Vimeo recently rolled out a Tip Jar feature for it’s content creators, where you can tip a donation to the artist. Coming up next for Vimeo is a Pay-To-View service, where audiences will actually have to pay to watch the video. It’s controlled solely by the creators, but will Vimeo take a cut of the money, like they do with the tip jar?
In a world where there are literally millions of videos you can find (the search term “cat” reveals more than 2 million alone on YouTube) it can become increasingly difficult to find quality content amidst the ocean of garbage that’s out there. Creatives and viewers who are hungry for well-produced, interesting content, can often find themselves going to Vimeo since it caters more towards filmmakers than YouTube does. I've personally found so many amazing pieces of work and I've become connected in real life with some of these people through what they've been able to post and I've been able to watch on Vimeo.
As more independent content creators become popular through Vimeo, it’s easy to imagine that they might seek a way to monetize their efforts. This Vimeo service will give those creators a platform to do just that, all while controlling certain distribution aspects. Not all of the details have been made clear, but a beta release has been set up for a few select films (the ones seen in the video).
The tip jar feature is a nice touch, but keep in mind that Vimeo takes a 15% cut on every donation. Does Vimeo really need this to pay the bills? It’s true that Vimeo doesn’t beat us over the head with advertisements (at least not for Plus users) but I wonder if they will seek the same cut for pay-to-view.
So, do you think this will catch on, and those amazing artists will make some decent money? Or do you think this will fall flat, and no one will watch these pay-to-view films since they are used to being able to watch anything that they want? Personally, I’m interested and scared all at the same time to see how many creators will enable this feature on their work… I love going on to Vimeo and watching the latest and greatest the world has to offer, but I’m not sure that I’m ready to pay $5 a video for it. And I certainly won’t pay it to watch somebody’s cat chase a laser pointer.