Anxietyville, a  feature film (1 x 86 minutes) and web series (10 x 9 minute episodes) from indie director Rob Stefaniuk (SuckPhil the Alien) launches today in a hybrid release model on transactional streaming video platform, Vimeo on Demand. The announcement was made at STREAM Market in Santa Monica, CA by Executive Producer, Catherine Tait.

The first four episodes of the web series are available for free on VIMEO with the additional six episodes available to rent ($0.99 per episode; $4.99 for all 10 episodes USD) and to own ($8.99 USD).

In a new twist for fans keen to consume Anxietyville in one sitting, the feature film version will also be available to rent and own ($4.99 and $8.99 USD) from Vimeo on Demand. Anxietyville is produced by two-time Emmy Award-winning multi-platform production company Xenophile Media and distributed internationally by Duopoly, Inc.

“Anxietyville is about a virtual world turned upside down and we decided to do the same to the traditional distribution of feature films and web series,” said Catherine Tait, Executive Producer at the STREAM Market. “Fans should be able to consume content in whatever format they prefer and within the timeframe they have available – hence our hybrid release model!”

The strategy harnesses the power of the Vimeo on Demand monetization model in a way that allows the producers to hit multiple market segments at different price points. Most online viewers are unwilling to pay to watch content, especially content they have not already got a taste of. Allowing the first four episodes to be viewed for free keeps the series from being locked behind a paywall while also allowing for a more effective on demand payment model to be employed.

“Xenophile is committed to pushing the boundaries of storytelling,” said Patrick Crowe, President of Xenophile Media. Anxietyville is a reality-bending experience which blows the top off our hyper-commercialized society.”

Set in the near future, Anxietyville tells the story of Ivan, Jordan and Claire, founders of technology startup, pretEND Media, and developers of an app that allows people to upload their conscious minds into a virtual world. With their financing at an end, the trio enter into a Faustian bargain with an energy drink company that quickly turns their idealized world into a consumer product testing hell. When a deluge of pop cans rains down from the sky — it’s the first hint that their simulated city is under attack by a malicious computer virus, triggering an operating system shutdown and the end of the virtual world.

“One of the best features we managed to get a sneak peek on before the festival began, this movie explores the mania of ‘freemium’ games like Farmville within a story that feels like a classic Holodeck-gone-wrong episode of Star Trek, lampooning modern marketing practices along the way.” — SRQBacklot (Sarasota, Fl)

Viewers of Anxietyville can also download the iOS version of the CONSUMER HELL app featured in the series — a retro-style battle-based game where survival depends on what you buy. QR codes at the start of every web series’ episode allow viewers to unlock exclusive story items, clues, prizes — and a message from the sponsor.

Anxietyville Official Trailer from Xenophile Media on Vimeo.