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Curiosity Stream cuts net loss by 51 percent

The company cut expenses, raised prices and reached new distribution deals during the first three months of the year.

The company cut expenses, raised prices and reached new distribution deals during the first three months of the year.

A combination of new distribution partnerships, higher subscription prices and cost-cutting measures helped knowledge-based service Curiosity Stream cut its net loss during the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 as the company continues to chart a course toward profitability.

This week, Curiosity Stream said it brought in $12.39 million in revenue during the first three months of the year, down from $17.6 million earned during Q1 2022. The company logged a net loss of $7.8 million, which was around 51 percent less than the $15.9 million loss it took during the first three months of 2022.


Fast Facts

Revenue

  • Net Revenue: $12.39 million (-29.7%)
  • Direct-to-Subscriber: $8.6 million (+3)
  • Content Licensing: $2 million (-52.4%)
  • Gross Profit: $3.4 million (-41.3%)

Expenses

Shareholder earnings were reported at -$0.15, compared to -$0.30 during Q1 2022.

  • Cost of Revenue: $9 million (-24.3%)
  • Administrative: $8.1 million (-22.9%)
  • Advertising & Marketing: $3.1 million (-79%)
  • Total Operating: $20.2 million (-45.6%)
  • Net Loss: $7.8 million (-51.2%)

On a conference call with investors Thursday, Curiosity Stream executives said new distribution partners in overseas markets were helping to put the streaming service’s catalog of fact-based science, nature, history and general knowledge content in the reach of millions of potential customers. Those new distribution partners include Amazon Prime Video Channel in India, Fetch TV in Australia and several pay television platforms in Europe.

“These new relationships incorporate Curiosity subscription services and channels and will help deliver our premium non-fiction films and programs to several million new paying subscribers,” Clint Stinchcomb, Curiosity Stream’s CEO, said during the call.

Those partnerships helped Curiosity Stream earn around $8.6 million from its direct-to-consumer streaming product. The company did not release fresh data on the number of customer relationships it has; last year, Curiosity Stream said it had around 23 million subscribers.

Another boost to Curiosity Stream’s bottom line came from a decision to increase prices on domestic customers in March, with Curiosity Stream priced at $5 a month or $40 a year. The company also launched a subscription bundle that gives customers access to several other services, including Tastemade, Nebula and One Day University, priced at $10 a month or $70 a year.

On Thursday, executives said the result of the price increase was “in line with our expectations,” but didn’t say if it resulted in a dip in subscribers. A similar price increase is being tested among a small group of current customers, and could roll out more broadly over time.

Similar price increases at other services like Disney Plus and Netflix have resulted in a slight decrease in subscriber accounts. But executives at Curiosity Stream say their combination of fact-based programming and the recently-launched subscription bundle give the service a unique value proposition in the streaming landscape, one that makes the company more resilient.

“The breadth and depth of content that we have in this category is really unrivaled,” Peter Westley, the chief financial officer at Curiosity Stream, said on Thursday. “We also have the ability, not only to offer our service and our selection of services, but also the ability to bundle a variety of other complementary services in our smart bundle, which we think is a really differentiated offering in the marketplace as well.”

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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