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Vimeo on Demand to Allow Users to Charge Those Who View Their Videos Online

The service is set to launch Tuesday with an announcement at the South by Southwest festival.

Vimeo, a primary YouTube competitor, is set to launch Tuesday an open self-distribution service called Vimeo on Demand that allows members to charge those who view the videos they post.

Vimeo’s plan is to let its members choose a price for their videos, which geographic locations they are to be available in and set other rules, such as whether the videos are to be available for streaming, download or both. Video creators get 90 percent of the transactions, while Vimeo takes 10 percent.

The company said it is launching the new initiative with an expanded version of It’s Such a Beautiful Day, an animated short by Oscar-nominated animator Don Hertzfeldt. The video will cost $2 to rent or $6 to purchase.

Getting people to pay for non-premium video on the Internet has been a chore, but Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor is hopeful, and he cites a previous initiative called the Tip Jar as reason for his optimism. With the Tip Jar, viewers were asked to voluntarily give money to creators of their favorite Vimeo videos, and many did, with the mean average amount being $5 per tip.

“We see that as a very encouraging number,” Trainor said.

Vimeo is expected to announce the launch of Vimeo on Demand at the South by Southwest music and film festival in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday.

“Vimeo is committed to empowering creators with tools to display and distribute their work in beautiful HD quality,” Trainor said. “With the addition of Vimeo on Demand, creators can now use Vimeo to control the way they earn revenue and retain a significant portion of the proceeds.”