Video-sharing website Vimeo entered the teeming field of online film distributors on Tuesday, launching Vimeo On Demand, a service that enables its paying subscribers to charge other Vimeo users a fee for watching their videos. Vimeo announced this new service at South by Southwest, the Austin-based music, film and interactive festival where the nine-year-old company has sponsored a theater for the last three years.
Vimeo draws more than 90 million unique users per month, according to its own metrics. Its more than 15 million registered users can now either rent or purchase videos under the new program. The video creators set the price, take 90 percent of the revenue and can also determine which countries the movies are available in.
"Vimeo continues to focus on being the platform of choice for higher quality creators to upload, store, share and distribute their content to the world," CEO Kerry Trainor told TheWrap. "Empowering those creators with ways to monetize was the natural next step."
Trainor said Vimeo users have been asking for this feature for some time, and that Vimeo chose to act now because users have shown a willingness to pay for videos online, thereby accelerating artists' efforts to self-distribute videos.