Vimeo is introducing a spate of new original programs to compete with the likes of Amazon and Netflix.
Today Vimeo announced that it’s invested in a new web series, a short film, and a comedy special, all of which will appear exclusively on its Video on Demand platform in the winter of 2016.
The Outs is a web series created by Adam Goldman and Sasha Winters about twenty-somethings living in Brooklyn. The show, which debuted last year on Vimeo as a creator project, is now back exclusively on Vimeo for a second season. It will kick off in the winter 2016.
For its short film, Vimeo teamed up with Saturday Night Live cast member Aidy Bryant to create Darby Forever, about a daydreaming store clerk who’s looking for love.
Finally, Vimeo will feature its first original stand-up performance with Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate Comedy Special: Live from Austin.
Vimeo first began investing in exclusive content in 2014 with the popular web series High Maintenance. That program has since migrated over to HBO, but Vimeo has continued inking deals with other production houses in its wake. Over the summer, Vimeo launched a documentary called #O2LForever, as well as two series — Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures and Parallax.
Vimeo’s ramped-up development of original exclusive content follows a trend among other video-on-demand platforms, like Netflix and Prime Video. As traditional television begins to wane in popularity, digital platforms are rising up to replace cable networks. Netflix and Amazon’s Prime service are doing this by building an arsenal of original films, series, and one-off programs that can be viewed limitlessly for a flat monthly subscription fee.
By contrast, Vimeo allows viewers to buy individual shows and movies or to subscribe to a creator’s series for unlimited monthly viewing. This lets content creators more directly profit from sales of its programming. In return for distributing filmmaker work, Vimeo takes a ten percent cut of all content sales.
This model takes advantage of a niche of filmmakers who are looking for a cheap way to distribute high quality films without the backing of a major studio. Plus, Vimeo gives creators a way to earn back their investment in the platform. In a blog post outlining earning potential, Vimeo noted that, based on existing data, videos garnering at least 20 sales were able to convert 3.2 percent of people who watched a film’s trailer into paying customers. That bodes well for sellers, who can earn roughly $1,300 for 10,000 views on a $5 film.
Vimeo says it has amassed 160 million monthly viewers and 35 million registered users. Though it has not revealed how many people are paying for content on its platform, the company was making $40 million in 2013, just a year after it launched Video on Demand.