News


Smithsonian latest to go SVOD route

Smithsonian Networks has become the latest American channel to launch its own subscription on-demand player.

Tom HaydenSmithsonian Earth will offer “spectacular original nature and wildlife content” initially via the web and on Apple TV and Roku devices for a monthly US$3.99.

After a period of resistance to direct-to-consumer offers, many US networks are now launching their own SVOD platforms, with CBS All Access, HBO Now and the upcoming NBCUniversal comedy platform Seeso among the highest-profile.

The Smithsonian effort is also entering the factual subscription on-demand space, with already includes John Hendricks’ CuriosityStream, XiveTV and the currently Europe-only Curio.

Smithsonian Earth’s programming line-up will differ from that of the Smithsonian Channel cable network and its other digital platforms, with new original programming provided every week.

These documentaries and short series will explore topics such as the sea life of Socorro Island, creatures in Madagascar, and active volcanoes in Ethiopia. There will also be a Nature Scenes strand, which will present “striking” videos of natural wonders.

Also offered are Blue Ant Media’s Nomads of the Serengeti and Great Blue Wild.

“With Smithsonian Earth we are looking to satisfy the strong consumer demand for visually stunning unique nature and wildlife programming,” said Smithsonian Networks president Tom Hayden (pictured). “Subscribers to this service can view the beauty and diversity of the natural world across multiple platforms and in spectacular 4K.”

Smithsonian is a joint venture of CBS Corp.-owned cable network Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute. Around 1% of the Smithsonian Earth subscription will go on conservation efforts.