Posters for some of Viddsee’s titles / Photo credit: Viddsee
Home is Where the Heart Is tells the story of a young lawyer tackling pro bono cases for those who live on the fringes of Singapore’s society.
The eight-episode series on Netflix was originally co-produced as a short film by Singapore-based Viddsee, a video platform founded by Ho Jia Jian and Derek Tan in 2013. The series was acquired by the US streaming giant earlier this year for an undisclosed amount.
“This was our first piece of long-form content, [so it] played out from a creative perspective: How can we see an idea and [develop it] all the way up to getting it on Netflix?” Ho said in a recent interview with Tech in Asia.
Viddsee, which curates short films from Asian creators and develops them into longer-form pieces, has been around for a decade. Tech in Asia first wrote about the company in 2013 and followed up with another piece in 2015.
The Netflix deal is proof that Viddsee has been able to survive in the extremely competitive landscape of content streaming by partnering with the giants rather than competing with them.
The company does not charge a subscription fee for its platform but instead generates revenue from content partnerships and licensing. Besides Netflix, it has worked with Singapore Airlines, Vidio, Mediacorp, MNC Vision+, and Qalbox.
Viddsee receives licensing revenue from companies like Singapore Airlines, as its content is included in the company’s in-flight entertainment system. With partners like Mediacorp, Viddsee is commissioned to co-develop titles for the former’s platforms.
The streaming firm also leverages its creator network to produce story-driven marketing and advertising content for clients like Temasek, DBS, and Shopee.
Viddsee has raised only US$2.3 million to date.
At first, the startup focused on curating short films (mostly 10 to 15 minutes long) from creators in Southeast Asia and posted them on its site. However, it had to find other ways to monetize beyond ad revenue.
Behind the scenes of the production of Home is Where the Heart is / Photo credit: Viddsee
That’s why Viddsee started working directly with content creators. Ho said the startup aims to be a “test bed” for partners to gauge the audience’s reactions toward their intellectual properties.
The company now has several units: Viddsee Studios, which produces short-form content; Viddsee Labs, which develops short films into feature-length films and series; and Nuggets by Viddsee, which creates bite-sized content revolving around local culture and social politics.
The firm posted a revenue of about US$6.4 million at the end of 2021. It did not disclose more recent figures.
Earlier this year, the company launched Web3 IP studio Candee, which aims to help creators monetize through content ownership and interactions with their fans.
In its first project, the firm is working with NFT collection Ivy Boys x BBRC. Candee will be turning the project’s profile images into a “story universe,” eventually creating a long-form series.
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