Vimeo on Demand launches to let creators charge for videos

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Online video site Vimeo is rolling out tools to let creators charge for their content, the company plans to announce Tuesday at SXSW.

The move into paid video distribution is a “natural next step” for Vimeo, CEO Kerry Trainor told me, following the launch of a “tip jar” feature last September. The new feature is called “Vimeo on Demand” and is available to creators with Vimeo Pro memberships (which are aimed at professionals, cost $199 a year and offer options like more video storage and HD playback).

Creators control price for their videos but have to charge at least $0.99. There’s a 90-10 revenue split after Paypal or credit card transaction fees, with creators taking 90 percent.

Creators also control geographic distribution and whether their content is streaming-only or downloadable. They can put it up for sale on Vimeo.com, on their own website, or both. If they choose to enable downloading, the format is DRM-free MP4.

YouTube is reportedly planning to start offering subscriptions as an additional monetization vehicle for creators. For now, Trainor said, Vimeo isn’t looking at any type of subscription offering: “The feature is targeted toward the creator, and there are no plans for a viewer package.”

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