• Vimeo Amps Up Its Offer to Filmmakers -

     

     

    Most people think of Vimeo as a video-sharing site, which makes sense because that’s what it’s been since it first appeared on the scene in 2004.

    But lately, the company has been showing signs of change.

     

    In March 2013, Vimeo launched it’s Vimeo on Demand service for “Pro” members, which for the first time allowed them to sell as well as show their films and videos (“Sell Your Work, Your Way”).

    vimeoondemand

     

    As part of the service, video owners can set the price of their offerings and they also get to keep ninety percent of the revenue. Vimeo takes ten percent. Not bad splits!

    Vimeo now has about 2000 films available for viewing.

    In September 2013, new features were added to the Vimeo on Demand service. For one, video owners were given the option of setting different prices for streaming versus downloading, which was not previously available. Pre-ordering was also added, as well as more sophisticated analytic tools.

    In an article in the Hollywood Reporter  September 2, 2013), Vimeo CEO, Kerry Trainor, commented that.

    “[VOD is] a movement that’s really growing, and a lot of filmmakers are looking at it (self-distribution) as a component of their distribution plan, or the main component of their distribution plan … Video on Demand offers filmmakers more control over how a film earns revenue, and so retains any possible profits … That includes speed to market, as filmmakers don’t wait for traditional theatrical distribution that may come well after a film festival launch, and instead release a picture as soon as possible via Vimeo On Demand.”

    toronto_film_festival_logo_final

    Vimeo made another announcement this September – a special offer to the 146 filmmakers whose films were premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (September 5 – 15, 2013). The terms of the offer include, $10,000 to filmmakers in exchange for an exclusive, first-run digital window on Vimeo on Demand for thirty days or until Vimeo recoups its $10,000 advance.

    In addition, filmmakers must set the viewing price at $4.99 or higher and their films must be accessible on the Vimeo on Demand site for at least two years. Once Vimeo’s advance has been recouped, filmmakers get 90% of revenues, with 10% going to Vimeo. At any time, filmmakers are free to pursue distribution through traditional outlets like theaters and cable TV.

    This kind of open-door distribution offer is equal parts exciting and risky, and it shows an incredible (well-earned) trust in the discernment of the TIFF selection committee. This will undoubtedly be a great option for the large number of films that will find success on the festival circuit while never securing traditional distribution, but there’s definitely an experimental tilt. Vimeo might end up eating losses for movies that never earn back the cash, and filmmakers who put their work online (even at such a respectable venue) may injure their chances for larger-scale theater distribution in the future. It’s the ancient choice between small, immediate satisfaction and the potential opportunity for bigger success further down the line.

    Regardless of the gamble for Vimeo and for filmmakers, this is excellent news for fans. We’ll gain access to movies that would normally require a passport, and as this is offered to more fests, it’ll be as if entire indie lineups will be at our fingertips instead of at the end of a plane trip. That’s a big, big win.

    – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/vimeo-offering-10000-paradigm-shift-for-tiff-filmmakers.php#sthash.72fA4CDu.dpuf

    So, why did Vimeo do this? And why would filmmakers want to take them up on it? The answer is two-fold, based on the shifting distribution sands:

    For Vimeo, it’s Content and Audience (and Money): 

    Vimeo would clearly like to expand its viewing audience and hopes to do this by adding to it’s library of viewing material, in particular, films. Small, high quality, recently produced, independent films. What better way to do this than to go to top notch film festivals and make deals with filmmakers whose films have been selected by industry professionals, but have not yet found traditional distribution. Theoretically, if these films have made it into world-class festivals, they must be good, right? Original, possibly good and probably affordable – all the things Vimeo is looking for as it tries to expand its library and, by extension, audience.

    Vimeo LLC CEO Kerry Trainor Interview

    According to Vimeo CEO Trainor,

    “We’re firm believers in direct distribution … We are focused on empowering filmmakers with the highest quality platform to control the distribution and monetization of their content – in any territory, on any device, at any time, and across a wide range of price points.” (Paula Bernstein, Indiewire, September 3, 2013)

     

    For Filmmakers, it’s Distribution and Audience (and Money): 

    As the hope of finding theatrical distribution becomes ever more slim, independent filmmakers are looking for new ways to get their films out to their audiences. Direct distribution is on the rise. Not only do filmmakers want their films to be seen, most also have to pay back their investors and fund their marketing campaigns. The holy grail has always been theatrical distribution, but given the advent of crowd-funding and direct distribution through the web, even filmmakers who haven’t found traditional distribution deals now have a chance of getting their films out there for audiences to see. They stand to make a bit of money in the process, too.

