Author Archives: Elizabeth Hendricks North

Elizabeth Hendricks North
Elizabeth Hendricks North oversees all strategy and operations for CuriosityStream as President and CEO of the world's first ad-free streaming service for documentary programming and its companion businesses. Working with experienced content producers and multi-platform developers, North looks forward to establishing CuriosityStream as the premiere online destination for quality nonfiction content. Before joining her family's enterprises, North gained experience at Cato Institute, ABC News, CBS Sports and Termite Art Productions. She graduated with a B.A. in history from Princeton University.

CuriosityStream Wins An Emmy

2017 has been a big year for streaming services.  Following epic wins for Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix at this year’s Primetime Emmys, CuriosityStream picked up its first Emmy award at the News and Documentary Emmys for Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places (Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction).  Our factual streaming service was also honored with two other category nominations for another CuriosityStream Original, David Attenborough’s Light On Earth.

 

The idea for the Stephen Hawking film arose back in April of 2015 over coffee with Bigger Bang producers, Ben Bowie and Iain Riddick, outside of CuriosityStream’s first MIPCOM in Cannes, France.  They pitched my husband Peter North (Chief Operating Officer), Steve Burns (Chief Programming Officer) and me about a fantastical journey through the cosmos with Ben’s friend, Stephen Hawking.  We knew the idea had potential and a few months later in London, we officially signed CuriosityStream on to fully commission the film.  I remember hesitating over the heavy use of CGI and special effects (which can be costly and sometimes may disappoint) but a revered host like Stephen Hawking, who we already knew our audience searches for, paired with an accessible concept like “Top 10 Travel Destinations,” was sure to resonate.  Of particular appeal was when Ben shared that it would all end up in Santa Barbara, which was really Stephen’s favorite spot on planet Earth and of course the cosmos.

When I finally had the chance to preview the first rough cut of the film, I was completely astounded by the level of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) that Ben, Iain and their team at Bigger Bang had produced.  It looked so much like Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, one of my favorite science programs featuring Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  Yet here was Stephen Hawking touring the Universe in his own S.S. Hawking spacecraft, taking viewers on a wondrous journey from the known world’s inception to showcasing the majesty of Saturn’s rings to the potential habitable life on Gliese 832C.  As a sci-fi fan from an early age, Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places was everything I’d ever hoped it could be.

Peter North (COO of CuriosityStream), Ben Bowie (Co-founder of Bigger Bang TV) and Elizabeth Hendricks North (CEO of CuriosityStream)

 

Obviously, I’m thrilled by this Emmy recognition for CuriosityStream but more importantly, it is exciting to imagine what this means for the industry at large.  The economics of the streaming television revolution enable viewers to ‘sponsor’ directly the programming they want to see.  We’ve witnessed with the successes of HBO, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu and CuriosityStream that this sponsorship is unleashing quality content like we’ve never seen before.  CuriosityStream’s first Emmy award for Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places (of which we have a Part 2 and 3 coming soon) is following this wave of outstanding programming supported directly by the viewer.

Most importantly of all, I want to express my heartfelt thank you to the incomparable Stephen Hawking for sharing your favorite places with CuriosityStream.  This program and its Emmy win would not have been possible without you and your vision of the indelible impressions worth sightseeing across the cosmos.

I look forward to CuriosityStream continuing its leadership role in the future of quality factual television, with the S.S. Hawking leading the way!

Best,

Elizabeth Hendricks North
CEO, CuriosityStream
@ehendricksnorth

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Celebrating Two Years of Curiosity

Two years ago today, we launched CuriosityStream under the leadership of my father, John Hendricks (Discovery Channel Founder & Former Chairman).  Since its debut on March 18, 2015, CuriosityStream has evolved into the premiere destination for quality, factual programming in 196 countries worldwide.  I am delighted to share these anniversary accomplishments with you, our fellow curious minds.

In the SVOD universe, content is king and CuriosityStream has some of the best science, nature, history and technology programs available anytime and anywhere.  Our subscribers have gravitated toward the more in-depth programming, in contrast to the trends we see in linear television.  While nonfiction documentaries about space and physics topics are hard to come by on broadcast and cable television, CuriosityStream subscribers have ready access to top performing CuriosityStream Originals like Deep Time HistoryDigitsPrescription: Nutrition, Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places and many more.  In the years to come, we will continue to invest in quality, original productions that will ensure CuriosityStream remains the world’s top streaming destination for on-demand documentaries.

