News Vimeo, — March 12, 2013 18:44 — 2 Comments
Video site seeks to make itself more attractive to professionals by becoming online equivalent of video rental store
The video-sharing site Vimeo is to introduce an on-demand pay-per-view model to let its biggest users make money from video – a model that could be hugely attractive to professional and amateur film-makers alike.
Called, perhaps inevitably, "Vimeo-On-Demand", the new service won’t offer live streams but will add a new string to the bow for the site in gaining revenue from users.
Until now, its income has come from subscriptions by content creators to upgrade their accounts; from adverts; and from transactions, such as people buying music tracks whose video they’ve watched. There’s also a "tipjar", introduced last September, to let people make voluntary donations.
The new on-demand feature is part of the Pro service; Vimeo takes a 10% cut of the revenues after transaction costs. It’s being launched at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas.
One of the first films to be offered through the payment system is called "Such a Beautiful Day", starting at for per-viewing rental or for a "sale" which lets a member of the site view it when logged in any number of times.
Vimeo, which is owned by Barry Diller’s IAC and has about 15 million members, is challenging DailyMotion as the second-biggest video site – though a huge distance behind Google’s YouTube. Presently it gets about 93m monthly views, according to chief executive Kerry Trainor.
"Lots of creators earn revenue from content. Now we’ll have a paywall, which is Vimeo-on-demand. We think it will mean people offering quality, and a level of control and flexibility – there’s also control over geographical distribution, and a window of availability," says Trainor. The minimum charge for a view will be 99 US cents, payable via credit card or PayPal.
That means that the creator could choose which regions a video is shown in – useful, perhaps, for a film studio that wanted to control the visibility of a movie trailer ahead of staggered releases. "It could be entertainment, sports, information," says Trainor. He thinks both professionals and amateurs will want to use it. "We’ve had desire for this feature for a long time from the video community," he says. "We’ve done some previews in the past few months."
He says he is talking to "a number of creators", from "indie filmmakers through to household names" – who he can’t name – "to Hollywood."
Trainor says Vimeo, founded in 2004, has been growing "really quickly" over the past three or four years. "We’re best defined as a high quality video platform for creative people." The company has also hired its first chief financial officer, announced earlier this month – Mark Pinney, formerly with wine site Lot18, but who has also worked at video site Tremor Video.
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