Reality TV, in its ever growing thirst for views and ratings, has been viewed critically by some who feel it’s depleting TV of high-quality and educational entertainment. TV channels like Discovery, which once showed a variety of educational content, has continually interspersed that with high drama shows like “Deadliest Catch” and “Naked and Afraid”. Ranting aside, one of the founders of the Discovery Channel in 1982, John Hendricks, left the company and last year launched a new subscription streaming video service: CuriosityStream.
CuriosityStream takes the idea of Discovery back to its roots: “nonfiction programs to grow curious minds”. To this end they’ve opened up the service to 196 countries and many platforms including Android TV. This includes over 1,300 titles of fascinating documentaries and series.
The layout is fairly straightforward. You can scroll down to look at different genres and look at every item in that category. From there, you can open a series or a documentary to learn more and begin playing it.
Content ranges from all kinds of non-fiction genres: history, nature, physics, astronomy, and more. For some people, like myself, it’s amazing to see a curated collection of this kind of stuff. I think it’s something that can really be promoted in educational circles as a way to improve the movies students watch in school and help promote further education in students who want to learn more.
The company is not just curating movies from producers like the BBC, but they’re also working on original programming, which should be cheaper to produce than reality TV. Getting creative control of media, without ads, has been an amazing move for Netflix and I have hope that CuriosityStream will be able to succeed in today’s fragmented media landscape. The app currently doesn’t support Live Channels, but I’d love to be able to flip through channels and find a “History Channel” or “Animal Planet” with high-quality documentaries in the future.
The app is free to download on the Google Play Store. Users can get a month free and then pay one of three monthly tiers. $2.99 per month gives you unlimited standard definition streaming, $5.99 per month gives you unlimited HD streaming, and $11.99 per month gives you unlimited 4K streaming. 4K content was just announced recently, and they’re already teasing some great content that supports it.