Over the past year, our library has grown to over 1,700 titles and our focus on original content has taken some incredible strides.

Exclusive CuriosityStream Originals debuting on the service in 2017 include the science series Ancient Earth, available now, about extinction events in Earth’s history, as well as the space exploration special, Miniverse, coming in April, where viewers will tour a version of the Solar System scaled down to the size of the continental U.S., hosted by astronaut Chris Hadfield and featuring guest Michio Kaku.  Later in the year, look forward to new episodes from our hit special Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, which debuted in September 2016, and the groundbreaking search for life on exoplanets in Living Universe.  These are just a few of the titles our busy team currently has in production.

We have also made significant advancements in CuriosityStream’s platform design and function, based largely on what we’ve heard from you, our very valued subscribers.

  • Our interface design has been completely overhauled and replaced with a sleek back-end and front-end system that makes it easier for you to find the content you love.
  • Our new rating system and recommendation engine provide a smooth process for sourcing the best documentaries, geared specifically for each member.
  • We have layered our API into a CDN (Content Distribution Network) that serves content much more quickly and efficiently, enabling CuriosityStream to deliver some of the world’s best HD and 4K documentaries cost-effectively, keeping monthly and annual plans affordable to our members.
  • On the accessibility front, we recently launched CuriosityStream on Xbox One and have imminent app releases set for LG, Sony and Samsung Smart TVs in Spring and Summer of 2017, adding to our existing availability on Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Android, iOS, mobile and desktop.

With all of the progress and innovation achieved over the past two years, we have never lost our curiosity about the world around us. We know that you share our belief that curiosity is the lifelong driving force that fuels our passion to learn, create, understand and explore. As we move forward together on a journey to better comprehend our Universe, our civilization and ourselves, I want to personally thank you, our “curious at heart” subscribers.

With your support, this new quality revolution in television is now a reality.

Cheers,

Elizabeth Hendricks North

President & CEO, CuriosityStream

 

Follow me on Twitter @ehendricksnorth

 

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Prescription: Nutrition

As we settle into the routines of the new year, many of you (like me) might be striving to improve upon everyday habits, including diet and exercise.  Inspiration and motivation — difficult to find in dreary winter weather — are there for you on CuriosityStream starting today, with our new January feature, Prescription: Nutrition.  In this original and exclusive CuriosityStream series, Dr. Michael Greger (bestselling author and world-renowned public health expert) shares the latest scientific research behind the prevention of most chronic diseases, based on his and his team’s ongoing review of thousands of medical studies each year.  His wealth of knowledge is distilled into practical advice on his non-profit website NutritionFacts.org, as well as in this captivating CuriosityStream original series.

The impetus behind this exclusive program came from my personal struggle at the beginning of last year to contend with some unnerving health scares.  After attending a book reading for The Humane Economy written by our CuriosityStream Advisory Board member and my friend, Wayne Pacelle, I gave the vegan diet a try.  Soon after, the nearly immediate benefits of my new fruit and vegetable diet unleashed my curiosity.  I realized astounding improvements in my health (and surprisingly, my fitness) from eating so many fresh fruits and vegetables.  Not only did I start consuming mass quantities of plant-based foods, but I also began consuming books, from The China Study to Dr. Greger’s How Not to Die.   The authors had differing perspectives on diet, but all experts agreed that adding more fresh fruits and vegetables is the first step to improving your nutrition and your overall health.


When we polled our subscribers for their thoughts on potential CuriosityStream series, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Prescription: Nutrition had support from our member base.  I wasn’t the only one fascinated by the power of plants.  So I must thank our subscribers for their enthusiasm in bringing this series to fruition.

 

Broccoli Floating on a Shiitake Dashi – get the recipe and learn more about the series by clicking on the image!

 

While we might be searching to understand the complex physics underlying our Universe with dark matter, we have dark matter (or unknowns) in the form of the nutritional make-up of our food as well.  Scientists have only identified (at most) 10% of the vitamins, phytonutrients and micronutrients bio-available in our food.  When we opt for orange juice instead of a whole orange, we may think we are getting nutritional excellence with Vitamin C, but that Vitamin C may have been much more bio-available if it came with the glucose-slowing properties of pulp fiber and the other 90% unknown nutrients readily available in the unprocessed orange.  There are many questions to be asked and more to be answered in Prescription: Nutrition.

Watch the trailer below and tune in bi-weekly for new episodes of Prescription: Nutritiononly on CuriosityStream.

