Meet the NYC Startup That is The Netflix for Art House Films



Vyer Films is a pay-to-stream subscription service that brings you the best new films from around the world – films that have little or no presence in the United States, curated and complete wit interviews, essays and film commentary.

It’s a refreshing change from the Netflix and Hulus of the world – or maybe just a nice counterbalance.

Founder and CEO K.C. McLeod tells us more about what you’ve been missing on a screen very near you.

Tell us about the service.

Vyer, the plural of the Norwegian word vy, means perspectives, outlooks, and visions.  Vyer Films (www.vyerfilms.com) is a film curation and streaming service for those who value their time, above all else. We bring the best underseen films from the festival circuit directly to audiences who don’t have either the time or the ability to see something new and unique. Four new, previously unavailable films are hand selected for release each month and paired with exclusive features like interviews, short films, and essays all to provide our audience with further insight into them. We don’t simply distribute films – we connect them to audiences.

How is it different?

Vyer Films is unique from other streaming services in its emphasis of curation over aggregation. Audiences are used to streaming video as an “all you can eat” service: the onus is on the viewer to find something satisfying. Vyer Films flips the model: we do the work to bring our audience something satisfying. Being a service that places value on our audience’s time allows us to operate a premium model: a mid-tier subscription to Vyer Films is $20/month. Vyer Films also differentiates itself from its competitors by targeting not cinéphiles but rather the massive audience of discerning viewers who are underserved by the traditionally available mainstream entertainment (see below).

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KC McLeod

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

The domestic VOD market (currently $1.7 billion in yearly sales) is poised to grow significantly in the coming years to fill the void left behind by precipitously declining DVD/Blu-ray sales – an estimated $25 billion in yearly sales. The segment of the market that Vyer Films is targeting are two of the largest and wealthiest demographic groups in the US: Gen-X’ers and Baby Boomers. These groups are growing tired of (if not have already grown tired of) the mainstream offerings of services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, yet lack the time and expertise to embrace cinéphile-oriented services. We estimate the number of potential customers from just these two demographic groups that fit this profile to be at least 20 million. Internationally, exploding middle and upper-middle class populations in countries like India, Singapore and Brazil, and the deficiencies of traditional distribution in these countries, mean that they’re even larger and more lucrative markets than are in the U.S.

Which international movies should New Yorkers be watching that are popular?

On Vyer Films, we strongly recommend The Temptation of St. Tony directed by Veiko Õunpuu, a fascinating and visually stunning adaptation of Dante’s Inferno. As for films outside of the Vyer Films catalogue, with The Trip to Italy just recently in theaters, we also cannot emphasize enough that New Yorkers (and frankly any reader of AlleyWatch) should see the original, The Trip. It’s an equal parts hilarious and mournful take on friendship and time.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

The primary goal for the next six months is expanding the number of devices on which Vyer Films is available, beginning with Roku. We’re also looking to strengthen our service, particularly in the number of releases, in the international markets where we already have a presence. Finally, we have two major partnerships on the distribution and exhibition side of our business that have been in development for quite some time that we’re looking forward to finalize in the coming months.

If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?

Rick Webb from Quotidian Ventures. Based on Twitter, he appears to be a huge film fan, but more importantly, through its investments, Quotidian has positioned itself at a very intriguing intersection of several different industries, from fashion to art to news. While our service may not reflect it at this moment, the work being done in these other disciplines is very important to the team and our vision.

Why did you expand to New York?

Although Vyer was founded here, New York’s motley community of film, business, art, music, and journalism allows us to reach the different groups who are our target audience. Being in a city with such a diverse population in such a small confined area is far more conducive to meeting and developing relationships with those who love the idea behind Vyer.

What was your favorite summer time beach destination close to NYC this past summer?

Jones Beach and Fort Tilden were the two main favorites at the office, with “water fountain in McGolrick park” a distant third.

About the author: AlleyWatch

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