Unwilling to rely on in-video ads for revenue like its competitors (namely YouTube), Vimeo announced plans in September to introduce two monetization schemes, including a paywall component that would provide content creators with flexible tools to charge viewers. Although it isn't expected to be offered in full until early next year, Vimeo has launched a preview of what you can expect from the upcoming service.
The initial offering is limited to six films that were hand-selected by Vimeo's staff, including We Are Legion (limited to the US), Shut Up and Play the Hits (UK-only), Beauty is Embarrassing, Sons of the Clouds (US and Canada-only), Sunny, and Jeremy Jones' Further. It's unclear if Vimeo has set any kind of underlying stipulations, such as minimum pricing, but the site seems to be giving artists most of the control.
Considering how much red tape is involved with other mediums, that's an exciting prospect for creators and consumers alike, though it may produce an inconsistent user experience. For instance, three of the six videos currently available cost $5, one is $9, another is $4.99 and the last is $6.99. Additionally, your access to the content may expire over different lengths of time for each film, depending on the owner's wishes.
"Our mission is to support totally original video and the people who create it, which means providing more than a home. It means creating an environment where creators can access the resources to make their next film, and the one after that. Our new pay-to-view service enables creators to upload and distribute work that they depend on for their livelihood, all with easy setup and affordable rates," Vimeo said.
The other monetization element -- donations, essentially -- was implemented following the original announcement in September. Vimeo's "Tip Jar" lets artists with a Vimeo Plus or Pro membership and a PayPal account add a tip button to their videos so fans can show their appreciation with cash. Content creators receive those contributions in a monthly lump sum, and Vimeo takes a 15% cut for making it all possible.