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Introducing Vimeo Creator Services: Helping Creators Make Money

Blake Whitman
September 19, 2012 by Blake Whitman Alum

Update: In July of 2015, we retired Tip Jar so we could focus on helping creators earn money from their videos with Vimeo On Demand

Back in 2004, we were just a bunch of video creators looking for a good online home for our creations. So we made Vimeo, and it turned into a lot more than just a place to post videos. A whole community formed to make it what it is: the best place to upload, share and watch some of the highest quality videos in the world. Creators are the blood coursing through Vimeo’s veins. Serving you is, was, and always will be, our highest priority.

Today, we’re taking one of the most important steps in our evolution as a service, a company, and a community. We’re proud to introduce Vimeo Creator Services, our new suite of simple, powerful tools to help creators make more money for doing what they do best: entertaining us, engaging us, baffling and outright dazzling us with amazing work.

Tip Jar
Tip Jar allows your fans to show their appreciation for your videos with small cash payments to you. When Vimeo Plus or Vimeo PRO members activate Tip Jar on a video, viewers will see a “Tip this video” button below the player on a video page. They enter their tip amount and credit card information, and you get paid. Simple! Learn more about Tip Jar in our FAQ.

And if you’re looking for a few great videos to tip, why not check out some of the 2012 Vimeo Festival + Awards winners: Symmetry by Everynone, Umbra by Malcolm Sutherland, Often Awesome The Series by All Aces Media, Amar by Pilgrim Films, A History of the Title Sequence by Jurjen Versteeg, Prie Dieu by Cokau, and Blinky™ by Ruairi Robinson.

Pay-To-View Service
In the coming months, we will introduce our first pay-to-view service, giving video creators of all types flexible tools to charge for access to your videos, with no coding required. We can’t say too much at the moment, but we can promise you’re going to like it. Look out for some cool demos of the service as we get it ready for launch to the whole community. Get psyched.

More Coming Soon
We love you guys, and supporting your creativity is our mission. Stay tuned to the Vimeo blog and our Creator Services page to stay on top of our latest tools and updates.




Ian MacKenzie PRO

nice job y'all. this is a big step forward to creating a way for creatives and fans to fund themselves outside the existing market system.

Frankly Films

This is great! I love to see how Vimeo takes Pro to a whole new level.

All Aces Media

You guys are always looking out for the creative community. Great idea and glad to see more options coming in the future. Media creators are looking for a way to monazite their work and have very limited resources for that. Lead the way Vimeo.


Interesting. We hope you remember us Europeans and other nationalities. Please include all currencies and other payment options as well, because very few own credit cards in Europe, where you have a massive and active fanbase. Gosh. Vimeo gives us so much.

Try including for the micro-payments.

Irrum PRO

Obviously these are great steps. However, with the pay to view service - this of course will mean less free content. A video you'd normally watch for free will now have a price tag. I guess only time will tell if this makes Vimeo a better place, or if it's just sugar coated way to generate revenue. Hopefully both.

Blake Whitman Staff

Totally understand your concern. We're making sure these features will be integrated in a very appropriate way. I think you'll find the other side of the coin in that content that normally wouldn't be on VImeo will now have a home, potentially leading to even more great content on the site.

Offering these tools is an important step for us as a service for video creators and we'll always be looking to feedback like this to make sure we're doing it right.

Thomas Hooper

Sounds brilliant, nice work :)

Could we get a list of the videos you used in this video?

Richard Jensen Plus

I like the idea in theory. But there are a lot of people who have issues with PayPal. Will you consider giving us an option of using a different service like Dwolla or WePay?

Nilz Plus

Bitcoin! But really, an alternative like Dwolla would be really great.

Mr. Bray Studios, LLC.

I agree Pay Pal sucks! Plus with your tip being cut from Vimeo(which 15% seems fair) then through Pay Pal kinda nickel and dime'n the people you wanna support.

Peter Jensen

I activated it but I haven't seen the UI yet from the user perspective. It needs to be built right into the viewer if possible, like your "Like" and "Share" buttons, and shouldn't require the entry of a credit card number or Paypal address more than once per account. Just mouse move to reveal the control, enter your dollar amount, and confirm. Anytime during the stream.

I also think there should be a subscription option which auto-tips based on viewing amount. Let's say I sign up for $10/month. Then the minutes I watch videos on vimeo is tabulated (I watched only 15 seconds of a poor video, but a whole half hour short) and the $10 is divvied up to those filmmakers based on the proportion of viewing time, perhaps with a weighting to videos of any length that are watched over 90% (so we don't just favor longer videos).

Clayton Cubitt Plus

Yes. This. (and I greatly applaud Vimeo for finally launching something like this.)

Peter Jensen

The other issue of course is how the proceeds are divvied up amongst the multiple creators of a project. It may be easiest for vimeo to punt on that and just pay all the money to the one uploading account, but there is a credits system and it may make the credited people happy to see what share of tips they will receive for a given video and be paid directly, rather than insisting on audits or what have you. ASCAP etc pay the various publishers and contributing songwriters directly rather than just paying one.

