US app that lets viewers sample 40 streaming services raises $7 million


Nov 9 (Reuters) – A streaming service that seeks to simplify the subscription model has raised $7 million from an investor group led by Canadian media company Corus Entertainment (CJRb.TO).

Struum brings the “ClassPass” model to entertainment, which allows members to try out a variety of different gyms for a flat monthly fee. Subscribers pay $4.99 per month to sample thousands of movies and TV shows on over 40 niche services.

Positioned as an aggregator, Struum offers users a way to watch shows from different services without having to subscribe to each a la carte.

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Subscribers receive a fixed number of monthly credits which they redeem to watch shows, choosing from an eclectic mix of content, from action sports programs from Echoboom Sports to cooking shows from Tastemade and documentaries from BBC Select . It does not include major services like Netflix (NFLX.O) and does not intend to.

“The credit-based sampling model is a proven model,” said Corus CEO Doug Murphy. “So when I first got wind of it… I thought, ‘Well, that’s a lay-up. This meets a market need.

Struum launched a preview on Apple phones and tablets in May, attracting tens of thousands of installs. CEO Lauren DeVillier said the company plans to use proceeds from the Series A investment to grow its content library, improve its technology and expand the service outside of the United States.

At the same time, it is expanding distribution to Android devices, as well as the living room, via Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV.

Murphy said Corus will be Struum’s exclusive partner when the service launches in Canada, which is expected to happen in 2022.

The company, founded by Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) and Discovery veterans, attracted early support from former Disney CEO Michael Eisner through his company Tornante. He said the idea resonated with him without the need for extensive research.

“Not only is aggregation the right idea,” Eisner said. “But how they plan to aggregate with me makes sense.”

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Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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