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Machinima Pacts with Vimeo, Which Is Committing at Least $500,000 to Original Video From the MCN

Machinima, the Warner Bros.-backed multichannel network focused on fandom and gamer culture, inked a pact with Vimeo to provide the MCN’s 30,000 creators with the opportunity to sell video on the Vimeo on-demand platform.

Under the pact, Vimeo is committing at least $500,000 to develop original content from Machinima creators that will be distributed exclusively on Vimeo, according to Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor.

The deal is similar in structure to Vimeo’s pact with Disney’s Maker Studios, under which Maker affiliates are eligible to work with the VOD provider to maximize their video creations. Vimeo has pledged to invest an unspecified amount of money in Maker talent.

It’s been a busy few days for Machinima. Last Thursday, the MCN closed $24 million in additional funding, led by Warner Bros. Entertainment. The next day, Machinima laid off 14% of its full-time staff, the latest round in cuts that date back to 2012.

Meanwhile, Machinima also is a key tenant in the Internet-video service from Vessel, the startup formed by Hulu ex-CEO Jason Kilar. Vessel, which last month launched a closed testing period, will charge $2.99 per month for a 72-hour minimum exclusive window to content from Machinima and a host of other partners.

Under the deal between Vimeo and Machinima, Vimeo is now the preferred transactional video-on-demand platform for its entire talent network. Over the next 12 months, Vimeo will become integrated into Machinima’s Console Talent Management system, a toolkit for creators that provides analytics, social tools, support, earnings reports and more.

“It used to be that you put content up on YouTube, and prayed that it would be monetized by you or by YouTube,” Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein said. “Now we are seeing three or four different revenue streams that can be attached to projects.”

Premium content from Machinima will be hosted on a branded channel on the Vimeo service. The companies started talks about a partnership about six months ago, Gutstein said.

All told, Machinima’s creators currently produce around 30,000 hours of original content per month — which is 10 times what a typical cable network, according to Gutstein. “We’re making original, premium content and we’re looking at new ways to monetize that so there are returns on that investment,” he said.

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