In this episode of ‘Inside Content - the TV Industry Podcast’, I speak with Lauren Devillier (co-founder and Chief Executive officer) and Paul Pastor (co-founder and CBO) at Struum.
Struum is a streaming aggregated video service that allows consumers to seamlessly discover and consume content across many SVOD platforms using a unique credit based system.
Firstly we discuss how subscription fatigue and an overwhelming choice of content is a key challenge for consumers. Many SVOD subscribers are leaving a service due to little use or forgetting they even have a subscription. Lauren explains that as an aggregated video service, Struum helps solve this problem. With their credit based system, consumers can seamlessly discover content across many SVOD platforms without having the individual subscriptions and curate their own experience on the platform. This provides them with clear transparency of what they are paying for with their credits and the value of the different components. Whereas from a content provider perspective, Lauren adds they have “unbelievable content, unbelievable brands… and we want to serve as the front door to a lot of the services for our consumers”.
Struum ingests the content from all the content owners onto the platform. A costly and time consuming approach with different metadata and file formats to contend with, yet has yielded many benefits for the platform. Paul explains that the aggregation of content within the platform helps create a better user experience and greater opportunities for their content partners. Access to the data is another huge benefit, as they can analyse and glean insights to drive recommendations and bundles and consumption of content across multiple brands.
To further drive that seamless discovery experience, they will be rolling their managed services later this year. This will allow consumers to manage their subscription to streaming video platforms within the Struum platform itself. Lauren explains that if you are spending most of your credits primarily on the BBC for example, we will recommend a subscription for that service within Struum’s ecosystem. Consumers can then use their credits to discover and consume new content as it is coming onto the platform.
Struum currently work with over 60 content partners. Their credit based approach has been a real benefit for partners to aid discovery and monetisation of their content and also increase subscriptions within the Struum ecosystem. “What we are seeing is that as people develop their kind of closed ecosystems, and even some of the STB challenges where there is limited, you know, I would say shelf space with some media room installations... we've actually found that we'd become a really great way for our partners to expand their overall reach and device footprint”. Paul explains that Struum can integrate and give partners access to OEMs, telcos and cable operators that would otherwise be difficult for them to reach or who would be unable to support the technology platforms that content providers have built. Paul adds that as they expand into new territories, it will allow these content partners to grow their footprint domestically but also in international markets - partners do not have to worry about localising the language, currency, GDPR and other elements. “So we really are enabling our content partners to have an equal footing with some of these larger players”.
Looking ahead, Struum’s focus is to continue to expand within the US market. They are available on Apple store, as well as the ability to airplay in Chromecast and shortly will be available on android devices - with living room experiences available in Q4 2021. Other areas of focus include driving the footprint of their partners (OEM’s, telcos and MVPD), as well as the expansiveness of their offering. With global ambitions, Struum plan to have a much bigger international footprint in the later half of 2022.
Here is a breakdown of the topics discussed in this episode:
[5:53] SVOD subscription fatigue and SVOD aggregation
[06:47] Struum’s unique credit based system
[9:29] The importance of data to drive discovery, recommendations and bundles
[10:28] Struum’s full ingest model
[14:13] Benefits of Struum to content platforms
[19:55] Struum’s managed services approach to SVOD subscriptions
[25:02] Struum’s unique selling point - access, discovery and value
[26:36] Struum’s expansion plans and key areas of focus