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Vimeo On Demand: Sell your work, your way

Blake Whitman
March 12, 2013 by Blake Whitman Alum
In November, we announced one of the most important evolutions in Vimeo’s history: [Creator Services](, a suite of features to help creators make more money by making great video. First came Tip Jar, which lets fans give kudos in cash. Then came Movies, the first pay-to-view experience on Vimeo, featuring six full-length films that would never have had a home on Vimeo before. Now we’re thrilled to announce that Movies were just an appetizer. Introducing the main course: [Vimeo On Demand](, a totally open platform that enables you to sell your work directly to your audience. If you’re a [Vimeo PRO]( member, you can distribute your work the way you want, with all the power of Vimeo’s HD player, easy-to-use tools, and wildly passionate audience. [clip:61103187] Ready for some specifics? Here we go: **90/10 revenue split** You keep 90% of revenue after transaction fees, and we cover all delivery costs. You read that right — 90%. **Your audience can watch anywhere** Your work is available online, as well as on mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs, all in gorgeous HD quality. **Customizable design** You can completely personalize your Vimeo On Demand page to match your work and bring it to life. **Amazing flexibility + control** Sell films, episodes, and more at the price you want, anywhere in the world you want — including on your own website. ![]( We’re creators ourselves, and we know how hard it can be to get your work out there and connect with an audience. Since we founded Vimeo in 2004, we’ve been dreaming of a world where more and more creators can support themselves with their work alone. Today we’re proud to be taking a big step in that direction, and there are many more exciting steps to come. [**Learn more about Vimeo On Demand >**](


Remyyy Plus

Bravo ! Always a step ahead, it never changes. :)

Joe Simpson

I probably won't end up using it myself, but could you make the viewing time "forever" if people want as that'd be pretty cool :)

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hi Joe,

Viewing forever wasn't an option unfortunately as the feature is tied to our PRO membership. Once that expires, the viewing period would as well.

Joe Simpson

Ah right, couldn't it be "as long as I'm a pro member"? Then for users be "Viewable until not available for sale"

Matt Schwarz Staff

It's an interesting thought, but for our initial roll-out we'd rather have a hard and fast viewing window versus leaving something open-ended where a user may forget to watch something before it expires :)

Persistent Peril PRO

It looks like you can let people 'download after purchase' though, that's similar to a "forever" option. Brilliant news by the way!

Maarten Toner PRO

Download option sounds cool, 3 prices one for short term, a year and download! :)
Somewhere in the future thought, it's already very cool Vimeo jumped into this chasm that is indie distribution! Time to re-read all those music licenses!

Walk Talk

I agree with Joe, I'd love a "Forever" option.


Nice. Now all we need is a way to prevent people from screen-recording the purchased videos and we're inn.

Norbi Whitney Plus

Way too much effort. Check the "please note" section under the viewing period.

Multitouch Berlin

Great news - let's hope other platforms will follow the 90 to 10 percent revenue split. This is the way to do it right.

Jeremy Wilker PRO

This is great news. Thanks, Vimeo. Also, there are at least two other platforms that also do the 90/10 split, which is a great trend.

Jeff Sanders

If it is tied to the PRO membership annual subscription.... what happens if someone buys a video set to a year and the sellers subscription expires the next week?

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hi Jeff,

If you do not watch the video while the viewing period is still active, and it then goes offline, you'll be refunded for your purchase.

Jeff Sanders

Thanks for the reply Matt.

Another question. What if I wanted to allow a customer to access a video for a set length of time and with as many views as desired?

As an example. Selling an exercise video some could watch 1x, 2x, or 5x a week for a month?

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hi Jeff,

You can view a video as many times as you want during the viewing window you've purchased access to. You can also give the option to allow downloading of your videos.

Westley Dowdles Plus

Would be kind of cool if you cold issue credits to a viewer. So certain people purchase and others have a credit already to use or for promotions. How would that work team vimeo?

Westley Dowdles Plus

Thanks Matt for your feedback. I guess the main thing is, you guys n' gals have come up with a great new feature for the Vimeo platform and we are all excited and already want it expanded.

Victim of your own success. :)

Alex Mallis PRO

oh one question: is there a way to give people free access? I.e. Kickstarter backers

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hi Alex,

Users can view your trailer for free, but to create a VOD page, you must have at least one video to be paid for.

Darnell Clayton Plus

One thing is missing: Roku integration! Is there a way you could integrate with Roku? They already have my credit card so we could pay through that and watch the flick on our "small screen."

