what is seen as a sign of its growing financial clout and strategic position within the media business.
“The world is moving to streaming and we look forward to continuing to help viewers, advertisers, content publishers, and TV manufacturers succeed in the Streaming Decade,” Roku CEO Anthony Wood said in a statement released earlier this week marking the company’s milestone of 50 million active users who consumed nearly 60 billion hours of content.
At the same time, new research from PYMNTS shows the digital shift and at-home lifestyle changes brought on by the pandemic have only added to this trend.
For example, streaming service giant Netflix added 10 million new subscribers in the second quarter of 2020, while 1-year-old Disney+ now has 60 million subscribers, and 68 percent of people surveyed said they were “not at all likely” to cancel their streaming service.