Vimeo has officially unveiled their plans for creators to monetize their videos.
The first is called Tip Jar where anyone can use PayPal or a credit card to simply donate money to a filmmaker they appreciate. It remains to be seen how many viewers will heed the call for charity, but it’s a simple first step toward offering filmmakers a way to reap some appreciation from their work.
The second feature, Pay-to-view, has even greater potential to transform the online indie film world by offering an alternative to YouTube’s ad model. This will allow filmmakers to charge an upfront fee to watch a video. Pay-to-view could essentially turn Vimeo, a strong filmmaking community already, into a viable distribution platform. Details are sparse—unlike Tip Jar, it’s not available yet—so critical aspects like moderation, previews and accountability are still on the cooker. Some fans of Vimeo are concerned they’ll have to start paying for what was once free. That may happen in some cases, but in reality, I think it opens the door for new quality content that would otherwise hold out for DVD or VOD exclusivity elsewhere.
What do you think? Are you tempted to try either Tip Jar or Pay-to-view?