Vimeo Launch Pay-Per-View Beta For Films

Video-sharing website Vimeo have revealed that their service is set to offer a ‘pay-per-view’ movies option, enabling unheralded film-makers to sell their titles to streaming customers (a potential market of the site’s estimated 85 million current users), with their first opportunity to do so coming with the release of the service’s ‘beta’ option, which launched yesterday with six featured movies available in the feature’s trial.

Unique features of Vimeo’s new system include a range of functions to allow creators the chance to directly sell their films to audiences without going through a distributor.

The ‘full control’ that owners will be able to enjoy include setting prices, ‘release geography’, the ‘rental period’, and additional features released with their film.

For users, there will be the chance to save downloaded content to a ‘watch later’ list on an HDTV set, and the chance to watch through platforms supporting Vimeo including iOS (and Apple TV), Roku streaming boxes, and Samsung connected TV sets.

The movies being featured with the launch include worldwide releases Beauty Is Embarrassing (a documentary for $5), and action/sports films Sunny ($5) and Teton Gravity Research ($9). Titles with more specific releases targets include Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony, (a USA and Canada-released documentary ($5) looking at human rights issues in the African territory of Western Sahara), US-only release We Are Legion: The Story of Hacktivists for $4.99, and a USA and UK-region exclusive Shut Up and Play the Hits (focusing on the last concert of the band LCD Soundsystem) costing $6.99 (£4.40).

Vimeo’s CEO Kerry Trainor summarised the updates, stating: “Our goal is to provide an open and flexible platform that allows all creators and content owners to earn revenue directly from their audiences. We’re really excited to offer this selection of high quality movies in our preview, and we look forward to working with creators worldwide whose stories have a clear home on Vimeo.”

Set to expand on the ‘Tip Jar’ already in place for original content producers on the usually free-to-view Vimeo service, will the pay-per-view movies platform (which will release in full early next year) help them to compete with the likes of Netflix, or will it be seen in a similar mould to YouTube’s recent money-making efforts?

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