 

To your health and unbridled curiosity…

Elizabeth Hendricks North

President & CEO, CuriosityStream

Elizabeth Hendricks North is President and CEO of CuriosityStream. Follow her on Twitter @ehendricksnorth.

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Stay curious in 2017

Happy New Year!

Part and parcel with a new year arrives both reflection on the past and excitement (hopefully) toward the future.  Here at CuriosityStream, we are very much looking forward to 2017 and to helping you become more curious about the many wonders in science, technology, history and nature.  Our team has been hard at work over the holidays putting together a release schedule of original and exclusive titles debuting on CuriosityStream over the next few months.  Take a look at some highlights below and stay tuned for their official premiere dates.

 

January 2017

New year, new you!  Hosted by Dr. Michael Greger, MD, author of the New York Times best-seller How Not to Die and editor of the world renowned website NutritionFacts.org, explore the dramatic health benefits of plant-based diets and the amazing revolution in how we approach our relationship with food.  New episodes will be released bi-weekly beginning in early January.

February 2017

Travel back in time to visit the three most powerful extinction events in Earth’s history.  This original series explores the major events that wiped out between 70-90% of Earth’s species developed during the Permian, Triassic and Cretaceous periods.

March 2017

Join former astronaut Chris Hadfield – a YouTube sensation for his performance of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” aboard the International Space Station – along with hitchhikers Michio Kaku and more on a joyride across our Solar System, scaled down to the size of the continental United States.

April 2017

You will be captivated by this epic story of our origins told through the story of one extended family.  This group of men, women, and children are your guide to over 15 million years of human history, including the trials, drama and joys of being human across the ages.

May 2017

Can a team of scientists reveal unknown chambers in the Great Pyramid using special muon detector plates beneath the pyramid?  In this expedition, experts use high-tech drones, thermal cameras, laser scanning to create a 3D map of inside and out of the famous Giza plateau tombs.

Stay curious!

Cheers,

Elizabeth Hendricks North
President & CEO, CuriosityStream

Elizabeth Hendricks North is President and CEO of CuriosityStream. Follow her on Twitter @ehendricksnorth.

 

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CuriosityStream Debuts David Attenborough’s Light On Earth

Memorial Day weekend ushers in the summer season and the time outdoors that comes with it. As you enjoy getting out in nature this summer, CuriosityStream’s nonfiction documentaries will be there to help guide you.  Whether you prefer chilling at the beach, hiking and camping in national parks or simply spending an afternoon in your own backyard, there are always opportunities to reconnect with your natural surroundings and appreciate the breadth and depth of Earth’s wonders.

Perhaps along your summer journeys, you too will have questions.  Why does a firefly light up at dusk?  How does a millipede benefit from its own nighttime luminescence?  What causes those radiant, nocturnal tides in tropical waters?

These questions and more are explored in CuriosityStream’s exclusive debut of David Attenborough’s Light On Earth (available to U.S. subscribers).  This special 4K production utilizes new camera techniques to capture never-before-seen footage of bioluminescent phenomena, guided by the world’s foremost naturalist, Sir David Attenborough.

“In the oceans, and on land, living creatures of many kinds have harnessed the power of light in extraordinary ways: to mate, to lie or even to hide under a cloak of light. Yet with the latest cameras and technology we are only beginning to understand the lives of luminous creatures. There remain many mysteries. But what a beautiful world they create… and what a beautiful world awaits the scientists of the future.”  — Sir David Attenborough

The film represents the first collaboration between CuriosityStream’s in-house production studio and Terra Mater Studios (David Attenborough’s production partners). However, it is not the first association between CuriosityStream’s founder, John Hendricks, and Sir David Attenborough.

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Elizabeth Hendricks North & Sir David Attenborough, Smithsonian, May 2015

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Attenborough and hearing him reminisce about co-productions years ago between BBC and Discovery Communications, which my father, John Hendricks, also founded and led as Board Chairman until 2014.  The legendary British naturalist is as lively and curious as anyone I have ever met, and his animated story-telling had us all rapt.  Attenborough’s energy and enthusiasm is boundless, as you will see for yourself in Light On Earth.

LOE shroom

This bioluminescent mushroom emits light 24 hours a day, but is captured like never before using brand new camera techniques in CuriosityStream’s Light On Earth.

 

It is my hope that this film (and future wildlife films) continue to inspire wonder about the planet and engage the next generation of naturalists.  As David Attenborough’s Light On Earth magnificently conveys to viewers, we live on a planet with many mysteries waiting to be uncovered and better understood.

