Vimeo announced today a partnership between its pay-per-view service, Vimeo on Demand, and the Toronto Film Festival that will offer a $10,000 advance to filmmakers who stream their movies exclusively on the site for 30 days.
As part of the deal, the movies Vimeo on Demand picks up from the film festival will go for $4.99 per stream--comparable to most feature films on the platform--and if Vimeo recoups its $10,000 advance, any additional revenue will be split so that filmmakers get a 90 percent cut, after transaction costs.
For Chief Executive Kerry Trainor, the festival partnership made sense, not only because the spirit of independent filmmaking is "a core part of our community," he said, but because the platform is still figuring out "the right formula" for original content.
Trainor also said he thinks there is a future for big-budget blockbusters in this respect. "Just the economics of bringing them to market is enormous," he said, noting Hollywood's frustration with doozies like The Lone Ranger, which may have fared better as a straight-to-DVD venture, saving Disney, which produced it, a massive write-down and marketing costs.
The news comes as several video platforms experiment with original and exclusive content. Netflix's foray into original content--with House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black-- has been wildly successful (while presenting new challenges for the company to figure out), while Hulu has joined the fray with original series featuring the likes of Kevin Smith (Spoilers) and 500 Days of Summer producer Marc Web (Battleground). In the meantime, Amazon is rumored to be dabbling in TV production.