Vimeo turns to Kickstarter and Indiegogo to find and fund movies

Vimeo announced an interesting twist on original content licensing Thursday morning: The IAC-owned video site will scour crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo for movies to license, and then offer creators free Pro accounts as well as some money to promote their films. In exchange, filmmakers agree to put the movies on Vimeo On Demand, the site’s paid distribution platform.

Vimeo earmarked a total of $500,000 to promote these kinds of movies, which may be a drop in the bucket when compared to the money Netflix (S NFLX) and others are spending on original content. But the initiative nonetheless goes to show that crowdfunding can be used in all kinds of interesting ways, and it makes me wonder when we are going to hear about the first major music label using Kickstarter for artist discovery.

Vimeo launched Vimeo On Demand almost a year ago, and the platform recently started to provide some funding to select indie movies last September.