Vimeo is getting into the original content game.
Today, the online video company announced that it had made its first original programming investment into High Maintenance, an already-existing web series that follows a neurotic pot dealer around New York City. It’s received a decent amount of popularity online, and has guest-starred celebrities like Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens and comedian Hannibal Buress. The series, which already has 13 free-to-watch episodes up on Vimeo, will get a cash injection to finance six new episodes.
These episodes will eventually be made available on Vimeo On Demand.
“We’re all huge fans of High Maintenance and couldn’t be happier to make our first original programming investment in a show that’s developed organically on Vimeo,” said Kerry Trainor, CEO, Vimeo. “Earlier this year we announced an initial $10 Million investment to license content for distribution on Vimeo On Demand from creators seeking alternatives to ad-based models and this is an exciting next step for the platform.”
Vimeo made that investment in March–$10 million to fund new content to pump into their on-demand video service. At the time, Vimeo said that it would “work with filmmakers and distributors to accelerate its investment in quality individual titles and catalogs suited to Vimeo’s unique audience,” and it’s clear that they have done so with the popular and critically-acclaimed High Maintenance.
Vimeo on-demand service is just a little over a year old, and it lets video makers sell their work and take a (0% cut of the profits–it’s pay-per-view, but in the hands of the creators. This is the first time Vimeo is putting its own money into original content for Vimeo On-Demand, however.
There’s no word on what it’ll cost to watch the new episodes of High Maintenance–but it’ll most definitely cost something. Unlike Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, and other streaming video companies getting into the original content game, Vimeo is sporting a unique model that allows people to pay (or rent) per episode, instead of one subscription price for all content.
Image via screenshot, High Maintenance, Vimeo