New Streaming & VOD Startups to Watch

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As streaming continues to overtake cable TV in popularity, more and more streaming startups are hitting the airwaves.

Focusing on certain niches of streaming content and audience demographics rather than attempting to be everything to everyone, these new entries cater to the distinct and varying tastes of the broad spectrum of new streaming viewers.

Here is just a sampling of the innovative new streaming platforms to consider adding to your playlist:

HayU

  • owned by NBC Universal and launched in March 2016, is offering “Reality On-Demand,” and is an OTT streaming service that streams reality shows originally airing on NBC Universal’s Bravo and E! cable TV stations either the same day they air or the next day to viewers in other geographic regions: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom
  • An article about HayU on Fierce Video quotes the managing director of global direct-to-consumer for NBCUniversal as saying, “Hayu is already the premier destination for must-watch, world-renowned reality TV content and this launch extends the Hayu footprint to 28 territories. We look forward to super-serving Indian subscribers with the best, unscripted content available.”

Cheddar

  • was founded by Jon Steinberg and has as parent company Alice USA. It was founded in January 2016 and raised $11.3 million by 2017
  • The content selection on Cheddar targets Millennials and includes updates on the New York Stock Exchange throughout the day from the trading floor, as well as music and other audio from iHeartRadio.
  • Cheddar also distributes its own original programming like Cheddar Life, Closing Bell, Extra Sharp, VF Hive on Cheddar, Cheddar Local and Cheddar NYC over the Cheddar app along with other streaming services, such as Sling TV, Pluto TV, YouTube, Haystack News, Facebook Live and Amazon Prime. Original Cheddar channels include Cheddar Business, Cheddar News, Cheddar on Snapchat and CheddarU.
  • Daniel Schneider, Cheddar’s NP of business development, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to offer Cheddar to the entire NCTC footprint, enabling over 8 million TV and broadband subscribers to catch the latest news, headlines, and interviews with top business executives.”

Funimation

  • Silicon Valley husband and wife team Gen Fukunaga and Cindy Brennan founded Funimation, that has Sony Pictures as parent company. It was founded on May 9th 1994
  • Formerly known as FUNimation Productions and FUNimation Entertainment), Funimation is the streaming source for anime fans. The service has licensed many popular animation series’ like Tokyo Ghoul and Dragon Ball. Funimation also produces its own original anime feature films.

MX Player

  • it was developed by MX Media & Entertainment (formerly J2 Interactive), parent company The Times Group. It was launched as a video player on July 18 2011 and as OTT on February 20, 2019. It raised $110.8 million by 2019
  • MX Player, India’s premium over-the-top (OTT) service, offers the latest in entertainment across a broad spectrum of genres over the internet. The MX Player itself is a robust video player that features “advanced hardware acceleration” and supports subtitles.
  • What may make the MX File Transfer most unique is its MX File Transfer feature that facilitates file sharing, including apps and music.
  • In an interview for Financial Express, Gautam Talwar, MX Player’s Chief Content Officer, said, “Our investment in regional content is strategic and has a long term goal attached to it. We understand the benefit of regional content and given the distribution reach of MX Player – considering we are second to YouTube – consumers are already there.”

Recast

  • Founder and CEO is Andy Meikle, it was founded in 2018 and launched on 2021.
  • Recast streams primarily live and on-demand sports. It’s a subscription-free service that allows fans to purchase credits to use to watch only the programming they want. Among the over 150 channels and broadcasting partners and 88 countries that Recast serves, sports one could find are: British Fencing, World Curling, European Tour, Millwall Football Club, Manchester City FC, Queens Park Rangers, Table Tennis England
  • According to an Advanced Television report on Recast, Founder and CEO Andy Meikle is quoted as saying, “Fans want more affordable access to their favorite sports, so they’re moving away from traditional broadcasters towards social media, illegal streams or unofficial feeds.”

Struum

  • Founders are Lauren DeVillier, Paul Pastor, Thomas Wadsworth and Eugene Liew – all former Discovery and Disney executives.
  • Launched on May 25 2021, Struum is an OTT video streaming platform that aggregates the content catalogs of more than 60 streaming services like Magnolia BBC Select, Magellan and Gusto TV, offering tens of thousands of movies and shows under a single subscription model.
  • A TechCrunch article on Struum issued on launch date quotes Struum CEO Lauren DeViller as saying “We view ourselves as the ultimate complementary service and a perfect fit for TV and film lovers who are increasingly frustrated by the costs, complexity and effort required to discover and watch what they want.”

Viki

  • Developed by Razmig Hovaghimian, Jiwon Moon and Changseong Ho and currently owned by Rakuten
  • it was founded in 2007 and launched in December 2010
  • The programming on this video streaming service is similar to that of many other services, except focusing heavily on shows, movies and such from countries in Asia, including China, Japan and South Korea. Another thing that makes Viki unique is its subtitle support for 200 languages.
  • A late-March 2022, AdWeek report on Viki revealed it had achieved 53 million subscribers by that time thanks to the fact that the, “Appetite grows [for Asian content] as Asian culture becomes a global phenomenon.”

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