A conversation with Vimeo’s Sam Toles at VideoInk’s VidCon pop-up studio revealed an inside perspective on the platform’s unique revenue model. Describing it as “download to own and download to rent,” Toles went on to explain the simple truth behind who buys digital video content. “The more engaged the fans are,” he mentioned, “the more willing they are to spend money.”
Furthermore, this money is going to mostly to video content. In other words, merchandise takes a serious backseat to what creators actually get their recognition for: their video work. Yet, one still may wonder how platforms like Vimeo thrive when ad-supported ones like YouTube, which are free for viewers, exist. Toles made the analogy to traditional media to explicate the two platforms’ harmonious existence. Just like people first pay to watch movies in theaters, then buy them as DVDs, and finally watch them on television, so video content can float peacefully “downstream to YouTube” from the likes of Vimeo, without the latter usurping the former.
To hear more of what Toles had to say about Vimeo and the digital video realm, check out his interview with VideoInk below: