Whether it is Google, Netflix, Apple, or some other platform, competition has become fierce in the race to become the leading platform for delivering access to movies, television shows, music, and other media. But while much attention is the TV shows and movies themselves, less is paid to the additional content that DVDs offer. Backed by $2 million in recent seed investment from New York-based Archer Gray and U.K.-based Firestartr, British startup We Are Colony has jumped into the streaming market, but aims to stand out by offering content to supplement the films themselves.
We Are Colony is diving into the streaming market, but is doing so with extras like stills, deleted scenes, documentaries on films, interviews, scripts, concept art, posters, and more. One of the ways in which it stands out from streaming platform is that We Are Colony allows to create free accounts, sample the product, and then only pay for the items that interest them (other services offer free trials, but are more “buffet-like” in their offerings). I found that you can search by actor or title, which brings up the profile for the film (or films, if you go by actor) and allows users to sample some of the extra content or go ahead and pay between $1.99-3.99 to buy it. They allow users to see what sort of content comes with the full bundle, so there is not much mystery as to what you are getting with the purchase. The service has come to mobile, but you will currently need an iPad to access their app.
We Are Colony was founded in 2013 and then launched in beta in February 2015. I spoke with CEO and founder Sarah Tierney, who revealed that she worked for 10 years as a film and television producer before moving on to the world of digital distribution in 2010. As she witnessed newer challenges facing the movie and TV industries, such as online piracy, declines in DVD sales, and changing release windows, she decided that she wanted to produce a new model of audience engagement and digital distribution for independent films. They are not revealing how many users they currently have, but do say that the company currently operates in 107 countries.
In addition to Archer Gray and Firestatr, We Are Colony’s investors include Essex Innovation and a number of angels. With the latest funding, they are planning to expand their team, grow their library of content, and secure strategic partnerships and outputs, which they intend to reveal in the coming months.