Curiosity Stream parent invests in creator-focused streamer Nebula

The investment values Nebula at more than $50 million, Curiosity said.
(Logo courtesy Nebula/Standard, Graphic designed by The Desk)

Curiosity, the general entertainment and knowledge media company behind the popular streaming service Curiosity Stream, announced a new investment and strategic partner with creator-focused streaming service Nebula.

The financial investment values Nebula in excess of $50 million, company officials said in a press release issued on Thursday.

“We have seen tremendous growth of both Curiosity Stream and Nebula through our existing partnership, and I’m confident this investment will supercharge development in what are arguably the most dynamic and creative parts of media today, streaming and the creator economy,” Devin Emery, an executive in charge of product strategy at Curiosity, said in a statement.

Nebula is a subscription-based streaming service that has lured more than 140 original content creators to its platform, with many of those creators having first attracted a sizable audience on Google-owned free streamer YouTube. Creators who produce original programs for Nebula include popular technology reviewer Marques Brownlee and the fringe trivia show “Half as Interesting.”

Unlike Google, which runs ads against videos unless a viewer is willing to pay $12 a month to remove them, Nebula is mostly advertisement free, with content creators owning a portion of the platform and sharing in the revenue generated from the $5 a month or $50 a year subscription fee charged to streamers.

For more than a year, some content creators on Nebula have offered their YouTube audience free access to Nebula when they sign up for Curiosity Stream using a special affiliate link. That link also gives customers a discount on Curiosity Stream, with their complementary access to Nebula continuing as long as they remain a Curiosity Stream subscriber.

On Thursday, Curiosity executives said the bundling initiative has been a success. Though it isn’t clear how many Curiosity Stream customers also get access to Nebula, the companies say Curiosity Stream on its own has more than 20 million paying subscribers in the 175 countries where the service is offered, while Nebula has over 350,000 subscribers with a retention rate in excess of 80 percent.

“Nebula has become the largest creator-owned and operated streaming platform in the world in just two years, and their mission perfectly aligns with our own: Offering quality entertainment for people who want to know more,” Clint Stinchcomb, the president and chief executive of Curiosity, said. “There has never been a more exciting time to be a creator, and what Dave and his team have built in such a short time is especially forward-looking as creators want to take control of their businesses and audience relationships.”

Curiosity said Nebula will use their financial investment and strategic partnership to build out new features, grow their marketing campaigns and “launch new business lines for creators.”

Nebula will continue to be run by Dave Wiskus, the chief executive of the self-proclaimed “creator management company” Standard, which owns a 50 percent stake in the service.

Correction: An earlier version misreported the number of paying subscribers to Nebula. It is 350,000, not 375,000.

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