Noah J Nelson on Wednesday, Sep. 19th
In so many ways Vimeo is the anti-YouTube.
Vimeo has long been the go-to choice for filmmakers, aspiring and otherwise, who want to showcase their work. From day one Vimeo has put an emphasis on the quality of the video being served up, with a codec that blew YouTube out of the water. In the years that have followed the service has developed a loyal following of paid users, who look to the site as a service suitable for video portfolios.
Contrast this with YouTube, where the emphasis is on wide ranging communities spurred on by the proise of monteizaion at every turn.
That dynamic has changed a little today with Vimeo’s announcement of new Creator Services, the first of which is a Tip Jar which Vimeo Plus and Vimeo PRO account holders can place on certain videos. These paid subscribers can add a button– visible only on the Vimeo page for the video– which can trigger a credit card or Pay Pal transaction.
There are some major limitations to the tips, aside from the fact that that the button is not embeddedable. For starters, you do have to have a paid Vimeo account in good standing. The tip jar cannot be used to accept payments for products or solicit donations for a charity cause. Tips for the video only. Videos that count as “commercial content” are not eligible for the tip jar.
How “commercial content” is being defined is not explicity laid out in Vimeo’s FAQ. A request for clarification on this matter to Vimeo’s press desk was not answered by the time we went to press. Common sense suggests that “commercial content” easily rules out advertisements and other promotional content, but it is not readily apparent if this covers all video content that has been produced in exchange for compensation (e.g. music videos) or videos that contain commercially produced content which has been repurposed (e.g. director/editor reels, mash-ups).
The tip jar is just he begining for Vimeo’s creator services expansion. Today’s annoucnment included the plan to roll out a pay-to-view function that will let users charge for access to their videos. The details on this are still under wraps, and pay-to-view isn’t slated until next year, but if you listen very closely you can hear a million filmmakers salivating at the prospect.
Actually, don’t listen that close. It’s kinda gross.