Pretty please!!!!

Chris Diken Staff

Hi Darnell,

Thanks for the feedback and the Roku suggestion. We'll take it into consideration. This is just phase one, so we're focused on making payment accessibility as broad as possible. There's lots more fun stuff to come.

Ryan Hefner Staff

Hey Darnell,

And to follow-up on Chris' comment, right now the only thing not possible is the purchase of the video. Once you purchase a VOD film on, that film is added to your Watch Later queue, which is available on Roku. I know it may not be a fully integrated flow, but you can at least view the video from the comfort of your Roku.

Hope that helps. Thanks!

La Mancha Media

so awesome! and awesome video too! because it is so close to reality now.

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hi Matt,

Sorry, not sure I understand? Do you mean you're afraid of high traffic taking the page down?

Casey Jones

I'm curious, what sort of security barrier would there be to prevent someone from ripping the on-demand video and re-distributing it for free on another site? This already happens a lot with other videos posted on Vimeo, so I don't expect that there's much that can be done about it. If there is, though, I'm all ears!


I'd like to push this question as it's a very important one for many content producers

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hi guys,

With any content you put online, there is an inherit risk of it being downloaded. This is the case for almost all online video playback as it is technically being "downloaded" to your computer as you watch it from your browser. While we take measures to prevent this – including disabling downloading, expiring video URLs, etc – if you are genuinely concerned, we suggest not putting your videos online.

Casey Jones

I figured as much. Thank you for the quick answer, in any case!


Thanks Matt.
Sure, putting videos online is always risky, but there are ways to prevent (or at least to make it much harder to) screen-capturing.
We'll stay tuned and jump right on the train once vimeo has done something towards content security ;-)

Quantize Courses PRO

There are other sites that make the videos difficult to download. Most standard ripping software will detect and download easily from Vimeo. It's a real shame as everything else you guys do is first class!!

Cruiseman's Garage PRO

My take on this is, no matter what the technology, there are always going to be ways to cheat the system. You have to factor that risk into the business equation. There are enough honest people out there that, if you are charging $5 or $10 to view a video, will not waste the time or energy. It is cheaper to just pay to watch the video.

Michael Coleman Plus

Congrats all...excited to see which videos turn a profit and stream worldwide!

Oiffy PRO

Congrats, this is a fantastic new option for PRO members. Two questions:

1) Any chance this may be made available to Plus members, too? We pay, too.

2) Can these Vimeos on Demand be embedded as well? Let's say "MovieX" had a dedicated site called - could people purchase it via an embedded video on there?

Thank you.

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hi there,

Right now On Demand is only for PRO members, but expanding to Plus is something we will be considering. You can also map these VOD pages to a custom domain and hide the video from if you'd like.

Oiffy PRO

Thank you, Matt. If ever you have a sample page of a VOD page on a custom domain and custom site layout/design, that would be fantastic. Are all the buying options embedded in the video itself? Wishing you great success with it and looks like we'll be going PRO soon. - Jörg at Oiffy

Chris Diken Staff

Hey Jörg,

Thanks for the rad feedback. The buying options are not embedded within the video at this time, but it's something under consideration for future releases. This is only the first phase of Vimeo On Demand, and there's lots more on the way.

Sunny And Mild Media PRO

So what about the embed question? I have a site people are used to going to. Can the video be embedded on it and people pay there to watch it or do I have to send people to the Vimeo page to pay & watch? Also if it is a series can I add new videos to the vimeo page as new episodes are available or do I have to make new pages for each episode?

Chris Diken Staff

Hey Sunny & Mild,

As I mentioned in my comment above, buying options are not embedded within the video player right now, but they're under consideration. However, you can use your Vimeo On Demand page on any URL you want, even without Vimeo branding if that's your thing, so viewers can pay and watch on your site.

Re: adding episodes — yes, you can add new episodes to a page. You can create one page for your series and update that page as you go.

Sam Price-Waldman Plus

very cool! This could be really great for artists and I can't wait to see how it all plays out. Personally, I'd rather watch a film here than anywhere else online, 1) for the quality, and 2) because I know that 90% of the viewing fee is going to the artist. Thanks vimeo! - love, Sam

redfitz PRO

Can films be downloaded after purchase as well or only streamed? And if they can be downloaded, is that made clear to customers? What is that process?