 

 

 

Let your curiosity guide you this summer.

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Elizabeth Hendricks North is President and CEO of CuriosityStream. Follow her on Twitter @ehendricksnorth.

 

Watch a preview of Light On Earth :



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Marking A Milestone

Today marks CuriosityStream’s first anniversary!

My father [Discovery Channel founder, John Hendricks] debuted the world’s first ad-free, nonfiction streaming service on March 18, 2015 and ever since, our small, hardworking team has been quite busy.  We have licensed or personally produced over 1,300 programs (more than 500 hours of quality, nonfiction documentaries) and launched streaming apps across RokuChromecastAmazon Fire TVAndroid TV as well as Android and iOS.  In late September, the service went global, opening access to CuriosityStream in 196 countries worldwide.  For inquiring minds, we’ve learned that Scandinavia and Australia have been our best international markets to date.  A special shout-out to our Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Australian members!

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In December, CuriosityStream’s partnership with Amazon distributed our documentaries via Amazon Prime’s SVOD service and our CuriosityStream Gift Cards proved to be popular holiday items and are available 365 days a year.

The early months of this year have seen us introduce a personalized recommendation engine (matching users to each other for smarter program suggestions), debut another 30 hours of outstanding documentaries and incorporate a discounted pricing structure.  Now members may save 16% a year by switching to an Annual Plan; visit Your Account page to make this change to an existing subscription.  Our Sign Up page also features this discounted payment option for 12 months of service.

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I couldn’t be more proud of our dedicated team of talented producers, brilliant engineers and a host of other consummate professionals that continue to refine the world’s leading online, nonfiction destination.

With our direct membership model, CuriosityStream may exhibit quality, ad-free documentaries exclusively for lifelong learners.  This leaves the service unencumbered by the interests of advertisers, a concern that sways programming away from the rich depth of scientific and intellectual inquiry.  By remaining ad-free, CuriosityStream preserves a simplicity of purpose: deliver affordable content that enriches, enlightens, enchants and thereby empowers curious humans to better understand our world.

Thank you so much for your support in this first year.  Stay tuned and stay curious!

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Elizabeth Hendricks North is the President & CEO of CuriosityStream. Follow her on Twitter @ehendricksnorth.

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Curiosity Retreats 2016

Greetings from CuriosityStream! I’m pleased to announce the speakers for our next Curiosity Retreat, to be hosted October 2-7, 2016 at Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa.

Led by Doris Kearns Goodwin, Alan Stern and David Eagleman, our Curiosity Retreat will feature eight world-class speakers leading four days of “deep dive” exploration of science, technology, civilization and the human spirit.  All lectures will be filmed so that we may share them on CuriosityStream with our community of inquisitive minds.  As well, the retreats allow participants to interact directly with the speakers in small breakout sessions in between lectures.  Our 2016 lineup includes:

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Presidential Historian, Pulitzer Prize-winning Author & Political Commentator
Balancing Work, Love and Play: Lessons from the Presidents

David Eagleman
Neuroscientist, PBS Host of The Brain, best-selling Author, Professor at the Baylor College of Medicine
The Future of the Brain

Alan Stern
Planetary Scientist & Principal Investigator of the New Horizons Mission
To Pluto & Beyond

Sean Carroll
Cosmologist, Physicist & Author, Winner of the Andrew Gemant Award in Physics
The Big Picture

Nonny de la Peña
Pioneer of Virtual Reality & CEO of Emblematic Group
Our Virtual Reality

Spencer Wells
Population Geneticist, Anthropologist; Former Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic
The Human Journey: A Genetic Odyssey

Roland Fryer
Economist, the Henry Lee Professor of Economics, Harvard University, 2015 Winner of the John Bates Clark Medal
The Economics of Incentives

Max Tegmark
Cosmologist, Astrophysicist, Author & Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Our Mathematical Universe

 

We hope you will consider joining us in October!  In the meantime, I encourage you to enjoy our Curiosity Retreat Lectures series featuring past luminaries including Michio Kaku, Brian Greene and Jason Silva, on CuriosityStream.

Stay curious!

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Elizabeth Hendricks North is President & CEO of CuriosityStream. Follow her on Twitter @ehendricksnorth.

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#CuriosityTravels


I hope you’re enjoying a great start to 2016!

