What will the merger mean for independent creators?
Vimeo announced today that it has acquired the video monetization and distribution service VHX. VHX enables direct-to-consumer sales of video content for those who don’t have access to more established outlets like Netflix—or choose to forego them, like Aziz Ansari did when he sold his 2012 comedy special Dangerously Delicious from his own website using the VHX platform.
Although they pulled the "tip jar" feature that let fans donate voluntarily to beloved videos, Vimeo has been attempting to make an impact in the direct-to-consumer sales market since it launched On Demand in 2013, allowing creators to set their own price for work and keep 90% of revenue after transaction costs.
Vimeo will only keep 10% of profits from video sales, a much lower percentage than its competitors.
Detailed specifics have not yet been released about how exactly the two services will integrate, or how features or pricing for users will change, but chances are this merger will be a good thing for independent creators. Two features significant to makers will be maintained from Vimeo’s current on-demand program: Vimeo will only keep 10% of profits from video sales, a much lower percentage than its competitors, and it will share back-end viewing metrics with creators—something that Netflix, for example, does not do.
The VHX site promises that their acquisition by Vimeo will mean, "better streaming infrastructure, better apps, more marketing and business development firepower, and access to a huge, global audience. Over time we expect these improvements will translate into more competitive products, and new marketing and syndication opportunities for our sellers."
Vimeo has maintained its support of indie creators from the beginning with programs like the Vimeo Staff Picks, which has exposed unknown artists to audiences of millions. The folks behind VHX are innovative video creators themselves (co-founders Casey Pugh and Jamie Wilkinson created the amazing collaborative project Star Wars Uncut), which is another sign that indicates the merger has the best interest of creators in mind.
How do you think this merger will affect the filmmaking community? Have you used Vimeo on Demand or VHX to sell your work?