    TIFF11-Cameron_005_crop-929980_184x184As TIFF’s artistic director, Cameron Bailey, commented,

    “… that small film from Chile or Indonesia, or that low-budget film from the US” will have a much better chance of reaching a wider audience. The $10,000 payout could, after all, be added to the movie’s marketing budget. Or, knowing how strapped for cash many indie filmmakers are, could actually be the marketing budget.” (Trevor Mogg, Digital Trends, September 3, 2013)

    This kind of open-door distribution offer is equal parts exciting and risky, and it shows an incredible (well-earned) trust in the discernment of the TIFF selection committee. This will undoubtedly be a great option for the large number of films that will find success on the festival circuit while never securing traditional distribution, but there’s definitely an experimental tilt. Vimeo might end up eating losses for movies that never earn back the cash, and filmmakers who put their work online (even at such a respectable venue) may injure their chances for larger-scale theater distribution in the future. It’s the ancient choice between small, immediate satisfaction and the potential opportunity for bigger success further down the line. – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/vimeo-offering-10000-paradigm-shift-for-tiff-filmmakers.php#sthash.72fA4CDu.dpuf
    This kind of open-door distribution offer is equal parts exciting and risky, and it shows an incredible (well-earned) trust in the discernment of the TIFF selection committee. This will undoubtedly be a great option for the large number of films that will find success on the festival circuit while never securing traditional distribution, but there’s definitely an experimental tilt. Vimeo might end up eating losses for movies that never earn back the cash, and filmmakers who put their work online (even at such a respectable venue) may injure their chances for larger-scale theater distribution in the future. It’s the ancient choice between small, immediate satisfaction and the potential opportunity for bigger success further down the line. – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/vimeo-offering-10000-paradigm-shift-for-tiff-filmmakers.php#sthash.72fA4CDu.dpuf
    This kind of open-door distribution offer is equal parts exciting and risky, and it shows an incredible (well-earned) trust in the discernment of the TIFF selection committee. This will undoubtedly be a great option for the large number of films that will find success on the festival circuit while never securing traditional distribution, but there’s definitely an experimental tilt. Vimeo might end up eating losses for movies that never earn back the cash, and filmmakers who put their work online (even at such a respectable venue) may injure their chances for larger-scale theater distribution in the future. It’s the ancient choice between small, immediate satisfaction and the potential opportunity for bigger success further down the line. – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/vimeo-offering-10000-paradigm-shift-for-tiff-filmmakers.php#sthash.72fA4CDu.dpuf

    This kind of open-door distribution offer is equal parts exciting and risky, and it shows an incredible (well-earned) trust in the discernment of the TIFF selection committee. This will undoubtedly be a great option for the large number of films that will find success on the festival circuit while never securing traditional distribution, but there’s definitely an experimental tilt. Vimeo might end up eating losses for movies that never earn back the cash, and filmmakers who put their work online (even at such a respectable venue) may injure their chances for larger-scale theater distribution in the future. It’s the ancient choice between small, immediate satisfaction and the potential opportunity for bigger success further down the line.

    Regardless of the gamble for Vimeo and for filmmakers, this is excellent news for fans. We’ll gain access to movies that would normally require a passport, and as this is offered to more fests, it’ll be as if entire indie lineups will be at our fingertips instead of at the end of a plane trip. That’s a big, big win.

    – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/vimeo-offering-10000-paradigm-shift-for-tiff-filmmakers.php#sthash.72fA4CDu.dpuf

    Vimeo’s offer is not without risk for both sides.

    “Vimeo might end up eating losses for movies that never make back the cash and filmmakers who put their work online (even at such a respectable venue) may injure their chances for larger-scale theater distribution in the future … Regardless of the gamble for Vimeo and filmmakers, this is excellent news for fans. We’ll gain access to movies that would normally require a passport, and as this is offered to more fests, it’ll be as if entire indie lineups will be at our fingeritps instead of at the end of a plane trip. That’s a big, big win.” (Scott Beggs, FilmSchoolRejects, September 3, 2013).

