×

Singapore-Based Streaming Service Viddsee Marks Growing Market Share

Online video streaming is set to explode for the highly connected island nation, with media giant Netflix planning an aggressive expansion into Southeast Asia in 2016. Amid all the buzz, however, one plucky online streaming startup, Viddsee, is quietly growing market share, cultivating a dedicated community of users and rapidly gaining attention from investors.

Founded in 2012 as a Facebook page sharing links to short films, Viddsee has spent the past three years building out a niche market in hosting short films from Asian filmmakers.

Its first major hit, “Gift,” by Daniel Yam, garnered over 25 million views on the platform, and under the stewardship of its two founders, engineers Ho Jia Jian and Derek Tan, Viddsee has seen viewership numbers widen to over 2 million unique visitors each month.

Small numbers for now, perhaps, but large enough to catch the attention of venture capital firm CyberAgent Ventures. The Tokyo-based fund invested an undisclosed amount in September, bringing Viddsee’s total funding to date to $2.3 million. Viddsee previously received seed funding from ACE, a Singapore-government backed fund.

“They saw what we were building, and it was clear that from their background, Japan is looking at a lot of video startups, there’s a lot of activity from a video standpoint, and so we did fit in many ways,” Tan says. “For us, we’re expanding markets. They’ve got people on the ground in the markets we want to expand into and (the funding) helps us accelerate into those markets.”

Chief among these markets is Indonesia, and the company is banking on mobile as its way into the country’s 100-plus million Internet users. The company released apps for iOS and Android devices in late 2014 and mid-2015, respectively, and has already seen mobile app users account for almost 70% of Viddsee’s unique page views, with between 80% and 90% of them returning users.

“The native mobile landscape presents a really interesting opportunity around retention of users, coming back from an app standpoint,” Tan says.

Of the many challenges that Southeast Asia poses, however, are differing broadband speeds in each country. Tan says while Singaporean users are able to take advantage of the country’s ultra-fast mobile broadband networks, Indonesian users tend to access the platform using home or office networks. Viddsee programmers then included an offline viewing function in the mobile app, a move that has paid off.

“We realized there was always this peak of users coming in during late office hours. People were caching using office Wi-Fi, and then consuming content when they were on the go.”

Yet monetizing these users may prove to be an onerous task. The platform is free and doesn’t feature advertising on its Web or mobile platforms, although the team is hoping to grow branded content into a viable revenue stream.

At the same time, the staff of 13 relies on a small but vocal community that evangelizes heavily to local audiences. LGBT films, for example, have found a following in the Philippines thanks to these influencers, according to Tan.

More Digital

  • Mokalik

    Nigeria’s Kunle Afolayan: African Audiences Shouldn’t Be ‘Second-Class’

    DURBAN–A young boy from a middle-class home gets an unconventional schooling in the ways of the world when he’s forced to apprentice at a mechanic’s workshop in a rough-and-tumble section of Lagos. “Mokalik” is the latest feature from Kunle Afolayan, a leading figure in the wave of filmmakers revitalizing the Nigerian film industry. The film [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Ends Long Strike Against Ad Agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty

    SAG-AFTRA has ended its 10-month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG-AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after BBH publicly [...]

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content