High-level exec shifts are underway at CuriosityStream, the subscription VOD service focused on documentaries and other fact-based content launched in March 2015 by Discovery Communications founder and industry legend John Hendricks.
Among the moves, Clint Stinchcomb has been appointed president and CEO of CuriosityStream, tasked with leading the service’s next phase of growth.
Former president and CEO Elizabeth Hendricks North, and daughter of CuriosityStream founder and executive chairman John Hendricks, will now serve as president of Curiosity Studios, a unit focus on original programming that has already developed series such as Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, David Attenborough’s Light On Earth, Deep Time History, DIGITS, Bronze Age, Prescription: Nutrition and Space Probes.
Stinchcomb, an industry vet late of Discovery and a founder and former CEO of PokerCentral, joined CuriosityStream in 2017 as chief distribution officer, and now reports to John Hendricks.
CuriosityStream has not announced subscriber numbers. In addition to selling the service as a standalone subscription offering, CuriosityStream has also signed on several distribution partners, including Dish Network, the National Cable Television Cooperative, Comcast, Cox Communications, Layer3 TV (now part of T-Mobile), Sling TV, Amazon Channels, and VRV, the Ellation-owned SVOD aggregation and bundling service.
With the service now launched with a solid slate of original and licensed programming, Stinchcomb said his top priority in the new role is to drive subscriber acquisition both in the U.S. and abroad.
“We’re playing a global game,” he said. “The appetite for factual programing is strong everywhere”
Though CuriosityStream’s subscriber base is currently weighted to the U.S., Stinchcomb hinted that it could shift more heavily to the international side in the coming months as the service refines that part of its sales and distribution strategy.
“I think you’ll see us play more offense in this next phase – more partnerships, more talent, aligned both on the screen and the business side,” Stinchcomb said, adding that what’s being done in the short term will build toward John Hendricks’s long-term vision for the service.
The intention, he added, is to get to a point where CuriosityStream is spending more than $100 million a year on programming and more than $100 million on marketing. “To get to that point, we’ll need tremendous subscription growth,” Stinchcomb explained.
He also stressed that CuriosityStream will continue to focus on the subscription model, but allowed that the service might also explore “light sponsorship” opportunities whereby a finite number of blue-chip sponsors help to introduce certain programming.
“We’ll look to diversify our revenue stack over time,” he said, but stressed that the commitment to viewers and partners is that CuriosityStream’s programs will continue to run commercial-free.
Stinchcomb’s exec team includes Tia Cudahy, COO; Peter North, chief digital advisor; Steve Burns, chief content officer; Colleen Slear, CFO; Adeline Cassin, chief marketing officer; Andre Silva, chief technology officer; and Carrie Hurlburt, chief creative officer.
“As CuriosityStream accelerates its growth through direct-to-consumer streaming and through our expanding group of domestic and international distributors, I can think of no one more experienced and talented to lead the organization as CEO than Clint Stinchcomb,” John Hendricks said in a statement. “Clint fully embraces the brand content mission, and with a vast skill set, he is uniquely positioned to build a top-tier next-generation media powerhouse in factual entertainment.”
“Elizabeth was exactly the right person to join her father in taking his vision of the next revolution in television and building it, from the ground up, into what the company is today,” Stinchcomb added in a statement. “Her deep, personal commitment to CuriosityStream’s core mission to ignite curiosity and wonder about the world and beyond shows in every decision made about the development and growth of the platform. Her passion for producing the blue-chip programming that sets CuriosityStream apart is going to propel Curiosity Studios into its next phase of content creation.”