VHX and Vimeo Join Forces to Compete With On-Demand's Big Guns

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 creatorssomething 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?      

Main article image: VHX Tumblr

Your Comment

3 Comments

This seems like a really really good thing for all of us. I've sold a film on Vimeo on Demand but have been disappointed with many of the backend tools. If this integration goes smoothly, I'm really looking forward to selling again on Vimeo.

May 2, 2016 at 4:44PM

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Micah Van Hove
Writer
director/producer

All in all, I love the move. Two companies that are all about the creators. But...

"The VHX site promises that their acquisition by Vimeo will mean, 'better streaming infrastructure'"

Better than what? Vimeo has appalling streaming infrastructure for a site of its popularity.

I love the Vimeo community and everything else they've done, so I hope this pushes them to finally deliver a professional quality streaming service. Considering that is the foundation of their business, it should be of utmost priority.

May 2, 2016 at 7:16PM

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Ben Howling
Writer / Director
668

What are the sales numbers like for web/original series sold on Vimeo VOD? I've heard from indie feature filmmakers that sales are pretty bad, with numbers in the low thousands and that's if your film is really good. One of the battles with finding investors to fund a "quality" original indie series is knowing what the ROI is using these sorts of platforms. Finding real world sales numbers is pretty difficult. Good to see things are heading in the right direction though with these sorts of buyouts by platforms like Vimeo.

May 3, 2016 at 9:00AM, Edited May 3, 9:04AM

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mrl72
Director, Producer
81

We are hoping VHX is a good option to sell outside the 30% that Apple and Android want off the top. Plus you have no editorial hurdles to get them to carry your material. Smart independents want to see these guys succeed, especially if you sell niche how-to material. You can sell either by the rental, the permanent download or as a subscription by the month or year if you have a library to offer. There are some glitches with the subscription. It's not available on all templates and it is an auto-renew after a year, which may spook some subscribers. But VHX is making pretty regular updates and will work with a producer to try to get your site the way you want.

In spite of their solid platform and technical know-how Vimeo did a miserable job with tip jar. They were sadly clueless about how this linked a creator to a supporter and would not even provide us with a donor's email on the basis of "privacy". Incredible. As if someone donating to a filmmaker through their payment gateway was their customer. Imagine if Visa or Master Card said that! We had no way to follow up to thank donors, let them have more info, etc. No wonder they killed it.

So far we are pleased with VHX as a baseline effort. They are helping us sell films, the customers seem to be getting a good stream and their after sale reporting is clear and concise. More poser to them.

November 2, 2016 at 4:07PM

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