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Vimeo has created a $10 million fund to help content creators pay for distribution on its streaming video platform, the company announced at SXSW in Austin.
The investment builds on the company’s self-distribution service, which launched in 2013 at SXSW. Called Vimeo On Demand, the service allows content creators to charge for their videos in exchange for 10 percent of the profits.
Since launching Vimeo On Demand, the IAC-owned YouTube competitor has introduced several programs to encourage filmmakers to use the platform.
In September, Vimeo partnered with the Toronto International Film Festival to offer a $10,000 advance to any film from the festival that gave Vimeo a premiere digital window. That program has since expanded to include films from any of the 20 leading film festivals of 2014.
Vimeo announced at Sundance in January that it would give access to tools and distribution funds to crowdfunded films that had raised at least $10,000.
The $10 million fund extends to films that were eligible for the film festival and crowdfunding programs, provided that they give Vimeo an exclusive distribution window. Vimeo will also work with filmmakers and distributors to invest in individual titles or catalogues that fit its audience.
“At the core of it, this $10 million expansion for creators of all levels is our way of underscoring just how excited and committed we are to this idea of paid video,” says Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor.
The service, which has more than 6,000 titles, has grown to 168 million unique worldwide viewers in January according to comScore, up 80 percent from last year.
While at SXSW, Vimeo will host a screening of The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz at the Vimeo Theatre inside the Austin Convention Center on March 7 at 6:30 p.m. The company will power the film’s website when it is released later this year.
Vimeo will also host the premiere of DamNation, presented by Patagonia, which explores dams and how they affect the ecosystem, on March 10 at 4 p.m. The film is available to preorder through Vimeo on Demand.
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