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What Vimeo is Doing for the Film Industry

The folks at Vimeo released an extension of their platform, Vimeo on Demand, in 2013. Just a little background here, VOD allows Vimeo PRO users to sell their content behind a paywall. This totally open self-distribution platform allows content creators to sell their work directly to their fans. Vimeo created this platform with creators in mind, first and foremost.  In Vimeo’s own words, “We’re super excited to see so much great work being shared, bought, and sold on Vimeo and — most importantly — seeing creators earn that much-deserved money for their hard work.”

After transactions fees, the Vimeo PRO users are able to keep 90% of their profits, Vimeo only taking a 10% chunk. That’s unheard of in this industry.  With such a high return, it’s no wonder why indie filmmakers, or anyone who has an online video they’d like to sell, are excited about this rate.  There have been other third party platforms that provide services like this, but no other one has had such a high split revenue. Vimeo leaves the pricing and release date up to the users. Unlike iTunes, where the revenue is much smaller and updates to your page can be a bit of a pain.

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Vimeo creators outlined the following model. They estimate users could easily earn $260 after 1,000 trailer views. That number is a whopping $246 more than the $14 a creator might earn from the $25 cost-per-thousand-views (CPM) rate on YouTube. Vimeo also notes sellers who get 1 million trailer views are likely to earn about $260,000 from their work. Again, assuming a $25 CPM on YouTube, those same creators would only pull in about $13,750 from a million views on Google’s site. That’s $246,250 YouTube users are potentially leaving on the table.

Vimeo’s answer for indie filmmakers third party platform problems is not only a very beneficial deal for filmmakers financially. It can also end up helping the viewers because filmmakers can now charge a lot less for their film, hence making said films much more accessible and affordable. And best of all, there are no restrictions on the film you put up for distribution unlike platforms like iTunes which has quite a lot of them. It can be a 10-second movie, 4-hour documentary or even a music video.

After just two short years, Vimeo’s new platform has seen a lot of growth, between users and content creators. One of the most successful Vimeo on demand series, High Maintenance, from Janky Clown Productions, has gained a cult-like following, national recognition and was recently added to HBO’s network. To say Vimeo on Demand is creating successful series is an understatement.

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With all this in mind, it’s important to remember that this self-distribution system can only take you so far. A lot of the success depends on how your market your piece and target your audience. Reaching out and introducing them to your project is key! But, that’s an entirely different blog post in itself.  But, what Vimeo has done here is incredible and looking at the responses online, they can expect a lot of growth and new filmmakers coming their way.

Do you use Vimeo On Demand? We’d love to hear what you think about it. Hit us up on Twitter @DigitalBrew_co

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