While it's been in private beta since November, Vimeo has finally unveiled details of their pay-to-view service, which they are now officially calling Vimeo On Demand. This is a big move for the video streaming website, which up until now has only offered the option to tip users. There are plenty of options for creators to sell their content online, but it's far more convenient to sell through a service that's already familiar with millions of users. Check out more details of the new service below.

A little bit from their press release announcing Vimeo On Demand:

Vimeo today launched its open self-distribution service, Vimeo On Demand. Available now to all Vimeo PRO members, Vimeo On Demand empowers creators to sell their works directly to their audiences and retain a 90 percent share of the revenue after transaction costs. In addition to its creator-friendly revenue share, Vimeo On Demand gives creators the flexibility and control to choose their price; select country-by-country availability; customize their page design; and offer content on Vimeo, their own website, or both.

Here is the launch video:

While the service is officially launching at the SXSW film festival today in Austin, we talked with Blake Whitman, Vimeo's VP of Creative Development. Here are some of the things we learned from the conversation:


  • Vimeo really wants to make the experience custom to users
  • While the PRO account has portfolios, Vimeo On Demand will allow for people to use custom domains for the VOD page, so that you can set up your own destination site


  • They are looking at people selling their films and instructional videos
  • People will be able to sell their web series as individual episodes or all at once
  • You set the price, duration of rental, and geo-restrictions
  • The system will be flexible, allowing you to set prices for individual episodes of a series

Rental Process

  • Creators can make videos available for only a specific amount of time, or in perpetuity
  • People will have to have a Vimeo account to make purchases


  • Hosting fees and delivery fees are covered with the PRO account
  • There will be a 90/10 revenue split to the creator after transaction/credit card fees

Anytime, Anywhere

  • Vimeo On Demand will be built into the ecosystem and discoverable through search, and will be part of the "following" system, showing up in feeds
  • Any purchase goes to the watch later queue so you that it can be watched on connected TVs, mobile devices, etc.

Player Improvements

  • While not completely related to Vimeo On Demand, Blake did mention that they are always working on improving the user interface, so it's possible we could see a solution to the issue of the user not being able to select a video in 720p or 1080p (at present you can select HD or non-HD, but not flavors of hi-def)


This is a big move for Vimeo, and it's definitely exciting as a filmmaker to finally see one of the biggest streaming sites on the web really open up and allow creators to sell their content. While there will always be plenty of options online for selling your work, the more places people can find it the better. While you'll need a PRO account for the service (which starts at $200), I think it's a small price to pay for Vimeo handling everything on the back-end and you keeping 90% of the revenue.

Head on over to Vimeo to learn more about it.

What do you guys think? If you have a PRO account, will you be using Vimeo On Demand right away? How do you see this service competing with something like iTunes or Amazon -- or do you see it as beneficial to have your work on all of them?