Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vimeo on Demand

Here's a potential game changer.  Video hosting site Vimeo has started an on demand service.  You can upload your videos, charge what you want, and keep 90% of the revenue after transaction costs.  That's a better deal than iTunes.  There are no restrictions as to video length or the number of episodes.  You can also sell through Vimeo or on your own site and the videos are viewable on a variety of devices.

This continues the trend of disintermediation, cutting out the middle man between creator and audience.  With alternate means of fundraising such as Kickstarter already in place (and Kickstarter also serves as a marketing tool), the pieces are in place for independents (and studios with foresight!) to start developing their own intellectual property and generating income from it.

The lessons of TV (and before that, radio) are that you want a series.  It's got to be a recognizable genre and needs a definite demographic (whether that's an age group or people who like something specific).  Then add appealing characters and start turning out episodes that appear regularly.  Price the work so that it's an impulse purchase.  On Vimeo, Don Hertzfeldt is selling his feature, It's Such a Beautiful Day, for $2.  At that price, it's cheaper than a cup of coffee and it lasts longer.

The people who can deliver on the above formula will succeed.  They'll get to keep ownership of their work and the lion's share of the revenue.  I hope we can return to a time, like the days of Vaudeville, when creators who can satisfy an audience are free to create without anyone else getting in the way.

1 comment:

Keith Lango said...

I'm pretty keen on seeing what comes of this. It certainly makes the back end of delivery much easier and at a great cost ratio, too. Since Vimeo's community isn't terribly large, compared to say YouTube, Amazon or iTunes- it doesn't handle the larger problem of obscurity, but there are enough emergent tools and systems to allows creators to reach their audiences directly.Overall I think this is a significant step forward for indies.