    It remains to be seen how many filmmakers at TIFF 2013 will take Vimeo up on their offer.

    Would you?

    KW

    This kind of open-door distribution offer is equal parts exciting and risky, and it shows an incredible (well-earned) trust in the discernment of the TIFF selection committee. This will undoubtedly be a great option for the large number of films that will find success on the festival circuit while never securing traditional distribution, but there’s definitely an experimental tilt. Vimeo might end up eating losses for movies that never earn back the cash, and filmmakers who put their work online (even at such a respectable venue) may injure their chances for larger-scale theater distribution in the future. It’s the ancient choice between small, immediate satisfaction and the potential opportunity for bigger success further down the line.

    Regardless of the gamble for Vimeo and for filmmakers, this is excellent news for fans. We’ll gain access to movies that would normally require a passport, and as this is offered to more fests, it’ll be as if entire indie lineups will be at our fingertips instead of at the end of a plane trip. That’s a big, big win.

    – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/vimeo-offering-10000-paradigm-shift-for-tiff-filmmakers.php#sthash.72fA4CDu.dpuf

     

    This kind of open-door distribution offer is equal parts exciting and risky, and it shows an incredible (well-earned) trust in the discernment of the TIFF selection committee. This will undoubtedly be a great option for the large number of films that will find success on the festival circuit while never securing traditional distribution, but there’s definitely an experimental tilt. Vimeo might end up eating losses for movies that never earn back the cash, and filmmakers who put their work online (even at such a respectable venue) may injure their chances for larger-scale theater distribution in the future. It’s the ancient choice between small, immediate satisfaction and the potential opportunity for bigger success further down the line.

    Regardless of the gamble for Vimeo and for filmmakers, this is excellent news for fans. We’ll gain access to movies that would normally require a passport, and as this is offered to more fests, it’ll be as if entire indie lineups will be at our fingertips instead of at the end of a plane trip. That’s a big, big win.

    – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/vimeo-offering-10000-paradigm-shift-for-tiff-filmmakers.php#sthash.72fA4CDu.dpuf

    This kind of open-door distribution offer is equal parts exciting and risky, and it shows an incredible (well-earned) trust in the discernment of the TIFF selection committee. This will undoubtedly be a great option for the large number of films that will find success on the festival circuit while never securing traditional distribution, but there’s definitely an experimental tilt. Vimeo might end up eating losses for movies that never earn back the cash, and filmmakers who put their work online (even at such a respectable venue) may injure their chances for larger-scale theater distribution in the future. It’s the ancient choice between small, immediate satisfaction and the potential opportunity for bigger success further down the line.

    Regardless of the gamble for Vimeo and for filmmakers, this is excellent news for fans. We’ll gain access to movies that would normally require a passport, and as this is offered to more fests, it’ll be as if entire indie lineups will be at our fingertips instead of at the end of a plane trip. That’s a big, big win.

    – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/vimeo-offering-10000-paradigm-shift-for-tiff-filmmakers.php#sthash.72fA4CDu.dpuf

     

    This kind of open-door distribution offer is equal parts exciting and risky, and it shows an incredible (well-earned) trust in the discernment of the TIFF selection committee. This will undoubtedly be a great option for the large number of films that will find success on the festival circuit while never securing traditional distribution, but there’s definitely an experimental tilt. Vimeo might end up eating losses for movies that never earn back the cash, and filmmakers who put their work online (even at such a respectable venue) may injure their chances for larger-scale theater distribution in the future. It’s the ancient choice between small, immediate satisfaction and the potential opportunity for bigger success further down the line.

    Regardless of the gamble for Vimeo and for filmmakers, this is excellent news for fans. We’ll gain access to movies that would normally require a passport, and as this is offered to more fests, it’ll be as if entire indie lineups will be at our fingertips instead of at the end of a plane trip. That’s a big, big win.

    – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/vimeo-offering-10000-paradigm-shift-for-tiff-filmmakers.php#sthash.72fA4CDu.dpuf