This past year has been quite a busy one for CuriosityStream and our small, hardworking team.  In the nine months since our debut on March 18, 2015, we’ve launched apps across Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Android and iOS.  As well, our partnership with Amazon enabled CuriosityStream’s library to become available to Amazon Prime members via Amazon’s SVOD service.  Lastly, in late September, CuriosityStream went global with our content to allow worldwide access to outstanding science, technology, history and nature documentaries.

Importantly, our global library allows CuriosityStream subscribers to watch our nonfiction programs from anywhere in the world.  I had the incredible experience of speaking in Italy recently, where I could watch CuriosityStream when my Netflix account was unavailable.  If you have upcoming travels, make sure to try us out and use the hashtag #curiositytravels to keep us informed of your experience.

In 2016, CuriosityStream looks forward to enhancing our recommendation engine, adding closed captions, offering annual plans and debuting 4K.  We can’t wait to share over 50 hours of 4K content in early spring, kicking off the launch with the premiere of our exclusive production, Big Picture Earth.  Crafted by the same filmmaker behind Discovery HD’s hit series, Sunrise Earth, CuriosityStream’s Big Picture Earth will take viewers on a 4K journey to twenty of the most spectacular locations in the world, including Stonehenge, the Acropolis, and Petra.

For now, I highly recommend our Curious Minds: The Future with Peter Diamandis as well as a few other forward-thinking programs: Catalyst: Quantum Computing, Next World: The Future with Michio Kaku, and Science Shorts.  Stay curious!

 

Best,

EHN signature

Elizabeth Hendricks North is President of CuriosityStream. Follow her on Twitter @ehendricksnorth.

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Destination: Pluto

The New Horizons mission launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on January 19, 2006.  Since then, NASA’s space probe has traveled a million miles a day for nearly 10 years to reach its destination, Pluto!  It will gather its closest images on July 14, 2015 — the 50th Anniversary of the Mariner 4’s flyby of Mars.  However, this mission will collect 5,000 times more data than the Mariner 4!

Five episodes about the New Horizons mission are now available on CuriosityStream.com and include expert interviews with principal investigator, Alan Stern.  Watch Destination: Pluto, and dive deep into the #PlutoFlyby!

Best,

Elizabeth Hendricks North

President | CuriosityStream

 

 

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Welcome to CuriosityStream!

CuriosityStream is officially more than two months old! I’m delighted to report that more and more people each day find that we are the best place to satisfy their curiosity about our world.

Recently, I’ve been traveling the world talking to filmmakers and producers about CuriosityStream. From MIPDoc in Cannes to INPUT in Tokyo, most everyone I’ve spoken to has shared an interest in our new home for quality informative documentaries and series. We continue to refine CuriosityStream so that subscribers can explore a new and fascinating area or idea each and every day.

Navigation

It takes a great team to find captivating content and to create the platform to share that media. It also requires a vision for organizing and presenting it to you, the viewer. At CuriosityStream, we’ve known from the start that people don’t find documentaries or factual programs by titles. They find content by searching areas and topics of interest. We’ve built CuriosityStream to do that curation work for you up front, by tagging shows thoughtfully and thoroughly by topic and many multi-sub-topic areas. This work is invisible to our members, but it enables them to easily use the top menu bar to select one of our many sub-topics, from Genetics to Artificial Intelligence to Philosophy. Often programs satisfy multiple areas of interest, so our system delivers unique and compelling recommendations to feed your singular curiosities. Perhaps watching our BBC series Vikings leads to a recommendation to learn more about another of England’s conquerors, William the Conqueror. Or perhaps your curiosity about Pluto leads you to learn about the difference between asteroids and comets. We dive deep into the science with the astronomers from the Lowell Observatory. Did you know it was Lowell Observatory that ultimately named the dwarf planet Pluto, discovered by Percival Lowell in 1930?

With CuriosityStream, we are also experimenting with new types of entertaining yet informative media. Our Curiosity Retreat Lectures (filmed at Gateway Canyons Resort & Spa at our annual Curiosity Retreats) provide expert deep dives into topics as diverse as the future of nanotechnology to understanding the Middle East. And in our Curiosity Studio, we interview world-renowned experts on a dazzling array of topics. These interviews are produced with compelling visuals and form the basis of our Curious Minds series… making topics like quantum computing more accessible. Try it yourself: I bet you will be able to describe a qubit to a friend after watching our Curious Minds: Quantum Computing series with Chris Monroe.

With so much to explore, I can only hope you take time to enjoy your own personal journey of curiosity.

Best,

Elizabeth Hendricks North
President | CuriosityStream

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