It was roughly 12 months ago that Jason Eustace was named CFO of CuriosityStream, an upstart streaming media company launched in 2015 by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks.
For Eustace, CuriosityStream represents something of a flashback career chapter, arguably having more in common with the first 10 years of his finance career than the past 10.Read More
Turn back the clock 20 years, and Eustace could be found in the accounting department of the National Geographic Channel, which at the time was a newly formed joint venture between the National Geographic Society and Fox Cable Networks.
“Nat Geo wanted to marry up their content with the distribution of the cable world, so it was a perfect marriage,” explains Eustace, who saw his responsibilities grow over a 6-year stint that ultimately landed him in a controller role.
Controllership credentials in hand, Eustace then joined Discovery Communications, where he would serve in a variety of finance leadership roles over another period of 6 years.
However, it was his experience at Nat Geo and the more entrepreneurial nature of the business that Eustace uses as a point of comparison with his current stint at CuriosityStream.
“National Geographic had been around forever—they had great stories, and it was the ability to put these stories on a more widely distributed platform that really propelled Nat Geo to become a media company,” observes Eustace, whose latest CFO role puts him once more inside a media company determined to open new avenues for distributed content.
Says Eustace: “I always wanted to get back into media. I really loved D.C., but there are limited CFO roles inside the metro area, so when this opportunity came up, I jumped at it.” – Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about CuriosityStream. What sets it apart from other streaming platforms?
Eustace: CuriosityStream is basically the #2 pure-play publicly traded streaming company in the world. We’re second only to Netflix. We are primarily on the factual side of the house. We have over 3,000 programs available on our service today, and we’re hopefully going to grow to just under 12,000 in the near future. We currently have over 13 million subscribers in over 170 countries around the world, and we’ve doubled our revenue over the past couple of years.Read More
The company was started in 2015 by John Hendricks, who had been the founder of Discovery Communications back in 1985. He has the uncanny habit of trying to—I’ll say—see around the corner a little bit. He kind of saw customers getting frustrated with their cable companies and the fact that there were not a lot of options or flexibility where there should be, from a consumer point of view. So, he started up this service across the street from Discovery Communications. From there, over the next couple of years, he developed an incredible technology platform and a great service. Then, toward the end of 2018, we really started marketing that service broadly internationally and adding more content to it.
We did one capital raise at the end of 2018, one 44A group. With that capital raise, there was a promise that we would go public within a year. At the end of 2019, they decided to wait another year. The market wasn’t right at the time, so we waited another year. Then, just this past fall, on October 15, we took the company public through a reverse merger. So, it’s been a pretty incredible ride in a very short period of time. The revenue is just through the roof currently. It’s been like that over the past couple of years and will be for the foreseeable future. It’s doing really well right now.
Value Quote: “CuriosityStream is basically the #2 pure-play publicly traded streaming company in the world. We’re second only to Netflix. … We currently have over 13 million subscribers in over 170 countries around the world, and we’ve doubled our revenue over the past couple of years.” jb
CuriosityStream | www.curiositystream.com | Silver Spring, MD