“MASV is file transfer without all the stuff that makes file transfer painful.”
– Alan Saunders, Director of Post Production, Curiosity Stream
Who is Curiosity Stream
Curiosity Stream is an over-the-top (OTT) and bundled streaming service, launched in 2015 by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, focused on documentary-style productions. The service features content from producers such as the BBC along with original documentaries including The History of Rome and Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places. While Curiosity Stream itself boasts upward of 20 million subscribers, its parent company, Curiosity, also features a bundled TV channel (Curiosity Channel) and production house (Curiosity Studios).
Michael Smith, the company’s Vice-President of Content Operations, and Director of Post Production Alan Saunders have been with the company since its founding and have used MASV for large file transfers for the past several years.
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Both Smith and Saunders constantly send and receive large video files to and from off-site editors, producers, partners, and distributors around the world. Many of these partners are in remote, sometimes hard-to-reach locations.
But prior to using MASV, the pair from Curiosity Stream dealt with a broad range of needlessly complicated and unreliable file transfer solutions.
“In video production you get files from so many people,” Saunders explains. “I’ve tried literally everything, and received files from pretty much every solution that someone could use – and 75 percent of all that stuff sucks.”
While the sheer time spent troubleshooting problems caused by other large file transfer solutions made the situation untenable, Curiosity Stream also wanted to consolidate its file transfer into one dependable file transfer solution.
The main criteria? It needed to work, and it couldn’t be complicated.
“I wanted to be able to say, ‘Send this to me, please use this link,’ and it’s done,” Saunders explains. “You don’t have to worry about it. And I certainly don’t have to worry about it. I just wanted file transfer to involve as little work as possible.”
After seeing MASV’s name a few times in the r/editors Subreddit, Curiosity Stream tried MASV a few years ago. Needless to say, they’ve been big fans ever since.
Related: How Thunder4 Productions uses MASV to reliably share 4K+ footage with their post-production facility abroad.
Keeping it Simple With MASV Portals
Curiosity Stream now uses MASV to send and receive full programs (on the production side) and individual video and audio assets, such as audio stems, for post production. After setting up brandable, customizable MASV Portals to receive content, now all Curiosity Stream needs to do to send or receive large files is share a Portal link to its partners and collaborators.
“Anytime one of our partners wants to use something else,” Smith says, “we just cut it off really quick and say ‘here’s the link – drop the files here.’ And it’s done.”
MASV has even helped when dealing with some of Curiosity Stream’s large corporate partners, most of whom use expensive (and complex) enterprise large file transfer systems. “If you just need one thing, sometimes it’s easier to give them a MASV Portal link, and then they don’t have to go through their full system,” he explains.
Smith says he often sends large batches of content to dubbing houses and other partners via MASV Portal links. Those partners are then able to easily send completed assets back to him via the same link.
And for their most steady and consistent partners and workflows, Curiosity Stream has also implemented MASV Cloud Connect integrations for automatic file transfer to cloud storage.
Receive Files with MASV Portals
Send a Portal link to anyone and collect files without credentials or user permissions.
File Transfer Shouldn’t Be Complicated
Smith and Saunders may not agree on everything, but when it comes to MASV’s No. 1 benefit for Curiosity Stream, the two are unanimous: Its simplicity and ease of use. “It’s frictionless,” says Smith.
“I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a question from anyone about how to use MASV,” adds Saunders. “You send someone a Portal link and say, ‘drop a file into this.’ And that’s the whole explanation.”
It helps that MASV always works smoothly, reliably, and quickly – even when sending truly massive 1 or 2 TB files across multiple continents, time zones, and even hard-to-reach locations with spotty internet service. “Even in some of the most remote parts of the globe, MASV just works,” Smith says.
That’s a really big deal for a company with limited time and human resources, he explains.
“Every minute we don’t have to spend explaining to partners how to upload a file, or how to receive a file, is critical for us,” says Smith. “No matter where in the world our partners are located, we just feel so confident we’re not going to have any problems with MASV file transfers.”