Vimeo pay-to-view service launches in private beta with procrastination-ready long rentals

The market for paid movie rentals from predominantly free video services isn't a very big one. For most of us, it amounts to YouTube... and YouTube. Vimeo is planning to shake up that small category with its own pay-to-view service. A just-started private beta stands out mostly through rental windows that won't leave us scrambling for spare viewing time. While there's a 48-hour rental, there are also 72-hour, 1-week and 2-month periods that let even the perpetually busy get through a full showing. Vimeo's current selection is limited to six documentaries at between $5 to $9, although that thin selection is acceptable given the test phase. The real demand for content will come with the official pay-to-view launch for Vimeo Pro subscribers in early 2013 -- whether or not Vimeo needs a YouTube-sized catalog, there's only so many skiing documentaries we can take.

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NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2012 – Today, Vimeo opened the preview phase of its upcoming pay-to-view service with the release of six movies. This slate of films-handpicked by the Vimeo staff- illustrates Vimeo's flexible suite of features for creators to sell their films directly to their audiences worldwide with control over pricing, viewing periods, release geography and bonus content features.

Viewers that buy access to pay-to-view movies will find them automatically downloaded to their "Watch Later" list so they can access the films immediately on any device - including smart phones, tablets, popular connected TVs with Vimeo's apps and many others.

The movies cover a range of topics, from Javier Bardem's passion project Sons of the Clouds addressing human rights in the Western Sahara, to an exploration of the trials and tribulations of the creative process through the eyes of artist Wayne White in Beauty is Embarrassing. In addition to empowering both established and emerging creators, Vimeo's pay-to-view service promises to bring even more unique, quality content to Vimeo's 85 million monthly viewers.

"Our goal is to provide an open and flexible platform that allows all creators and content owners to earn revenue directly from their audiences," said Vimeo CEO, Kerry Trainor. "We're really excited to offer this selection of high quality movies in our preview, and we look forward to working with creators worldwide whose stories have a clear home on Vimeo."

The pay-to-view service is one of two different monetization options that Vimeo announced for video creators in September. Tip Jar, available now, empowers video creators to crowdsource revenue directly from their viewers for completed works. Vimeo will release the open pay-to-view service to all Vimeo PRO members in early 2013.

The full list of movies includes:

Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony
Compelling documentary that brings to light the political and human rights issues facing the people of the Western Sahara.
Director: Alvaro Longoria
Price: $5.00
Access period: 1 week
Availability: US & Canada

We Are Legion: The Story of Hacktivists
Documentary that takes us inside the complex culture and history of Anonymous.
Director: Brian Knappenberger
Price: $4.99
Access Period: 48 hours
Availability: US

Beauty is Embarrassing
A funny, irreverent, joyful and inspiring documentary featuring the life and current times of one of America's most important artists, Wayne White.
Director: Neil Berkeley
Price: $5.00
Access Period: 1 week
Availability: Worldwide

Action sports film featuring Tom Wallisch and Parker White (among others) skiing on both mountains and in urban areas in places like the dark northern landscapes of Scandinavia, Alaska, Japan and British Columbia.
Director: Josh Berman/ Level 1 Productions
Price: $5.00
Access Period: 30 days
Availability: Worldwide

Jeremy Jones' Further
Explores some of the world's most remote mountain terrain while continuing Jones' mission to camp deep in the backcountry and on the summits of unridden lines to access nearly vertical spines and wide-open powder fields.
Director: Teton Gravity Research
Price: $9.00
Access Period: Two months
Availability: Worldwide

Shut Up and Play the Hits
Captures both the once-in-a-lifetime event of LCD Soundsystem's last concert and serves as an intimate portrait of front man James Murphy as he navigates the 48 hours surrounding the show.
Director: Will Lovelace, Dylan Southern
Price: $6.99 in UK
Terms: 72 hour access
Availability: UK

For more information about Vimeo's new pay-to-view service and how to view the movies, please visit To view the launch video or the blog post, please visit, and