Vimeo invests another $10 million in premium VOD content

One year after launching its VOD platform, Vimeo (S IAC) is doubling down on paid content by earmarking a total of $10 million for videographers who want to sell their productions through its site. Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor said during an interview this week that the commitment was a direct response to the growth Vimeo has seen for paid titles.

Filmmakers who have successfully raised $10,000 or more on Kickstarter, Indiegogo or a similar crowdfunding program are eligible for the funding. Also eligible are filmmakers whose films are debuting at one of the 20 leading film festivals worldwide. Both criteria are an interesting filter to make sure that Vimeo isn’t swamped with subpar submissions, and Vimeo GM Greg Clayman said that the site has also started to actively seek out titles to distribute through the platform. “We are talking directly to film makers, we are talking to distributors.”

Vimeo’s commitment to invest $10 million comes after similar, albeit smaller experiments in the past few months. The video platform started to provide some funding to movies that debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and then earmarked $500,000 for successfully crowdfunded movies in January.

Trainor told me that Vimeo now offers more than 6,000 videos for sale through Vimeo on Demand, ranging from indie movies to instructional videos to even serialized fare. Film makers can set their own price for paid downloads, and Vimeo keeps only 10 percent of the revenue — a significantly lower cut than most digital download platforms.

Trainor didn’t want to go into details on how much revenue Vimeo has generated with VOD so far, but he said that some film makers had been able to make tens of thousands of dollars within days — something that would have taken them a much longer time, and millions of plays, on YouTube. (S GOOG) “We couldn’t be more bullish,” about VOD, said Trainor.