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Vimeo Expands Original Content Programming With Movies

New slate includes first feature film, a concert movie, a comedy special from duo Garfunkel and Oates, plus a series from CollegeHumor’s Jake & Amir

IAC’s Vimeo unveiled its second slate of original content late Wednesday, widening its pipeline into films as well as series and specials.

Its first feature film, documentary “Wizard Mode,” follows a young autistic man on his quest to become a world pinball champion. Vimeo will also produce its first concert film, featuring chillwave artist Toro y Moi; a series from CollegeHumor’s Jake & Amir called “Lonely and Horny;” and a special by comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates.

The financial terms of Vimeo’s investment in the projects wasn’t disclosed.

Vimeo is known as a high-brow YouTube. Like Google’s massive video site, Vimeo allows people upload content, but you’re more likely to film-festival fodder than a cat prank clip, and Vimeo doesn’t muddy its clips with video ads. The two sites share one key thing in common: They‘re both following the Netflix playbook of pursuing original content to drum up interest in subscriptions.

Vimeo kicked off its investment in original content in 2014 by backing “High Investment,” an ongoing series of shorts about a bicycling pot deliveryman. Last year, HBO greenlit six episodes of “High Maintenance” for its network and digital services.

Wednesday’s slate of content builds on Vimeo’s announcement last year of three projects: a new season of gay comedy series “The Outs,” a short film titled “Darby Forever,” written by and starring “SNL” vet Aidy Bryant, and a stand-up special from Comedian Bianca Del Rio called “Rolodex of Hate.”

Vimeo makes much of its money by charging for subscriptions, like a $60-a-year membership that removes banner ads and expands hosting space for uploads, while a $199-a-year subscription known as Vimeo Pro opens up high-quality video uploading and tiger tools that package and sell content to viewers through the Vimeo on Demand feature. Vimeo also gets a 10 percent cut of the pay-for-play sales.

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