If this feature is successful enough to be the method of living for creatives, these issues will become prominent, and "who has the conch" in the sense of who gets to upload the video will be a squabble. People may re-upload the same video clamoring to be the one who gets that tip money otherwise.

pHragments Macabre

Although it says I joined here 5 months ago, I really just started to get the feel of the site about a week ago. I can say that I am quite pleased with what Vimeo has to offer. If you enjoy a unique and interesting story please check out my Matinee of the Macabre channel. Thanks!


Looks awesome, congrats, Blake!

Shift Horizon Plus

I really like the tipping system, but I am also concerned about the per-for-view system. Wont that completely split the community?

Enno Ladwig Plus

my worries too… even though i'd love to earn on my movies. if this ends up being a site where all the videos cost money, how is it good?

Jorge R. Canedo E. Plus

Sounds like a great idea! As long as the ppv is only used for content that wouldn't be in vimeo otherwise such as great independent movies and so on.
And the tip is such a friendly way of saying, 'hey thanks, that was awesome!' and I would love to tip to some awesome videos :)

Lisa M Harrison PRO

How so if the Tip Jar has been closed out? As far as I can see options are now free, no revenue at all or pay for view? Is that correct?


I think that's a good opportunity for upgrade our hobbies to a job. :)

Haitian American Youth Online

Great initiative. Also help fund future projects. Just worried it will take away from the initial reason many post video here to begin with. Hope there will not be a split in the community. In all great move to help the creator get some help to keep creating.

Joseph Gendron

Oooo I totally approve this :) Now vimeo plus or pro is interesting.

Lug Cinema PRO

That's great- as far as the tip button is translated in every language.

PALOMEQ motion + design

The Tip Jar is an awesome idea and a step forward. On the other hand it seems that the pay-per-view option might block certain content that otherwise would be free and share-able. The one great thing about vimeo is finding awesome work and sharing them. Once these videos have been restrained, it becomes a different site all together.

Smark Mark

Bravo! Excited to see where this Tip Jar can go. Unsure about pay-per-view at the outset however, but I don't know your plans. Vimeo seems more like a "discovery/portfolio" solution with the type of content presented on here. But, I understand the costs associated with powering such a service. Interested to see what sort of programming is spawned out of this. Either way, excited to join Vimeo on the future endeavor.

The Film Artist PRO

I think this is a brilliant idea and I hope that the commerical world leads the way and takes this opportunity to invest in film makers, be great advertising for them. Also, be great to tip others from tips you have collected rather than have to pay by CC each time :)

Cowboy Spirit TV

Can't wait for the Pay per View capability! Thanks you SOOOO much for enabling us to monetize our work on your incredible platform. Thank you thank you thank you...

Colin Delehanty

Will there be a tip jar button for embedded videos or will people have to click through to the vimeo page to find the button? Do viewers need to have a vimeo account to leave a tip?

Matt Schwarz Staff

No need to have an account, but you will need to visit to leave a tip!

Colin Delehanty

I tried tipping projectyose's video Yosemite HD $1 but it wouldn't work for some reason.

StoryReelProductions PRO

Would be an awesome concept to help raise money for charities as well - if video was shot to help raise awareness for certain causes - just something to think about ...Probably too damn complicated -

Adam Plowden Plus

This is just fantastic, a great development for the growing Vimeo community!

keith leng

It would be good if you were to canvas input on PPV during development, rather than just presenting it as a fait accompli.

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hi Keith,

We don't develop features without first seeing a need for them. Many users have expressed that they'd like a PPV option, and we've carefully examined ways to go about it. We always take our community into account when building features and we truly believe this will not only empower existing community members, but also bring amazing new creators and videos to Vimeo.

keith leng

Hi Matt, I wasn't suggesting that it's a bad idea, far from it. I meant that if you were to invite input during development--a kind of open beta-- it might be possibe to avoid the same kind of mixed reviews that the recent release of New Vimeo met with, when it landed out of the blue.

Charles Yeager

I am a huge Vimeo fan & I think the community is amazing. However, I am fearful that the tip jar feature is going to attract numerous spammers to this sacred film community. I think the pay-per-view feature is great & would be fantastic for people producing documentaries & longer feature films. With the tip-jar though, people are blinded by the "get-rich-quick" aspect. I'm just picturing all of the people on Youtube begging for subs & comments like "Sub 4 Sub!", where in this case people will be begging for "tips". ...Maybe I'm wrong though. But bringing money into the equation will change things, good or bad.

Peter Jensen

I can imagine Vimeo getting caught up in adjudicating endless copyright disputes as people upload other people's videos trying to collect on someone else's hard work. I wonder if Vimeo has some form of fingerprinting technology (a'la Shazam/Soundhound) to identify videos that are already in the system and flag them for review.

