Vimeo steers towards Netflix model with investment in original content

Vimeo has joined the likes of Netflix and Amazon by investing in original content to encourage more viewers to sign up and pay for exclusive TV shows and films.

The IAC-owned platform will invest in three projects, including a new series of popular web show ‘The Outs, marking the first time that it has underwritten projects created exclusively for the platform. The other two exclusives are a Bianca Del Rio comedy special and a short film called “Darby Forever,” created by “Saturday Night Live” cast member Aidy Bryant.

Its business model’s lack of advertising means that the original content is off limits to marketers which Vimeo chief executive, Kerry Trainor, told the WSJ will mean creators will be “free of any restrictions from advertisers”. This also helps creators because viewers are more likely to watch content if they don’t have to sit through an ad.

Trainor said that Vimeo is “seeing more artists looking to do something directly with their fans. And they’re not going to do something like that on YouTube”. This in part is the reason that the site doesn’t carry advertising and has made changes designed to encourage more creators to host their content on the site and decide the price with 10 per cent going to Vimeo.

Trainor added that Vimeo was “focused on creators who we think are taking Web video creative to new levels of quality, that is what Vimeo is about. And it’s got an already proven, loyal fan base. So it’s the perfect kind of bet for us.”

The move appears to be paying off to, IAC revealed this summer that Vimeo’s paid subscriber base grew to 630,000-a 25 per cent jump in the second quarter of the year compared to the same period last year.

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