Ever since I saw Crunchyroll (yet another David Pakman investment - I'm starting to be a fanboi), I've had a gut feel that vertical streaming media would become a thing in one form or another. I was gutted that as a Last.fm angel investor the firm I was at at the time (Atlas) passed on both Spotify and Deezer. But believe me, both companies looked far from obvious in the late aughts.
Perhaps vertical media streaming is really just "channels" and with YouTube, Twitch, Amazon Prime Video, HBO and, of course, Netflix, vertical is already here. But I'm not sure that's true. The move from linear to on-demand has just accelerated over the past few years. We've just seen the launch of things like Dazn for on-demand sports. My gut is there will be lots to come in both video and audio entertainment.
Two other European companies come to mind in the context: IDAGIO, a Spotify for classical music (a great vertical) and MUBI, a curated Netflix for... intellectuals that deeply care about long-tail film? Both are interesting companies that are now unfortunately slightly too late stage for Sunstone (we only really do Series Seed and A).
If you are building a vertical streaming company, we'd love to talk to you. email@example.com will find me.