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New App Looks to Consolidate Niche Streaming Services into One Simple Platform

Jeff Kotuby

Niche streaming services often have an uphill battle when it comes to gaining subscribers as more and more consumers sign up for additional streaming services. Although these lesser-known services have their fans, interested parties might not want to shell out an additional cost to access niche content when they can get more bang for their buck with Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, especially are streaming fans are likely to start dropping services now that the pandemic is winding down. That’s where Struum comes to the rescue.

Struum, or “stream” in Dutch, wants to make life easier for niche streaming services and their fans by offering access to a bunch of smaller streaming services for one flat rate. For a $4.99 monthly fee, subscribers will have access to more than 50 smaller streaming services, including BBC Select, Tribeca, Indieflix, Filmbox, and others, through a “credits system” that will allow them to pick and choose the movies and shows they want to access. Users will start with 100 credits, and will be able to purchase TV show episodes (for about 3-4 credits per episode) or feature films (5-6 credits) with the credits. Of course, additional credits can be purchased through the app should the user run out of their monthly allotment.

“For the consumer, it’s so hard to find things,” said chief executive Lauren DeVillier in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. DeVillier is a former Discovery Ventures and Disney/ABC TV Group executive who co-founded the company with Paul Pastor, Eugene Liew and Thomas Wadsworth. “Everything’s so disaggregated. We’re sort of re-bundling for consumers. Our goal is to say, ‘You really love cooking? Here are 10 different services that are going to conquer it for you.’”

These niche services will split the revenue with Struum, but users who happen to spend many of their credits on a certain platform will be recommended to sign up for the platform. For example, if a user spends lots of Revolt TV, they’ll receive a popup suggesting they sign up for Revolt TV’s standalone service. By using Struum as a stepping stone, these smaller platforms could potentially see a boost in subscribers as more users discover their content.

What users won’t see, though, are the larger names — at least for now. However, a familiar face in broadcasting seems to think once one big-name signs up, others will see the value in their service. “If you get big enough, a company like ViacomCBS would find a way to introduce consumers to their really good product through Struum,” Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO, said to the LA Times. “I think they will find over time that it’s just another avenue to bring people to their portal.” Struum is backed by Eisner’s investment firm Tornante Company.

Another big name in entertainment has high hopes for Struum, as Jeff Cuban, COO of Mark Cuban Companies Entertainment Properties, (and yes, brother of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban,) thinks the time is perfect for a streaming solution like Struum to enter the market. “Everyone is completely siloed,” Cuban said. “Struum is really hitting the market at almost the perfect time relative to consumer behaviors changing.” Cuban’s company owns and operates Magnolia Pictures, which has a place on Struum’s platform.

Struum will be released on the Apple App Store, Google’s Chromecast, and online later this month.

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