Vimeo: Tip Jar and Pay-to-view!

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OK I think this is BIG!

At the very least this annoucement has the potential to be very big, and I think this is an important date on the timeline of online video delivery history. 

Vimeo is going to allow its community to start monetizing their video content (and not with annoying ads like youTube!) 

And while Video on Demand or Pay per View aren’t anything new, making them available to the "masses" if you will – IS.

There are two ways this will work:

First is Vimeo’s Tip Jar which enables us to crowdsource funds to support future work.  I’m a big fan of this!   Viewers will be invited to give tips before, during or after watching a video.    And Vimeo will give 85% of that money straight to the creator – which is more than reasonable.   And you can start doing this TODAY if you’re a Vimeo Plus or Vimeo Pro member by simply activating the feature.

I’ve been one of the many people out there asking Vimeo to do something like this for more than 2 years.   I think that if audience members enjoy a tutorial or a video, this is the best way (by giving a small "tip") for them to help that filmmaker continue to produce more of that content.   Same goes of course for short film, music videos, time lapse tips – you name it… or in this case: you "tip" it!

As far as this blog is concerned, the truth is that the majority of the sponsorship we get from companies on this blog goes right into the production of educational/promotionals/behind the scenes videos, shoots, and reviews we do on this blog.   In an ideal world I would love to be able to do these videos purely off of crowdsourcing funds.    We’d be able to make more of them, and to make them a little more impressive or just plain crazier 😉  

Vimeo Tip Jar and Pay-to-view from Vimeo Staff on Vimeo.

I think a lot of people will be activating this feature on their Vimeo accounts – you never know who will appreciate the work you put up…  

This blog has never been about making money, it’s about sharing and giving a little bit back.   But the truth is: it takes a lot of time, effort and money to get that done.  And to this day we’ve been able to do that (a team of 4 of us) on a weekly basis – thanks to the sponsors of this blog.  If you’re not already familiar with them, you should check out the gear section and the educational resources section of this blog that contains a wealth of information.

This new feature will hopefully allow us to balance things out more and to "think bigger" in terms of demos and videos which has me very excited.  And that’s what I think is significant about Vimeo’s announcement:  it allows us to not only continue to connect with our Vimeo audience, but also to give them an easy way for them to support our (and other people’s) future work.

Which is awesome.

The second method, is Vimeo’s pay-to-view.     And I think it’s just as significant, if not more.    VOD is nothing new.  But the everyday easy access to Video On Demand is huge and a significant step in online distribution.   Vimeo will beta this feature in the fall, and make it available to Vimeo PRO subscribers in early 2013.  Filmmakers/content providers will be able to control their pricing, rental duration, distribution location, and other settings with the service.   

The fact that Vimeo is making this available to ANYONE with a Vimeo Pro account is very significant in my opinion.   And the fact that Vimeo is on just about every Apple TV, iPad, iPhone and Android is not to be forgotten…  I routinely watch Vimeo videos on my flat screen TV at home (I save them to my "watch later" queue on my phone or on the web and watch them when I’m at home.)  I can only imagine this functionality will make its way onto those apps as well at some point.   And I can’t wait to see the first young filmmaker put out a great short… and have that short fund her or his first feature-length film.  And I’m sure I’m not alone!

With vimeo already reaching a global audience of more than 75 million viewers a month – I think that this will make a lot of people out there happy.   I plan on "tipping" a lot of other videos out there myself as I really believe that we all benefit from one another’s support in the filmmaking and content creation community.    For more information you can visit Vimeo’s blog page detailing these new features or here .