Is Vimeo Destined to be Acquired by a Major Hollywood Studio?

As new models for distributing movies emerge, Vimeo offers creators an alternative to the traditional studio.

Mar 27, 2014 at 5:26AM

Crowdfunding success for Veronica Mars has some thinking of ways to disrupt (or enhance) the TV and movie distribution business as we've come to know it. Count Vimeo among the leaders, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

Specifically, during the annual South By Southwest conference, Vimeo announced a beefed-up version of its Pro service and a new interface for Vimeo On Demand that collects and presents movies in bundles to make it easier for viewers to find thematic content. More than 6,000 titles are now available via Vimeo On Demand.

The redesign comes on the heels of Vimeo announcing a $10 million fund to invest in movies that premiere at one of the top film festivals, or that garner significant crowdfunding support, as Veronica Mars did. The latter may be the bigger disruption, Tim says, since it offers creators another way to finance their film without getting the attention of a major studio.

Executives are already seeing the shift, and they're taking steps to profit from it. Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) recently announced a deal to acquire YouTube video producer Maker Studios for up to $950 million when you count incentives. Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) has invested in video game channel Machinima, and paid to distribute Veronica Mars after others had covered the film's production budget.

In other words, studios have become mindful of what the alternative production and distribution models mean for their business. Vimeo is just another threat among many, Tim says, and a likely acquisition target as a result.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Would you support a Vimeo acquisition by one of the major studios? Why or not? Sound off in the comments section below.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Google, Netflix, Time Warner, and Walt Disney at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, Netflix, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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