Discovery Channel founder and former Discovery Communications chairman John Hendricks (pictured) is launching CuriosityStream, an on-demand, ad-free subscription-based service offering factual content focusing on science, technology, civilization and the human spirit.
Developed by Hendricks’ indie content venture Curiosity Project, the SVOD platform will launch with both original and purchased factual content programming on March 18.
Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, CuriosityStream will deliver different price points for consumers: US$2.99 monthly for standard resolution streaming, US$3.99 monthly for 720p HD resolution streaming, US$5.99 monthly for 1080p HD resolution streaming, and US$9.99 per month for 4K (Ultra HD) resolution streaming.
CuriosityStream also promises that 4K titles will be available at launch, as will an 800-title library that will feature original commissions, documentary shows, and series from producers such as the BBC, NHK, ZED, Terra Noa and Flame Distribution.
Sample titles to be offered will include Flame Distribution’s Age of Robots, ZED’s Life 2000 Meters Under The Sea, Terra Noa’s The Twilight of Civilizations and BBC Worldwide’s Earth: The Power of the Planet.
The original CuriosityStream commissions include Big Picture Earth, a 20-part 4K series from filmmaker David Conover (Sunrise Earth ) that will include footage of Stonehenge, Icelandic Caves and Venetian canals; and Deep Time History, a multi-episode production that will trace people and historic events while revealing the geologic and geographic underpinnings of the events.
A third original commission, Digits, will offer a comprehensive history of computers and the Internet, as well as considering the possibilities of quantum computing, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Deep Time History and Digits will be exclusive to North American consumers on CuriosityStream.
Expert interview segments and original shortform programming will also be available to consumers, including two interview series hosted by photographer Norman Seeff and by Deepak Chopra respectively, and the shortform series A Curious World – exploring subjects such as ancient engineering feats to human sleep cycles – and Destination Pluto, providing coverage of the New Horizon mission set to pass the planet during summer 2015.
Heading the CuriosityStream programming team is Emmy winning documentary producer Steve Burns – formerly the exec VP for global content at National Geographic Channels worldwide, while ex ABC news-producer Richard Sergay serves as a senior consultant for Curiosity Project’s partnerships and acquisitions, as well as host for Curiosity Studios.
“CuriosityStream is the world’s first ad-free, SVOD service that addresses our lifelong quest to learn, explore, and understand,” said Hendricks in a statement. “For consumers, our aim is to provide the first and best on-demand video streaming destination that aggregates and curates the world’s best factual content.”
Elizabeth Hendricks North, president of Curiosity Project, added: “We believe CuriosityStream will be a deeply empowering service for the ‘incurably curious’ viewers like us across the globe.”
Free previews are available at CuriosityStream.com.