updated 12:41 pm EDT, Tue March 12, 2013
Premium service to offer videographers alternative distribution system
Video streaming service Vimeo has opened up its streaming rentals and sales service to all Vimeo Pro users. Vimeo On Demand initially launched as a private beta, offering six movies in various genres to view, with customers paying between $5 and $9 per film and getting up to 60 days in order to view it.
The new On Demand service gives videographers a wide selection of control over their film release. The price, the period it can be viewed by streaming, limiting viewing by geographical region, as well as the shortcut URL can be customized. While the streaming options range from 24 hours to one year, a further section permitting downloads will work seemingly without much in the way of DRM, allowing viewers to watch their downloads on any device they want beyond the streaming availability time. Revenues are also split 90:10 in favor of the creator, with Vimeo itself receiving only a tenth of the film price.
Vimeo On Demand in theory would offer videographers a way to recoup the cost of filmmaking, without heavily adding to costs typically associated with traditional film distribution, something other film producers are well aware of. British indie film Pulp eschewed cinematic, DVD-based, and mainstream streaming rental services by being made available exclusively on the Xbox 360 game console.
Vimeo Pro, a service providing Vimeo users 50GB of storage, no bandwidth caps, HD video and other functionality not available to free users, costs $200 per year.