The ‘Tiger King’ Effect: Documentary+ Enters a Crowded Streaming Market Targeting Fans of Nonfiction

Brian Welk
·1-min read

Nonfiction films and docuseries are having a moment. Netflix’s documentary series “Tiger King” was streamed last year for 15.6 billion minutes of viewing, Nielsen projected, making it the fourth most-watched original series of the year and beating out even a juggernaut like Disney+’s “The Mandalorian.” (Sorry, Baby Yoda.) So Bryn Mooser, CEO of the nonfiction studio XTR, senses an opportunity for Documentary+ — another new streaming service on the market (and yet another one with a plus sign at the end). The service, which launched last month to coincide with the Sundance Film Festival, is a free, ad-supported platform, that aligns more closely with niche, genre-based platforms like Shudder or Crunchyroll, touting an initial library of more than 200 films dedicated solely to documentary films. In that sense, Documentary+ is competing not just with niche streamers but also with big players who view nonfiction content as an easy way to fill up their libraries. Mooser feels the audience for documentaries is surging, with shows like “Tiger King” and “The Last Dance” and films like “The Social Dilemma” driving pop culture conversation. “I want to build the best documentary streaming channel in the world, and what’s interesting about it is that...

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