Vimeo takes on Netflix with first original programming commission

Vimeo has taken its first dip into original content programming with the signing of web series High Maintenance, which will see the video platform finance six new episodes to launch exclusively via Vimeo On Demand.

Created by husband and wife team Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, both from TV show 30 Rock, the series, which follows a cannabis dealer as he delivers to stressed-out New Yorkers, first aired on Vimeo in July 2013 but was independently funded.

“We’re all huge fans of High Maintenance and couldn’t be happier to make our first original programming investment in a show that’s developed organically on Vimeo,” said Kerry Trainor, CEO, Vimeo.

The deal is the first of a $10m investment by the company to license content for distribution on Vimeo On Demand from creators seeking alternatives to ad-based models.

The new episodes are expected to launch later this year with the release schedule and pricing yet to be determined.

The announcement follows growing pressure from video streaming site Netflix, which recently invested £100m in a series charting the Queen’s six decades on the throne.

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