If you’re ever caught with a little free time to fill, perhaps during your commute or while lazing around on the sofa at home, Viddsee wants to help you fill it with the best short films from Asia. The Singapore-based startup just launched an iOS app that showcases more than 700 films from independent filmmakers across the continent.
Aside from its main website, Viddsee launched a mobile web app last year, but now it’s time to get native on mobile. The iOS app is neatly presented and laid out using a clean, minimalist design that works just as well for folks who are still on iOS 7 as those who made the step up to iOS 8.
The app is highly curated, serving up seven recommended short Asian films for your viewing pleasure each week on the home screen, while the search tab surfaces trending content and allows you to check out the newest additions.
One thing I particularly like is that the app will let you download content to watch offline — that feature, like the app itself, is entirely free unlike other services. Offline viewing is great if you are often out and about and don’t fancy eating into your data allocation.
Viddsee co-founder Derek Tan, who was formerly with Bay Area startup Cooliris and started the company with filmmaker Jian Ho last year, told TechCrunch that the app has been specifically designed “to address our users’ needs.”
“The weekly curation is designed so that users can easily discover films they enjoy and jump immediately into watching them without having the hassle of finding the right films to watch. The queue and watch offline features give users the accessibility to bring their watching experience on the move seamlessly and without having to worry about mobile charges that comes with video streaming,” Tan explained.
Tan revealed that Viddsee has plans to optimize the iOS app for the iPad soon, while an Android version should arrive “in the coming months.”
Those new additions aside, this iOS app will soon include discovery features that let you find content based on your interests and the amount of time you have available for viewing. Tan said Viddsee will also take advantage of the Today extension in iOS 8 soon, making it easier for users to get recommended content from the app each day.
The app is free for all and Tan said that it will remain that way. At some point Viddsee will look at making money on mobile via a hybrid model that introduces video advertising and a subscription model for access to premium content.
This year Viddsee has spent time ramping its business up. It snagged a content deal with Yahoo in March, and in April it launched BUZZ, a new content platform aimed at helping filmmakers’ work go viral. Viddsee revealed that it had reached five million unique viewers in April, but the startup is not providing an update on that number for now.