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…because if YouTube changed the game for online video distribution, Vimeo elevated it. The service’s no ad streaming and high definition videos have attracted some of the most creative filmmakers and content producers in the digital sphere. The willingness to fund original material has led to successful series like “High Maintenance,” pretty much the gold standard of web shows. Vimeo’s unique revenue model relies on subscriptions and on-demand viewing, with a relatively low distribution fee and a creator-friendly platform.



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When Vimeo made the decision not to show ads, it sent a message to the online world that the service was about more than just clicks. Vimeo also committed to high definition streaming before anyone else, demonstrating that the company cared more about artistic quality than a bunch of grainy home movies going viral. By positioning itself as a real alternative to YouTube early on, Vimeo carved out an important niche in the emerging field of digital content. Filmmakers and creators certainly paid attention, with the more artistic-minded drifting towards Vimeo so as not to be lost amid all the clips of feline shenanigans. Sure, at some point you’ve probably had to sit through one of your more pretentious friend’s short films, but the level of content is definitely higher. At the very least, Vimeo draws filmmakers and content creators who aspire to do more, which counts for something.

Vimeo has done more than just create a home for original content producers. The company has actually devoted significant resources to produce and promote original material. While “High Maintenance” is by far the crowning achievement of web series production for Vimeo or any other platform, Vimeo has continued to expand its library of original material through series like “The Outs.” The company has also been able to attract up-and-coming talent like Aidy Bryant (of “SNL” fame) for the short film "Darby Forever." The service has also released feature length films, in addition to offering self-distribution channels for filmmakers through its acquisition of VHX. In 2012, Vimeo even hosted a film festival, offering awards to best original content in different categories. Its distribution platform also allows creators to customize how they would like to offer subscriptions, providing much more flexibility and placing control in the hands of the content owners themselves.

Unlike YouTube, Vimeo has primarily relied on subscribers for revenue. There are different levels depending on the user’s needs, which could range from a casual viewer of content to a prolific uploader of original material. The service also formerly used an innovative pay-what-you-can model, though this has since transformed into a more standardized on demand format. However, Vimeo’s creator-friendly attitude carries over even into its business side. In addition to its continued refusal to display ads, the service also allows users to distribute material with a relatively low 10% commission fee. In this brave new world of digital distribution, Vimeo has proven that a commitment to high quality material and new models of revenue streams can ultimately be a win-win for everyone.

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Article

A history of Vimeo, the site looking to usurp YouTube

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Vimeo buys VHX to build up its fledgling video subscription business

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Vimeo Expands Original Content Programming With Movies

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webpage

Vimeo – Video School

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Vimeo – Blog

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