The strategy behind Vimeo’s VOD catalog expansion



Vimeo announced a major expansion of its content library and releases for Vimeo On Demand on Wednesday with the addition of more than half a dozen new distribution partners, including BFS Entertainment & Multimedia Limited, Drafthouse Films, Gaiam, Gravitas Ventures, Inception Media Group, MarVista Digital Entertainment (MVDE) and X-Treme Video.

Initially, Vimeo will be adding catalog titles that have been on other platforms, but it is in discussions with each of the partners regarding exclusive content premieres, and it anticipates several over the coming year, across a variety of verticals.

Vimeo On Demand is an open self-distribution platform that enables IP owners to choose price, viewing format (stream or download), and geographical availability, while retaining full ownership of their work.

As part of the deal, some of the distributors will be using the Vimeo On Demand embedded player to display their content on their company pages, social media platforms and dedicated websites for the films. Vimeo takes a 10% cut for content sold through their platform, with creators, distributors and partners keeping 90% of revenues after transaction fees.

“Vimeo sets itself apart from other platforms in the space from others in the market in that we’re a two-way open platform,” says Sam Toles, VP of content acquisitions and business development for Vimeo, in an email. “Much of our audience shares their own content while simultaneously discovering unique content from like-minded creators in both our free and transactional offerings.”

Toles says that its new partners will get the same treatment as the average uploader when it comes to placement on the company’s website.

“The same curatorial guidelines remain in place where our internal curators will review each new release from the distributors (as they do individual creators) as candidates for featured placement on the Vimeo On Demand homepage,” he says.

Here’s what viewers can expect from Vimeo’s new partners:

  • BFS Entertainment & Multimedia Limited, a Toronto-based company specializing in classic dramas, mystery, comedy, sports, documentaries and health and wellness. It will contribute approximately 12 new releases per year and 50 initial titles at launch, including the Australian TV series Rake and the BBC drama WPC 56.
  • Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Its Vimeo collection includes the comedy/thriller Cheap Thrills, Ben Wheatley’s A Field In England, Ari Folman’s epic sci-fi animated/live-action hybrid The Congress, starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel and Jon Hamm, and the Oscar-nominated documentary The Act Of Killing.
  • Gaiam, specializing in lifestyle media. It will be contributing 12 new releases per year in the yoga and fitness category, and 48 titles per year in the conscious media, health and wellness categories. It will have 50 initial titles at launch, featuring such personalities as Rodney Yee, Trudie Styler, and Richard Simmons. It will also present documentaries, including A Fierce Green Fire and Edge of the Earth.
  • Gravitas Ventures, a leading VOD distributor of independent cinema, including such recent films as Sunlight Jr., starring Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon, and Jocelyn Towne’s I Am I, and the upcoming releases The Longest Week, starring Jason Bateman and Olivia Wilde, and Felony, starring Joel Edgerton and Tom Wilkinson.
  • Inception Media Group LLC, specializing in horror, comedy, family and personal instruction. It will have an initial catalog of 50 titles and contribute an additional 18 titles per year.
  • MarVista, specializing in thrillers, indie comedies and family films, including the recent hit Disney Channel original movie Zapped, starring Zendaya, and upcoming holiday family comedy My Dad is Scrooge.
  • X-Treme Video, specializing in extreme sports programming. Its library will feature over 400 titles, including Brain Dead and Having a Heart AttackDe Fil en AiguillesMissingMTB Heroes, and Peninsula.

Image from the Drafthouse Films’ Cheap Thrills

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