The effects on community are a concern, certainly. We are all happy what happened to Flickr hasn't happened to Vimeo. I have a sense the management here understands this apple from Eden and will respond to right things.

Charles Yeager

You bring up another very good point, about the copyright disputes & others uploading other people's content. The best thing I see to Vimeo's advantage is that you have to be a Plus member or higher in order to have the Tip Jar feature, in which case hopefully that element will eliminate most people from scamming & infringing on copyrights, since they would have to pay for a membership first. Of course there will always be people trying to take advantage of any system. But like you said, hopefully Vimeo is already aware of this & will respond in the right way.


Thanks Vimeo for supporting indie film-makers.

Please also develop defined products to give out, like Kickstarter. That would get Vimeo a big step ahead


Very Cool! I have been waiting a long time for a pay per view service I could trust,

Pietro Reviglio

Great idea...
hopefully there will be enough patrons of the arts willing to support talented artists :)

Chris Simpson

Good show. There ain't nothing wrong with monetarising your craft.

Having lapsed a Plus account, I'll be going ahead with Pro account very shortly, to be in position to use the PPV facility, and can move away from selling old tech DVDs as a primary method of delivery to my customers and stop having to rinse my HD to standard def dvd. Maybe with a little commerce I can then fund some art, indeed art of my own.

Pricing is obviously key, ease of payt, and please remember outside of US users please, £s, euros, paypal.

MasterWerks Plus

Sounds Awesome! Will there be an option for a series that allows people to not only purchase individual views but the series as a whole?

Twinlite PRO

As soon as this goes live, we're putting all of our produced content on here and charging what the same as the royalties we get from DVD's, which is about $2. Power to the viewer - at last. Well done Vimeo. This will have a big impact.

AutoLife TV Plus

This seriously made my day! As often as some of us hear supporters/viewers/fans say things like "awesome video", or "great work" many of us always think to ourselves "if I had a dollar for every time I've heard that." Now, we can just ask for "TIPS"!! Thank you!!!!!!!!

Clayton Cubitt Plus

I'd like to add my small voice to the many applauding Vimeo for finally enabling creators to profit from their hard work. I also echo other's calls to enable the Tip Jar via embeds, as this represents the lion's share of views for many "viral" videos. Also, where do we sign up to be enrolled in the Pay To View trials?

In any case, great work Vimeo, I might be coming back from YouTube for this.

Nilz Plus

So glad it has nothing to do with ads!

Hasraf HaZ Dulull Business

This is amazing! and yes so much better without having any ads etc.. this is going to take vimeo to another level... i'm so proud to be a PRO member of vimeo! I have already activated my TIP jar on my short film Fubar Redux -


congrats . keeps getting better here.

Bmagic da Beast

I'm new to Vimeo but im definitely liking the feel of the site. cant wait to see what other features are added. Check out my profile for a Starwars rap beat!

Miquel Campos

This is big, this is game changer.! BTW I remember in Japanese Anime they use the word OVA for "Original video animation" or animation direct to video. But soon the new meaning will be "Original Vimeo animation" :)

Jeff Hammond Plus

Will there be a fee to setup "pay to view" services? Also, will vimeo be taking a percentage from the tip or pay to view?


Hi there, I read on Motionographer that they're keeping 15%

BAM! Plus

Sounds awesome! Charging small amounts pay-per-view is great for indy docs and such. I can see great opportunities.


Only thing still keeping me on YouTube. You flip the switch, and its all over for Goog in my book.

George Royter

Thank you - that's why I love Vimeo. I am working on releasing three 30 minute Australian Outback documentaries, the pay to view will be great. I think the Tip Jar is also a great idea - every cent helps when you self fund projects.

Directive Creator

Looks Great, Now lets see if it actually works!
Tips welcome to support a Local Non-Profit to get Free Art lessons for Kids in the form of classes, curriculum, curation and professional mentorship.

Pay-per-View sounds awesome for something like a advanced tutorial series.

Greg Nuspel Plus

Will you be able to create a wallet that you can load up with Vimeo Bucks so you don't have to be entering your credit card info all the time. Also helps on budgeting :-)

Thomas Wightman

Always meant to upgrade and this is a good reason to do so. I can understand people's concerns, but living in a country who's short film funding in particular has more or less disappeared then this could certainly help.

Seamas McSwiney

...slippery slope. Vimeo was fine the way it was before they started changing it last year. This may well be a new step in the wrong direction. They are now heading in a corporate direction and many will be on the outlook for a more sincere alternative...


So glad I upgraded to "plus", you guys are doing epic things.

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hi Myles,

Introducing Tip Jar doesn't change our community guidelines, spamming is still not allowed and users who may be violating our guidelines will be approached about it. We believe this feature will encourage positive conversations around videos, rather than increase spam.

Vission TV

Any one want to earn money online with youtube by working from home. Can contact me.

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