Chris Diken Staff

Hey Nick,

Work can be made available for download as well as streaming — that's up to the creator. If the creator does make downloading an option, a "Download" button will appear on the work's On Demand page. For example, see here: [the button under "watch now" on the right]

Aaron Hosé PRO

As a PLUS member myself, I can understand people's desire to want this new feature for PLUS members. But consider the following:

1) Vimeo on Demand will cut down on the already overlong marketing/distribution phase of smaller (budget) FEATURE-LENGTH indie films (I wouldn't want to be forced to pay to watch short films, as they are already free on Vimeo/YouTube).

2) VOD gives filmmakers more of an "instant" option with which to reach their audiences, and may prove over time to be better than even going through an aggregator (or Distribber), which does not guarantee access to markets outside the U.S. & Canada via iTunes, Netflix, etc.

3) Aggregators (or even Distribber) have start-up/conversion fees that, after al is said and done, is anywhere between $750-$5,000+. Let's be honest, this kind of money is not easy to come by for most indie filmmakers. With VOD, you pay an extra $60 to upgrade for Vimeo Plus and you're ready to sell your movies to the world.

Matt Schwarz Staff

Hey Aaron,

Sounds like you're saying VOD is the way to go, right? Obviously we want users to really enjoy this, but for now in it's first phase, Vimeo On Demand will be available exclusively for PRO members.

Aaron Hosé PRO

Yes, basically that is what I'm saying. Eventually Vimeo on Demand can be THE way to go, period. While I understand the perks/benefits of being on iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, etc. it's still up to the filmmaker to properly market their film and reach their audience. This is not something that we can rely on our aggregators to do for us (unless they are madly in love with your movie). Since that is the case, why give away all all that money for upfront "conversion" fees when you can simply upgrade your membership and do it yourself inside Vimeo. ;-)

Nick Michalak Plus

The problem is, I really can't afford to pay DOUBLE what I already am paying for Plus in order to get Pro. Also, I barely get any purchases/rentals from Amazon Instant Video at $1.99 per rental or $5.99 per purchase. I doubt a Vimeo VOD is going to get me to the point where it pays for the Pro account all on its own. I also have no need for the additional services that come with a Vimeo Pro account. It's not worth paying an extra $60 a year for a service that's likely not going to cover the cost I'm putting in to have it. I was so excited for this service, and was gonna jump on it right away. Now, I find out it's only available to Vimeo Pro members, and I'm very disappointed.

Jaime Byrd Plus

Great tool!

Will this be available for short films as well? We have a film that is 32 minutes long that we would love to offer through this service.

Chris Diken Staff

Hello Jaime,

Yes, you can use Vimeo On Demand to distribute work of any length. You could make a 1-second film and charge $500 to watch it. It'd better be a good film, though.

Cool Thinking Media

I'm sure its all good.

Incidentally what are the viewers' method of payment options, visa, PayPal, etc, etc? I confess I've not had time to sit down and purchase one of test movies. Do paying viewers have to be registered with Vimeo themselves?

I see talk of an on demand page on vimeo, I'm very niche, my content is for my specialised clientele. Can I keep my content off Vimeo listing (only cos I don't want to clutter up around the art)? And if as I read the payment options are not in the player window, are there HTML snippet buttons or can the on demand page, be hosted on my own web pages/website and that of a clients?

Sunny And Mild Media PRO

Can you share your knowledge so I everyone does not have to search it out themselves? THANKS!

Ands are there HTML snippets that can be added to your website?

Chris Diken Staff

Let me go through these questions one at a time!

1. What are the payment options?

We accept credit cards and payment through PayPal.

2. Do paying viewers have to be registered?

Yes, just like how viewers need to be registered on other services of this kind, such as iTunes and Netflix.

3. Can I keep my content off Vimeo?

Yes, we enable you to exclude your content from Vimeo, although Vimeo's built-in audience is one of the best reasons for choosing Vimeo On Demand.

4. Are there HTML snippets?

I am not sure what HTML snippet buttons are, but you can host your On Demand pages on your site or your client's site.

Cool Thinking Media

thanks for that Chris. and I really i appreciate your time, and Vimeo's best efforts

S & M I just clicked on one of the test films pay buttons to see the options.

One last thing for now, Chris - $ pricing? Is that the only option? Just free thinking (and I could be wrong) I'm UK based, charging in £'s? Although I can hazard a guess why! So if my normal UK customers purchase using a credit card/paypal it'll never be a favourable exchange rate and then if I were paid to paypal coming the other way the revenue $ into £s, as well as Paypal's cross border charges. Are there future plans to allow you to pay directly to bank accounts, as we do to you on subscriptions? I appreciate it if the back end payt model is powered by Paypal, because they're providing it or something like that.

