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Curiosity Stream reports lower revenue, narrows loss

Company looks to licensing content as part of revenue growth strategy.

Company looks to licensing content as part of revenue growth strategy.

Higher prices helped Curiosity Stream narrow its financial loss to just over $9.9 million during the second financial quarter of the year, and the streamer is pushing ahead along its path toward profitability, executives at the fact-based streaming service confirmed on Monday.

The loss figure was around 30 percent higher on a sequential basis, but more than 37 percent lower compared to the $15.92 million loss logged during the second quarter of 2022, according to a review of the company’s financials.

Helping narrow the company’s sequential loss was a 13.8 percent boost in revenue to $14.097 million, attributed to a price increase that impacted most new and some tenured direct-to-consumer subscribers, as well as new licensing opportunities overseas, executives affirmed.

“Our overarching mission is constant and has never changed,” Chris Stinchcomb, the CEO of Curiosity Stream, said in prepared remarks during a conference call with investors this week. “Simply put, our mission is to help satisfy people’s curiosity through enlightening premium factual films and programs and also through entertaining instructional talks from subject-matter experts. Our efforts to be the go-to content service for anyone who wants to know more about the world are anchored by our flagship subscription service, Curiosity Stream.”

As a direct-to-consumer streaming service, Curiosity Stream offers more than 30,000 titles of fact-based content for around $5 a month or $40 a year. A premium tier of service offers ultra high-definition (UHD/4K0) video resolution along with other perks for $10 a month or $70 a year. Some cable TV customers and subscribers of streaming cable-like alternatives are able to subscribe to Curiosity Stream through those platforms at discounted rates.

Around $7.27 million of Curiosity Stream’s $14.097 million in quarterly revenue was directly attributed to income earned from subscriptions, while the rest — about $6.205 million — came from various content licensing deals.

Fast Facts: Curiosity Stream Q2 2023 Earnings

  • Net Revenue: $14.097 million (-13.7%)
  • Direct-to-Subscriber: $8.31 million (-3.4%)
  • Content Licensing: $3.62 million (+81%)
  • Administrative Costs: $7.98 million (-1.5%)
  • Advertising & Marketing: $4.2 million (+35.5%)
  • Net Loss: $9.921 million (+27.1%)

(Source: Curiosity Stream financial earnings reports; percentages are on a sequential basis)

Executives say those licensing deals are expected to accelerate through the end of the year, in part because they feel ad-supported video on-demand services are “light” on documentaries and other fact-based programming that Curiosity Stream can provide.

“The top North American AVOD players have plenty of overall volume but are still light in some key categories where we believe we can help,” Stinchcomb said. “Outside the U.S., AVOD is more nascent so while the overall AVOD licensing opportunity is less than the U.S., we believe the demand for content is greater.”

Starting later this year, Curiosity Stream will explore more ways to get its content on AVOD platforms, though specific partners were not named. The company is also looking toward agreements with free, ad-supported streaming content providers, as well as entering into broadcast syndication agreements that will see some of its original series debut on traditional television.

“We want to be real thoughtful about this and create a revenue stream that is growing every quarter, and we think we can really build on and that we think will be really additive to what we’re doing even in the subscription space through enhancing the top of the funnel,” Stinchcomb said on Monday.

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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 10 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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