Is Vimeo moving into the competitive space with Netflix, Cinedigm and Hulu? Their latest announcement today from MIPCOM may indicate as much. In partnership with Lionsgate, Vimeo has built a new storefront and has signed up Starz for syndicated distribution globally using Vimeo’s global television store, in addition to titles it will grab from Lionsgate.
From Starz, “The Girlfriend Experience,” horror-comedy series “Ash vs Evil Dead” and Emmy Award-winning drama “Black Sails” are being made available alongside Lionsgate’s TV library, including “Orange is the New Black” (originally on Netflix), “Casual” (originally on Hulu), “The Royals”, “Mad Men”, and “Weeds”.
All episodes and series are being made available ($9.99 per series or $2.99 per episode, for example) to users much in the way they are on iTunes, Google Play or Amazon Prime, which begs the question — Does Vimeo think it can take on these big dogs in grabbing consumer relevance, especially when many of the titles they have announced also still live on market leaders like Netflix and Hulu?
It’s a significant bet and a risky one at that, but what could prove most interesting from this is how Vimeo is leading a wave on what could be a new windowing opportunity for shows that stream digitally first, like Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” and Hulu’s “Casual” but Vimeo cites its edge as being “one of the first to deliver high-end premium scripted U.S. content to consumers in over 150 countries around the world at the same time.”
“As audiences across the globe continue to shift towards online viewing, Vimeo is taking a leadership role, establishing our On Demand storefront as the world’s first transactional service to offer premium television on a truly global basis” said Sam Toles, Senior Vice President, Programming.