Founded in 2014, Bleecker Street is a distribution company with a dedication to original storytelling. With titles like Stephen Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky” and Sebastián Lelio’s “Disobedience” on their roster, Bleecker Street is in the business of blazing new narrative paths. “Our mission is to create a lot of original movies,” says Tyler DiNapoli, President of Marketing, Media, and Research at Bleecker Street. “We don’t necessarily have the existing IP of some competitors in this space, but the beauty of not having IP is it forces you to get really creative.”
One way Bleecker Street is getting creative? Building new spaces for fans to experience their films outside of the theater — by stepping into the world of OTT. “Even prior to the pandemic, reaching audiences presented an array of challenges,” says Tyler. “Movies aren’t going anywhere, but the way that people experience them certainly is a little different than it was in the past.”
Initially launching a digital cinema during the pandemic to allow viewers to access Bleecker Street films at home, they realized the value of that work — and set out to create a more holistic viewing experience. Here’s how Bleecker Street is harnessing OTT video to stay at the forefront of the industry while enriching screening experiences for viewers like you.
Creating a viewer-first app
“We always have had a wide footprint across our digital platforms, but direct to consumer is really a relatively new model for us,” says Tyler. “With the help of Vimeo, we’ve evolved and built our own dedicated Bleecker Street app.”
The app, which allows users to rent or buy films throughout the Bleecker Street catalog from their computer, phone, Apple TV, and more, also offers supplemental content like featurettes and deleted scenes, to enrich the storytelling experience. “It’s really to give consumers more of the kind of content that they want,” adds Tyler. “It’s allowed us to evolve the process of how people experience our films.”
“Vimeo is the iceberg. The film and the content sit up above the water, and below it is all of this treasure trove of information. Vimeo helps us sift and sort all the data below, so we can really make sense of it.”
Tyler DiNapoli, President of Marketing, Media, and Research at Bleecker Street
Letting audiences lead the way
Like any good storyteller will tell you, taking chances is the key to creating narratives with staying power. “Our inspiration often comes from the consumers directly, because they inspire us to take chances,” says Tyler. “They vote with their fingers and their thumbs and their feet in terms of the way they see our movies. The beauty of a partner like Vimeo is, it allows you to connect the dots from what’s starting on the marketing side and carry it right through to the end of the experience.”
Bleecker Street’s app has allowed the marketing team to spot trends — seasonality, cultural climate, et al. — and speak more directly to the people who watch and love their films. “Vimeo is the iceberg,” says Tyler. “The film and the content sit up above the water, and below it is all of this treasure trove of information. Vimeo helps us sift and sort all the data below, so we can really make sense of it.”
As viewership habits continue to exponentially shift and develop, Bleecker Street is committed to staying on the cutting edge of video. “Video is not going anywhere,” says Tyler. “You have to make sure you’re staying connected to the consumer. Whether that means embarking on an ecommerce strategy, or having something like a dedicated app, just be sure you put your audience first.”
By connecting with their customers in the work they do every day, Bleecker is building a dedicated audience they can count on for their future releases. “Sometimes we’ve got four or five movies that people have loved, but they don’t realize they’re all from Bleecker Street,” adds Tyler.
“That’s the point of having an app, and having a dedicated home for this kind of content. So the consumer can look at it and say: ‘These movies were great! Oh, they’re all Bleecker Street. Maybe I’ll take a chance on this one as well.’”