Create a video channel on Vimeo and see if anyone will pay to watch
Vimeo is giving online video makers a new way to earn money.
The video site has introduced a new subscription service that lets video makers set up their own paid channels, the IAC-owned company said Tuesday. Filmmakers can choose between charging a monthly subscription for access to their clips or a one-time fee.
Vimeo users have been able to pay for content before, including last year’s pass to watch popular web comedy series High Maintenance, which HBO subsequently picked up following the show’s success on Vimeo. The new subscriptions give filmmakers a greater opportunity to make money from their work, Vimeo said in its press release.
Greg Clayman, Vimeo’s general manager of audience networks, said the company is leaving pricing details up to video makers. They can make their work available only in certain regions rather than worldwide.
Video makers will get 90% of all revenue from subscription sales, minus transaction fees, while the rest goes to Vimeo.
“It’s going to be really interesting for us to see what creators do with the service,” Clayman said, adding that subscription channels that succeed will likely signal to others what they should charge.
Instructional videos like exercise or hunting and fishing should do particularly well, he said. Prices for specific channels will vary, perhaps around $1 monthly for short-form clips, while more high-end content could cost much more, he added.
Vimeo’s new service comes at a time when online video companies are expanding to seize market share from traditional television and film outlets. Meanwhile, Google-owned YouTube, which has previously relied on ad-supported content, is expected to soon debut its own paid subscription service.
Clayman sees Vimeo firmly “in the middle” between YouTube and what he calls the more “Hollywood content” services like Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN) and Hulu, which have all beefed up their original programming of late. Vimeo does not typically get involved in film production, but the company did recently partner with Indiegogo to become the online fundraiser’s preferred distribution platform for films funded on Indiegogo.
Now, with its new subscription video tools, Vimeo is looking to attract the creative community and more high-quality content by giving video makers free rein to sell subscriptions.
For more about YouTube’s possible subscription channels, watch this Fortune video: