Original series have become key drivers for general entertainment SVOD services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon as well as a subset of genre-focused services that tailor their content for millennials.
They are also becoming a bigger piece of the programing puzzle for CuriosityStream, the OTT-VOD non-fiction service started up by Discovery Communications founder John Hendricks and launched in March 2015.
CuriosityStream is starting to offer a group of original series, including Deep Time History, a three-parter that takes a look at the deeper implications of different phases of human history, and DIGITS, which takes a deep dive on the history and future of the Internet.
While originals give CuriosityStream a way to differentiate, it also provides the OTT service with rights to content it can distribute on a global basis, Elizabeth Hendricks North, CuriosityStream’s CEO, said.
The service, which today offers more than 1,500 titles, remains heavily focused on licensed content, since it’s less expensive to obtain, but “having exclusive worldwide rights to content and being able to share that with our community is really important,” she said. “In the long term, they [original programs] are cost-effective."
Hendricks North said the service aims to invest in more “signature pieces” that distinguish CuriosityStream from other offerings that are trying to promote non-fiction programming. She estimates that CuriosityStream has about a dozen originals slated for next year.
More details about that strategy, as well as an update on subscriber trends at CuriosityStream will be featured in the Next TV section of the November 7 issue of Multichannel News.
In the meantime, here’s a trailer from the new original series, DIGITS: