Former senior Disney and Discovery streaming and tech execs Thursday announced a new venture called Struum backed by a multi-million dollar investment from former Disney CEO Michael Eisner through his Tornante Company.
Founders of the company, which aims to make it easier for people to discover new streaming programming, include Lauren DeVillier, former Head of Product for Discovery Ventures, Eugene Liew, former Vice President of Product and Technology at Disney+, Paul Pastor, former Executive Vice President of Strategy, Revenue and Operations at Discovery Networks and Thomas Wadsworth, former lead Advanced Product Development for Walt Disney Imagineering, is expected to launch in early spring.
“Our mission is simple: to create the easiest way for people to find more of the content they love by providing value through a single subscription. As the OTT space continues to expand, there is an incredible amount of amazing video content options for TV and Movie streaming fans, but it can be overwhelming and expensive for the average viewer to delve into these options outside the biggest players in the market. With our platform, we will help viewers uncover new content and platforms, but also provide all SVOD services with the opportunity to be more easily, and frequently discovered by fans,” said DeVillier, Struum’s CEO.
Nancy Tellem, former President of CBS Entertainment and Xbox Entertainment, Ben Pyne, former President of Disney/ABC Television Distribution, and Donald Hicks, who heads operations at Twitter have joined as advisors.
Tornante a notable backer of streaming shows, including Bojack HorseMan.
The announcement said Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube, HBO Max and Disney+ maintain a nearly 75% share of the streaming video distribution landscape, according to a 2020 Nielsen report. That said, there are more than 250 mass niche and specialty SVOD services vying to grow their audiences and raise the visibility of their premium offerings. Struum is laser focused on maximizing the tremendous opportunity of the mass niche and specialty premium SVOD market.
Struum has deals with nearly three dozen services — amassing more than 20,000 TV series, movies and shorts. More details of the venture, launch date, and its specific SVOD partner services will be unveiled in the coming months.
It’s building up a streaming technology platform, collaborating with partners led by Firstlight Media, which is also an investor in the new business. The platform is built on Microsoft Azure’s cloud-native, microservice architecture, best- in-class cloud security technology.
The platform is designed to help streaming services “optimize discoverability of their programs and services, while providing increasingly frustrated, underserved consumers with a simple way to find programming and services they are most likely to enjoy. With one subscription, consumers can use Struum’s unique credit-based system to discover and consume content from the wide range of its partner services,” the company said.
Michael Eisner’s Tornante Invests In Struum; New Company Led By Former Discovery, Disney Execs Helps Consumers Find OTT Content The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Deadline.