Vimeo On Demand Distribution Gives Creators 90 Percent Revenues

Vimeo On Demand Distribution made a splash at SXSW 2013 on Tuesday, March 12, when it was announced the company would offer 90 percent of revenues to filmmakers through the platform, according to Deadline.

Following strong 2012 statistics for its online video platform, the announcement has already attracted top talents with the first major name being Don Hertzfeldt, whose It’s Such a Beautiful Day screened prior to Tuesday’s announcement.

Hertzfeldt is an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker for his 2000 effort Rejected. He has won 139 awards during his career in animation.

Blake Whitman, vice-president of creative development for Vimeo, said of Hertzfeldt that he is “a great example of someone who was doing self-distribution his own way, has a great community built around his work, and whose films are amazing,” in a recent interview with IndieWire.

Vimeo On Demand Distribution launched six films, including Beauty Is Embarrassing and We Are Legion in December 2012. Whitman said the soft launch “was great,” but added that “adoption of something new takes time.”

“What we don’t want is everyone to just turn on a paid button for all the the content they’ve created,” Whitman said. “You have to be a [Vimeo] PRO member, you have to go through the process of actually creating a beautiful page, you have to have a trailer, you have to have a poster.”

In the interview, Whitman said the platform was different from services like YouTube Rentals because it “is completely open,” adding that “anyone with a Vimeo PRO account can create a VOD page, sell their work, choose their price, choose the regions they want to offer, and the time that it will be available.”

He also noted that the 90 percent cut filmmakers receive through the platform bests the 70 percent cut that Apple provides through its iTunes Store.

It’s Such a Beautiful Day is currently available as a $2 rental and $6 purchase on the new platform.

Vimeo launched its music video service in 2011, so Tuesday’s announcement shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, who has followed the company’s path in blazing a trail across the Internet for streaming original content.

The Vimeo On Demand Distribution platform will be available on all mobile platforms, smart TVs, tablets, and streaming hardware.

Will you be supporting indie filmmakers on this new service, and do you believe it will have a big impact on film distribution channels moving forward?