Maker Studios Looks Beyond YouTube As It Announces Exclusive Content Deal With Vimeo

Vimeo and Maker Studios are announcing a partnership that will bring new videos from the Disney-acquired content network (that’s Maker Studios) to the IAC-owned streaming video service (that’s Vimeo) for an exclusive time window.

The deal is noteworthy not just as a win for Vimeo, but as a way for Maker to become a bit less dependent on YouTube for its eyeballs and ad revenue. Last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Maker Studios was announced as one of the channels on Sling TV, and separately, we talked to Disney’s Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo about whether Maker Studios was trying to build a more direct relationship with viewers.

When I asked Vimeo about how long the exclusive window will last, and what kinds of content we might see as a result of the deal, a spokesperson told me via email that it’s “set up to be flexible.” Vimeo has a fund for content from smaller Maker creators, but it’s “open ended” on how much it can spend. They added that Maker offers many of the same kinds of videos that perform well on Vimeo: “sci-fi/fantasy, action sports, lifestyle, instruction and then in terms of format it can be both long or short form.”

In addition to working with Maker Studios to develop and fund that exclusive programming, Vimeo will also give creators in the Maker network access to discounted Vimeo PRO accounts and training to sell videos through the Vimeo On Demand service. Vimeo noted that even though Maker creators are “well versed in distribution of content in an ad supported model,” the company wants to “educate them on charging for content.”