And I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you & Vimeo for what I see as democratisation of commercial content distribution.

Viva la revolution!

Chris Diken Staff

Yup, On Demand operates only in U.S. dollars now, but we've got more options on the way. Regarding paying directly into bank accounts, we're open to whatever solutions might best serve our creators, but I can't speak to future plans on that topic. It simply hasn't been determined yet.

Thanks for all your feedback. Vive la COOL THINKING

Lu Cano

great addition! congrats!

Clayton Cubitt Plus

Being able to allow viewers to "pay what they like" by changing a "recommended price" would be a valuable flexibility as well. And I second the call to have payment options visible and usable in instances of the video being embedded elsewhere. Most video traffic happens in the embeds, and I've noted in testing the Tip Jar feature a significant problem in losing people who don't bother to come back to the Vimeo page and hunt for it.

Chris Diken Staff

Thanks for the feedback, Clayton. We've got lots in the works, and we're certainly aware of the desire to have payment options available in embedded videos. The video player is really important to us, so we're careful about how we implement new features. But stay tuned!

Jengafilm PRO

Terrific idea! So proud to be in this community, Thanks guys!

Paul Davis

Thanks for doing this - an answer to my prayers. Now I just need to figure out how it works as I'm not too tech savvy?

Paul Davis

Do I have to sign up for Vimeo Pro at $199 a year to be eligible for Vimeo on Demand? I read the link you provided (thanks) but I don't see a link to sign-up and begin?

Paul Davis

I think I currently have Vimeo Plus at $9.99 monthly. Is the Pro an annual fee and where would the videos be distributed via the Vimeo platform(s)? How often are video producers paid - monthly, annually, quarterly and under what stipulations?

Is there a way I can see the format (layout of the video sales scenario to compare with Plus at Vimeo)?

Paul Davis

Thanks guys, but until Plus works better and uploads my videos as easily as in prior months (presently having problems, multiple failed attempts to upload) I cannot justify the expense for Pro.

Paul Davis

I've used your site here at vimeo for a couple years now and seen it work better in the past with video uploads. I don't need a help section, I just need your website to work as before.


Can we have a "set your own price" option? (for viewers to select any price, or within a range)


Think of it like "pay what you want" music downloads a la Amanda Palmer or In Rainbows. The affordance has to be put in front of the viewer before they watch. It's a nudge. Having it below or after watching sends the wrong social signal.

An up-front "pay what you want" allows the artist to ask for help without demanding what that help is.

Matt Schwarz Staff

I totally hear you, and it's something we may do. This is the first roll-out of Vimeo On Demand, so there will be many glorious things to add and improve on as it matures.

Showbeast MktgServices

Congrats Chris! Awesome move! I have a couple of questions from my experience trough self-publishing.
1) How do you pay to your content clients/content makers? trough PayPal as well? How often?
2) your cut includes the taxes? because from foreign/outside-US based authors we don't need the "United States IRS-issued ITIN/EIN/SSN" stuff BUT we don't wanna be in tax troubles with Uncle Sam...

Matt Schwarz Staff

1) You'll be paid out once a month via PayPal
2) There is no sales tax if that's what you mean. As for income tax on your earnings, you would most likely use PayPal's records to report it, so Vimeo isn't involved in this process. However, if you have further concerns, I'd suggest contacting PayPal.

Matt Schwarz Staff

When you purchase a video, it gets added to your Watch Later queue which Apple TV has access to :)


How about "PAY WHAT YOU WANT" similar to the tip jar but it ensures the film will generate at least some revenue.

Chris Diken Staff

Vimeo Presents: Your Nightly Dreams in 1080p HD — watch on your phone or typewriter

Charley Holland Plus

This is an intriguing and exciting development.
However, I would also like to weigh in to the piracy issue with two serious questions.

Obviously, Vimeo can only do so much to prevent screen-grabbing...
(there's nothing stopping somebody simply pointing a camera at the computer screen, if they so wanted)... But:

* Will this new service go as far as, say, iTunes does?
(Try to screen grab that and you get a transparent window)

* Will Vimeo ~ on behalf of the content owner ~ search for copied material on its own platform/other hosting sites (and issue a takedown) Or is this entirely up to the content owner to search/find copied material and then manually submit requests to the relevant hosting company.

Thanks in advance for your consideration of these.

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