This is yet another story of a startup idea which was to show a curated list of short films, with reviews from a niche audience.
OTT platforms days and everyone is watching content on their mobile phones. The trend setter was Netflix, and when it came in it captured most of the market with incredible shows and content from the global audience.
Then came in the Amazon Prime and the others and now if we watch in India, you find every content creator wants to have their own OTT platform to distribute content. Despite of this a large crowd is still hooked on to YouTube. The problem with YouTube was that there was content in all place. In 2015 I got hooked to Short Films. Because they give you the same thrill and the same fun but only be about 10-30 mins unlike a featured movie.
One of the short films I remember watching was “Lights out”.
This eventually turned out to be a fully featured film later on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LiKKFZyhRU
However, fast forward from the backdrop story I felt there was a void where, we could make a platform to present a curated list of short films. How many of them watch short films, the really good ones? Are there any review sites for short films? How about an IMDb for short films? A platform for budding film makers to showcase their work and get reviews from a community?
I quickly brought the discussion to my then room mate Mohan, he said its a good idea and you should definitely try.
Eureka, I booked the domain shortfilmdiary.com, got a website on WordPress, listed some of our favourite short movies in different genres and languages.
To our surprise we got some really good organic audience. Especially on our mobile App which was just an Android App that would show the content from the Website and play videos.
This brought us some lime light, we also had some enquiries on our Facebook page asking for promotions from new and budding amateur film makers. We actually felt we were doing some review of these films.
We Reached about some 3.9K users both on web and Mobile. The below screenshot shows the list of users we potentially had on onesignal.com. It gradually reduced to Monthly active users of only 85 towards the end.
Below is a screenshot of user reviews that we got on our play store reviews. We had a rating of 4.11/5.
What was revenue model?
To be honest there was none, we did not plan this to be a revenue generating idea or business. However, we had some Adsense and Admob running to see how it performs. We did not have so many views, so there was hardly any revenue generation from this.
What would have happened was, if we actually had brought in Paid Promotions for the Short films. We could have ran some online film festivals and competitions getting some sponsors and award presentations.
WordPress – yes, simply a WordPress website for the content management, and we had an android app, which would read the WordPress data and show the content on the App.
There was no marketing done, we got some 100+ installs on the App Store world wide.
What is the current status?
Currently the App is down, the website is down and the domain is up for sale. The downfall happened because we did not get the time to maintain the website and the content. The side hustle never became a primary reason for generating revenue.
Why did it fail?
I or our team were never from the Film Background, neither I had time for this to take it in a full time. It was just a hobby project. We were busy with main startup and daily routine work.
For a brief time we had couple of intern writers reviewing the short films and curating the short films on the platform. This could not grow as there was no revenue generation happening but there were expenses on writing content.
Also the large part of the content was only Hindi and Indian based short films.
We are giving up this idea, the domain is up for sale, and there are good platforms like,
I also tried selling this Idea on Flippa. But I did not get a good deal. It just vanished in the ocean un noticed for its potential.
If someone is interested to take this idea forward, you can DM me on my twitter handle @azzaxp, you can renew the domain and take it from me.
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