For years artists had to rely on the earnings they could get by performing or selling their art on the street. In each case it was a hat or jar that held the pennies, nickels and occasional dollar bill. Nowadays, things like YouTube videos can earn a couple bucks as the views add up. But, YouTube was never really friendly to the independent filmmakers nor does it really support a moderated community of media creators. These starving artists struggled through, gaining fame on Vimeo and maybe getting the occasional deal. This is why Vimeo Creator Services is such a big deal.
The Tip Jar is a new way of allowing content creators to earn a living. The major difference between Vimeo’s approach and YouTube’s is that Vimeo doesn’t rely on strictly a view count. Tipping is a process that allows viewers to donate money to support the creator, as much or as little as they would like. It is now possible to earn some cash through our work.
In the past, artists had to rely on their free time to produce content or to work on their ideas. And now this recent democratization of the industry has allowed even more people to join in the movement. This means that people can begin to focus more on their work because they may be able to pay bills with it. In order to actually be able to be focused, it is necessary that one find a way to survive.
Community is still the main idea to this new Vimeo feature. People like things and people are willing to support those who produce enjoyable content. Fellow creators understand the struggles of those around them and this community is how we need friends to assist in the production. The Tip Jar opens up that community to help in yet another way.
Here is the video Vimeo produced for the service: Introducing Vimeo Tip Jar and more Creator Services from Vimeo Staff on Vimeo.
Also, see my original post as part of The Ithacan’s In Focus blog here.