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Vimeo delves into paid, on-demand videos

Vimeo's got a new way for content creators to charge for their videos, which can now either be sold or rented. It replaces a digital "tip jar."

New York-based video-hosting site Vimeo today added a way for its paying users to sell their works online as part of a new program.

At South by Southwest, the company announced Vimeo On Demand, which lets its paying Pro users (a $199 a year service) sell access to their videos to other users.

Video creators can set their own price for the video, and then get 90 percent of the revenue, the company says. Other features include the option for video makers to select where exactly they want their video to be available, as well as the design of the page around it.

Vimeo previously relied on a "tip jar" for users to pay content owners any amount, though there was no block on viewing the videos. With the new service, you won't be able to see the work until you've paid, just like any other video-on-demand offering.

Setting up the new options for a video.
Setting up the new options for a video. Vimeo

Vimeo kicks off the new service with a screening of Don Hertzfeldt's "It's Such a Beautiful Day" at SXSW later today. The film will be sold as a $2 rental, or for sale at $6.

Of note, the service is not available to subscribers of Vimeo's Plus service, which increases the amount of weekly space for uploads and removes advertisements, and costs $9.95 a month, or $59.95 a year.

The move comes some three years after Google-owned YouTube delved into film rentals, which began with a handful of independent films before Google got some Hollywood studios on board. YouTube's rental service for independent content creators remains in beta, and available only in the U.S.

Here's Vimeo's video pitch for its new service: