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Vimeo fishes for filmmakers with $10 million for VOD content

The video-sharing website, Vimeo, announced this week via press release that it has set aside a cool $10 million for filmmakers looking to sell their material via the site. However, the cash isn’t available to just anybody — only members who’ve raised at least $10,000 via Kickstarter (or other crowdfunders) and/or those whose movies are debuting at one of 20 leading film festivals worldwide.

Vimeo’s CEO, Kerry Trainor, indicated the direct-distribution movement’s rapidly increasing momentum as a primary motivator in the website’s largest allotment of investment funds yet.

The classier sibling of YouTube first made it possible for videographers and filmmakers to actually generate profit (the ‘tip this video’ button Vimeo added late 2012 likely wasn’t a serious cash cow) from their uploaded videos with the release of “Vimeo on Demand” (VOD) back in March 2013 — the platform is available only to Vimeo Pro members who pay $200 annually for the premium subscription service. Filmmakers set the prices for their on-sale works, and Vimeo takes a 10 percent cut.

According to today’s press release, filmmakers eligible for a chunk of the $10 million are, in exchange for distributing their content on VOD, provided with “direct financial support and access to online marketing services — including website development and translation services.”

In January the site similarly fished for content with a $500,000 fund, and announced its run of exclusive digital debuts of thirteen films that premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. These moves, combined with today’s announcement, make for a considerable push in recent months for Vimeo — one that could land the site an even more profitable position in a market that, according to recent studies, is more popular than ever.