Last week at SXSW, Vimeo announced that Don Hertzfeldt will be among the introductory group of filmmakers to use their new Vimeo On Demand platform. Hertzfeldt has always been very selective about how he distributes his work online, which may be the first sign that Vimeo is doing something right with this new service.

The new platform allows anybody who has signed up for Vimeo PRO to distribute their films online. Hertzfeldt is selling his new feature It’s Such a Beautiful Day for $2 (to view the film online for one week) or $6 (to download a DRM-free version).

Vimeo’s On Demand set-up is fully customizable. Films of any length can be distributed, and prices can be set by filmmakers as can viewing periods for films. Here are some of its key features:

90/10 revenue split: You keep 90% of revenue after transaction fees, and we cover all delivery costs.

Your audience can watch anywhere: Your work is available online, as well as on mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs, all in gorgeous HD quality.

Customizable design: You can completely personalize your Vimeo On Demand page to match your work and bring it to life.

Flexibility + control: Sell films, episodes, and more at the price you want, anywhere in the world you want — including on your own website.

I haven’t delved into all the particulars yet, but Vimeo On Demand appears to be quite filmmaker-friendly. The system isn’t perfect: for example, they might be better off with a credits-based system instead of the currently cumbersome pay-per-view model. But such issues are resolvable over time. The important thing is that Vimeo has spent years building a solid foundation including its elegant video player and a large userbase interested in independent filmmaking. Their On Demand service is a positive development, and has potential to be a game-changer for indie animators and filmmakers.

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Cartoon Brew's Publisher and Editor-at-large.