By Sahil Patel
According to the companies, select long-form original programming produced by Machinima and its talent pool will be eligible for “dedicated funding” from Vimeo, which is committing to at least $500,000 to finance and develop projects. In return, Vimeo will own exclusive distribution rights to that content on Vimeo On Demand.
The deal makes Vimeo On Demand the “preferred” TVOD platform for Machinima’s talent network, which is currently comprised of more than 30,000 creators. Vimeo will be integrated into Machinima’s “Console,” a new talent management system that offers creators tools and information ranging from video analytics to earning reports and social support.
Machinima creators will also be eligible to sign up for “significantly discounted” Vimeo Pro accounts, as well as access educational sessions on selling content via Vimeo On Demand, the companies said.
For Vimeo, this is an opportunity to create exclusive content for a growing audience segment on its platform. Machinima’s core audience is fanboys and gamers. That audience flocked to “Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie” when it was released recently on Vimeo On Demand. According to Vimeo, the movie was one of its biggest hits with over 8,000 transactions — across more than 80 countries — in the first 24 hours of its release.
In the past year, Vimeo has made multiple overtures to the YouTube community, signing deals with a number of creators and networks to distribute some of their premium projects exclusively on Vimeo On Demand.
The Machinima deal is also identical to an arrangement Vimeo already has with Maker Studios. There, Vimeo is funding content developed and produced by Maker in exchange for exclusive global distribution rights, and Maker creators get access to discounted Vimeo Pro accounts and educational sessions.
Machinima, meanwhile, is coming off a $24 million funding round led by existing investor Warner Bros. Entertainment. Part of that funding will go toward growing Machinima’s content and distribution relationships beyond YouTube, the network said last week. Since then, the company has made some changes to its production operations, including letting go of 13 full-time employees and canceling channels and shows that were not performing well.