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Vimeo relaunches On Demand pay-for-play platform

The updated site introduces a storefront and collections of films to make it easier for viewers to find -- and pay filmmakers directly -- for videos that interest them.


For the first birthday of Vimeo On Demand, the video-sharing site is giving its pay-for-play platform an overhaul.

Monday, user-created-video site Vimeo released its refreshed version of Vimeo On Demand, which is a feature of its $199-a-year subscription known as Vimeo Pro.

Vimeo Pro lets creators upload higher-quality video and get access to tools like Vimeo On Demand, which packages and sells videos to viewers on the terms the creator specifies. Vimeo also gets a 10 percent cut of the pay-for-play sales, but the rest goes directly to the people who created the video.

Starting Monday, Vimeo On Demand has an audience storefront, as well as themed groups of titles, or "collections," that bundle similar content together for viewers to find. It also has areas that spotlight particular videos. The new site has redesigned navigation with drop-down menus listing film collections; "My Library," which lets viewers store rented, purchased, and previously watched titles in one place; and dynamic title cards, an art-heavy way to browse titles and purchase videos directly from a trailer.

The redesign is the second Vimeo announcement timed to coincide with the South by Southwest film, tech and music festival in Austin, Texas. Last week, Vimeo said it was setting up a $10 million fund to directly invest in films that either premiere at one of the top 20 US film festivals or garner $10,000 in crowdfunded support on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, in exchange for giving Vimeo a window of time as the only place you can go to see the videos through its Vimeo On Demand pay-for-play platform. Since its initial release a year ago, Vimeo On Demand has amassed a catalog of 6,000 films

Vimeo, which differentiates itself from Google's much larger YouTube by eliminating video ads and encouraging higher-quality videos, has been gaining momentum. Unique viewers in December reached 130 million, a nearly 60 percent increase from a year earlier, and mobile viewers almost tripled in 2013. The company has said this year it plans to make significant investment in content.