Vimeo Launches Subscription VOD — But It’s Not Like Netflix For Now

Internet-video site Vimeo has rolled out a set of features to let creators offer monthly subscription-based on-demand services — but the new tools aren’t going to result in anything that looks like Netflix, the leading SVOD platform in the world.

Essentially, Vimeo is offering a new payment model for creators. Now, in addition to offering VOD titles in an a la carte fashion for sale or rental, Vimeo members can opt to charge their fans a monthly subscription fee for unlimited viewing.

Greg Clayman, G.M. of Vimeo’s Audience Networks division, said the company has explored the possibility of aggregating content from multiple partners and bundling it into a single SVOD service. But for now, the service is designed only for individual creators to create their own “mini-Netflix” offerings.

Clayman declined to identify which Vimeo creators are interested in launching SVOD services. Among its partners is Machinima — the multichannel network focused on gaming and fandom culture which has been historically focused on YouTube — cut a deal with Vimeo, under which Machinima said it would invest at least $500,000 to create original VOD content for the platform.

Subscription VOD “is a natural extension of Vimeo’s transactional VOD platform, giving creators a new way to sell content to viewers worldwide,” CEO Kerry Trainor said. “Online video is entering an exciting new stage where creators don’t have to rely on pre-roll advertising alone to earn money.”

New York-based VHX, another VOD site that has focused on transactional sales, also recently launched SVOD capabilities for its user base.

As with its transactional VOD biz, Vimeo will let creators keep 90% of the revenue from their subscription VOD sales. The company’s SVOD tools let creators set their monthly subscription price level and will let them sell subscriptions through the Vimeo On Demand storefront and its publisher network, which includes more than 100 partners.

In addition, Vimeo will let its members offer SVOD worldwide or only in select countries; provide free trial subscriptions, free episodes and bonus content.

Vimeo, a subsidiary of IAC, claims to have more than 35 million registered creators and a monthly audience of over 160 million viewers worldwide.

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