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 Struum, 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 VP of Product and Technology at Disney+, Paul Pastor, former Executive VP of Strategy, Revenue and Operations at Discovery Networks and Thomas Wadsworth, former lead Advanced Product Development for Walt Disney Imagineering.
It is expected to launch in early spring with a focus on maximizing opportunity of the mass niche and specialty premium SVOD market.
“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 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 is a notable backer of streaming shows, including Bojack HorseMan for Netflix.
While Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube, HBO Max and Disney+ have a nearly 75% share of the streaming video distribution landscape according to Nielsen, the announcement noted, there are more than 250 mass niche and specialty SVOD services vying to grow their visibility and audiences. Struum has deals with nearly three dozen services with 20,000 TV series, movies and shorts. Specific SVOD partners and other details will be unveiled in the coming months.
Strum has partnered with Firstlight Media, also an investor in the business, to build up a streaming technology platform. It’s built on Microsoft Azure’s cloud-native microservice architecture.
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