Vimeo unveils content monetization models

Creative director of film and video Jeremy Boxer (pictured) says the newly released Tip Jar service and the upcoming pay-to-view feature will aim to help content creators cash in on the growing digital market.

With the launch of its new Tip Jar feature Wednesday, video-sharing website Vimeo became the latest player to attempt to unlock the secret of how content creators can cash in on the young, but rapidly growing digital market.

Similar to traditional crowdsourcing models, such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Tip Jar allows creators who are Vimeo Pro and Plus users to upload their content and ask viewers to donate and support it.

“This is something our community has been asking for, for a number of years and something we’ve been working on for a very long time,” Jeremy Boxer, creative director of film and video at Vimeo tells Playback.

“Our dream was to enable creators to find and select their audiences and enable themselves to figure out monetization plans that make sense for the projects they have at hand,” he adds.

The Tip Jar service will see content creators take home 85 per cent of what they earn in donations, while Vimeo will pocket the remaining 15 per cent.

Creators will be paid through Paypal, and thus, non-American users will not be subject to financial or legal barriers, such as opening a U.S. bank account.

While content uploaders must be the creators of the videos they upload and hold the rights to them, Boxer says Vimeo is open to a wide range of video content, including shorts, webseries, animation, and perhaps even feature films.

“The service will open up the possibility for all types of new content that wouldn’t necessarily have picked us as a destination, and we do see the potential for it to open up for the feature content world,” he says.

“There are thousands upon thousands of films that make it into festivals yearly, but never make it into distribution. What we were looking at is to provide a solution for those films that have been orphaned by that procedure,” he adds.

To offer content creators even more options to monetize their work, Vimeo also announced Wednesday that it will be rolling out a pay-to-view service for Pro users, similar to traditional VOD models.

The feature, which is expected to be tested in beta with a curated set of videos during the fall, ahead of an early 2013 launch for all Pro users, will place control firmly in the hands of creators, allowing them to select pricing, rental duration, distribution locations and other settings for their content.

“It will enable the creators to build their [monetization] concepts based off of what kind of projects they have,” says Boxer.

“We see [both services] as for all different types of projects and durations. It’s not just going to be based on the traditional formats that are out there,” he adds.

Vimeo is home to 13 million registered users and receives 75 million unique monthly visitors – 3 million of which are Canadian.

Canadian content creators, such as Malcolm Sutherland, whose short Umbra won Best Animation at the 2012 Vimeo Festival and Awards, have already found success via Vimeo.

For more information about the Tip Jar or pay-to-view services, visit, or watch the video below.

Introducing Vimeo Tip Jar and more Creator Services from Vimeo Staff on Vimeo.