Vimeo On Demand

In their press release and in their presentation at SXSW, Vimeo has announced a new distribution platform for indie filmmakers that — at first glance — looks like it has the potential to change the game. The urge to decry hyperbole here is understandable, but the new Vimeo on Demand program (VOD?) shows true paradigm-altering potential for two reasons:

  1. A realistic incentive for filmmakers in the form of a 90/10 revenue split
  2. A broad releasing platform that covers desktop, mobile (Android/iOs/Windows) and connected (Apple TV/Roku/Google TV/Xbox Live) and smart (Samsung/Panasonic/Phillips) TVs

That combination can provide real incentive and real returns for self-distributing filmmakers who are either trying to avoid or can’t find love from traditional models. It gets the work to a lot of channels, and the revenue share is fantastic considering that iTunes famously splits 70/30.

In this cheesy video, they show how it all essentially works:

It’ll be interesting to see how the concept plays out in the real world with filmmakers attempting to market their Vimeo page, small distribution companies leveraging the service beyond a VOD/Netflix/iTunes/Amazon release, and potential fans searching through unknown names and titles to find something good. After all, filmmakers will still have to find a way to build buzz for their product regardless of where it’s available.

But even so, it’s a new door that’s been swung open, and that can only be a good thing. This really could be big.

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