Following his letter to shareholders in November announcing that Vimeo was seeking to establish an on-demand subscription service à la Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu, the company’s recently-installed CEO Joey Levin (who is also the CEO of Vimeo parent company IAC) has revealed more details about the forthcoming initiative.
Vimeo is currently beefing up staff for the SVOD project and compiling a programming slate that will include original series as well licensed content, Levin told Bloomberg. While romantic comedies and superhero adaptations are out, Vimeo is instead seeking provocative content, including documentaries, action, sports, comedies, and dramas — which will be more in line with its indie-inclined community.
“We’re going to spend real money on programming for the first time ever and put real marketing money behind it,” Levin told Bloomberg — though he previously said that Vimeo plans to spend just a fraction of the billions that competitors like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are currently doling out on content. “Everyone else is already shopping at Vimeo to find the next talent. We ought to be doing it ourselves and doing it better.’’
Vimeo currently enables creators to vend pay-to-view content through its On Demand feature, and began funding original content back in 2014 with the web series High Maintenence, which was eventually picked up by HBO. Levin said that content for the forthcoming SVOD service will follow in this vein. “Our content will be the kind that gets your heart rate going,’’ he told Bloomberg. “We’ll look at what our audience watches, and organize that data to help us program.’’
As of now, Vimeo, which does not run ads, primarily makes money by offering filmmakers membership packages for video storage, analytics, and other tools. The platform currently counts 741,000 active filmmakers, 100 million total videos, and 20 million monthly viewers.