Attempting to undercut YouTube and its content production efforts, Vimeo is rolling out new moneymaking tools for producers. One new initiative, dubbed Tip Jar, encourages viewers to
reward good work by contributing money to individual content creators.
Also, over the next several months, the IAC-owned Vimeo plans to roll out a pay-to-view service, which will allow creators to sell their work behind a paywall.
As Dae Mellencamp, president of Vimeo, admitted on Wednesday, content creators have been asking for monetization tools for some time.
What took so long? “It needed an approach that put the controls back into the hands of the creators themselves,” according to Mellencamp. “We designed these tools to allow video creators to be as flexible as possible, while providing the ability to financially succeed at various levels of viewership.”
Best known as an ad-free platform for semi-professional videos, Vimeo now attracts more than 75 million monthly unique visitors, and a network of roughly 13 million registered members. (By contrast, Google sites like YouTube currently draw about 156 million unique viewers a month, according to ComScore.)
Expanding on traditional rental and video-on-demand models, Vimeo’s pay-to-view service will give creators customizable options to sell their films and video content directly to audiences, while controlling pricing and rental duration.
Vimeo plans to begin rolling out the pay-to-view service in beta preview this fall with a curated series of films. The company is expected to take 15% of all tip jar donations, but the financial terms of its pay-to-view service are not yet known.
Over the past year, Google has committed $350 million to YouTube’s original content creation efforts. The video hub continues to reward producers will a small share of ad revenue.