Asian short film portal Viddsee talks content strategy

As one of the short films hosted on Viddsee went viral across the globe, Derek Tan, Co-founder, talks to e27 about Viddsee BUZZ

Viddsee BUZZ - Gift

Asian short film portal and Echelon alumnus Viddsee was founded by Derek Tan and Ho Jia Jian — two film aficionados — in January 2013 to help showcase and highlight talents in the independent movie-making industry. Now, it seems that the duo can finally say they are getting closer to their goal.

Viddsee today announced that it has garnered more than five million unique viewers, and 10 dedicated Viddsee Channels where official accounts get to curate their own selections of films. While it used to be that Viddsee hosted its films on YouTube, Tan shared that a majority of the content available on the platform is now hosted on an official video player.

The filmmakers on the platform hail from all across Asia, including countries such as Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore.

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In addition, the Singapore-based startup has launched Viddsee BUZZ, an editorial and marketing feature to humanise the brand and reach out to new audiences. Tan told e27, “We realised that sharing a film title was very different when we were able to craft headlines and editorial to bring out the context of a film. This made it a lot easier for (the) audience to come in to watch a film and creates a more shareable environment.”

Furthermore, as Viddsee is building a new distribution platform for Asian content, Tan noted that there is a gap between filmmakers and their audiences. He said, “(We) wanted to create an avenue to push a new model of online film marketing with our unique take on film and technology.”

At the moment, short films revolving around human relationships and documentaries on various causes do exceptionally well on Viddsee. One example would be local filmmaker Daniel Yam’s short film Gift, which generated more than four million views on YouTube, and another four million views on Viddsee. “I did not expect the film to travel so widely on Viddsee, and certainly did not (expect) viewers from countries like Greece, Romania, Brazil or Russia,” said Yam, whose film has been picked up by publications across the globe.

“Firstly, the story has connect with the audience,” said Tan, adding, “The film (Gift) was released by Community Chest earlier and the filmmaker, but (it didn’t managed to) cut through the noise of online video to reach that virality.”

In addition, the startup previously announced its partnership with Yahoo to create a dedicated Viddsee channel across the media conglomerate’s properties across Southeast Asia. He also shared that there are more partnerships to be announced soon, which he cannot talk about right now.

Tan concluded that the startup has not received any external investment. However, its curation of content will not depend on funds. He said, “One (strategy is to conduct) crowd-curation with film festivals via our Channel feature.”

Elaine Huang

Elaine is a fervent believer that if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, we will all be snapping away at them with our phones and posting them onto Instagram. A Mass Communication graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies, she enjoys writing about technology and entrepreneurs. When not hashtagging her way through all sorts of trouble, Elaine is probably contemplating how to write in the third person.

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