Nearly three years after they introduced it, Vimeo is calling it quits with Tip Jar.
While the option was intended to help video creators monetize their free videos, it's no secret that it hasn't exactly taken off. They haven't offered any hard numbers about the total money made from Tip Jar, but it's clear from those with rather large followings that it didn't work as well as they'd hoped. I'm not sure how much it would have helped, but it likely would have been more visible if it was enabled by default on all Pro and Plus accounts, and on all archived videos, immediately after it was introduced.
Here's Vimeo's response about the situation:
On July 29, we will discontinue Tip Jar and no longer collect tips on your Tip Jar-enabled videos. Any tips you've received up until then will be paid out in accordance with our Payment Addendum. You don't need to take any action to make this happen.
While we're sad to say goodbye to our old friend, this change will allow us to focus on tools like Vimeo On Demand to help creators like you earn money from your videos.
Thanks for your understanding, and for making the most of our creator tools! We really appreciate you sticking with us as we continue to make Vimeo as awesome as possible.
If you're unfamiliar with Tip Jar, here's the launch video:
Vimeo On Demand is a completely different animal than Tip Jar. It's nice that they're going to increase their focus on the VOD service, but you're only going to use Vimeo On Demand for very specific videos, like feature films, a web series, or an educational video. I don't see people paying money before they can watch music videos or camera reviews, and this is one of the areas where Tip Jar actually made a lot of sense.
We'll see how Vimeo moves forward and if they introduce any other kinds of donations, but without an ad-supported mode in place, I don't see a way for them to reward the most prolific creators. One of Vimeo's main selling points is that you don't have ads everywhere, so I wouldn't expect to see that anytime soon.