Image representing Vimeo as depicted in CrunchBase Vimeo, the artist-approved alternative to YouTube, is an unexpected presence in the early fall film festival season. Vimeo is making its presence felt at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) which kicks off this week.

In a move that has caught early media attention ahead of the festival, Vimeo is offering independent filmmakers a $10,000 advance in exchange for a brief period of on-demand exclusivity and two years of non-exclusive distribution. The deal remains flexible enough for creators to pursue other routes to revenue, while offering Vimeo a relatively inexpensive way to expand the original content offered through its On Demand product users. The period of exclusivity comes to an end within a specified period or when $10,000 in revenue is reached, whichever comes first.

In the wake of Kevin Spacey’s comments at the Edinburgh Film Festival, as ‘House of Cards’ received nine Emmy nominations and the actor spoke of a “new golden age” for television, original content has quickly become the focus of broadcasters. Although dedicated digital streaming services are naturally in pole position to cater to audiences in this new age, more established U.S. broadcasters are also embracing the opportunities, as the slow burn success and wide availability of a show like ‘Breaking Bad‘ demonstrates.

Looking further down the road, the success of Spacey’s $100 million experiment, which is shown exclusively on Netflix, is challenging both traditional and new media content providers to reconsider how they serve up new shows. Research earlier this year shows that on-demand and “binge” viewing is proving increasingly popular with younger customers, pulling broadcasters away from the comfort of TV schedules and over-hyped opening nights. Watching a season in one sitting, or “binge viewing”, is also a developing trend according to the same study. Such changes represent the constantly shifting sands on which all players are trying to build their digital programming services.

These are exciting times for the television and film making industry, as new models emerge from many unique blends of creation and the technology that drives it. Where it ends up will depend on heavily on investment in original content and the creative individuals who supply it.

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