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Vimeo Gives Pro Users Options to Make You Pay Per View

Do you like Vimeo more than YouTube? Well, it may be time to put your money where your mouth is, because Vimeo has beaten YouTube to the pay-per-view game, so you could soon find yourself paying for your favorite Vimeo videos. Like the YouTube plan announced a few weeks ago, this doesn’t mean Vimeo is going to an entirely paid service. They’re just giving their Pro users the option to charge, but unlike YouTube, I think Vimeo producers might actually take them up on it.

When YouTube announced their plan to give select channels an option to charge a monthly subscription fee, I said it probably wouldn’t be worth it for the more popular YouTube channels to suddenly start charging if what they’re doing now is already working for them. They’ve built their audience with free content, so suddenly charging monthly fees could drive people away.

Vimeo, however, is where video producers go to get higher quality versions of their work online. They’ve already experimented with independent film rentals as of last year, and this pay-per-view option could be a great way for independent filmmakers to distribute their work.

Pro users, who pay $199 per year for the privilege of higher quality online video, and the vague feeling that it makes them somehow better than YouTube users, can start charging a rental and purchase fee to try to turn a profit. Vimeo started the service off by offering $2 rentals of the film It’s a Beautiful Day which can also be purchased for $6. The best bit of news for Pro users is that after transaction fees they see 90 percent of the profit from the payments.

My guess for YouTube’s subscription service is that larger channels will stay away from charging, or offer additional content on a separate channel, but Vimeo’s on demand option could be a easy and viable way for independent filmmakers to earn some money for their work.¬†The Pro users can customize their Vimeo On Demand page, set their own price, and even decide how long the rental period for a video is. That makes paying $199 for a pro account seem like a reasonable price to get your video in front of an online audience looking for high quality work.

(Vimeo via The Verge, image via Dan4th)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.