Vimeo today announced its first-ever full slate of original programming, including “The Outs,” the critically acclaimed web series from Adam Goldman and Sasha Winters. The first season of “The Outs” debuted on Vimeo in 2012 and Vimeo now will fund a second season of the web series about young gay life in New York City.
Since Vimeo doesn’t carry advertising, the investment in original material is intended to encourage more viewers to pay for content by renting or buying shows and movies from Vimeo on Demand and to drive creators to post content to the site as opposed to YouTube or other video platforms.
Also on the new originals slate is “Darby Forever,” an original short film from “Saturday Night Live” breakout cast member Aidy Bryant, which will star Bryant along with Lukas Jones, Retta (“Parks and Recreation”) and Natasha Lyonne (“Orange is the New Block”).
The third project on the slate is “Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate Comedy Special: Live from Austin,” Vimeo’s first original stand-up special. All three Vimeo Originals will premiere this winter exclusively on Vimeo On Demand.
“This new slate of Vimeo Originals exemplifies the fresh, unique voices of Vimeo creators who are propelling online storytelling and entertainment to new levels of quality,” said Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor in a statement. “Vimeo empowers today’s brightest talent to develop their best work, with total creative freedom, and bring it directly to Vimeo’s worldwide audience with no interruptive advertising.”
“The Outs” is following a similar track as Vimeo’s first original series, “High Maintenance,” a comedy about a pot dealer which did so well that HBO picked it up.
Trainor told The Wall Street Journal that “The Outs” “is very similar story to ‘High Maintenance'” and that it has built a larger fan base than “High Maintenance” did before its second season. “We are focused on creators who we think are taking web video creative to new levels of quality — that is what Vimeo is about. And it’s got an already proven, loyal fan base. So it’s the perfect kind of bet for us.”
Vimeo is also stepping up its acquisition games in order to compete with Netflix and Amazon. Earlier this year Vimeo acquired the exclusive U.S. first window download-to-own for Alex Gibney’s “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” following its HBO broadcast. Vimeo also acquired rights to sell and rent Spike Lee’s “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” on Vimeo on Demand before the crowdfunded film hit theaters.
“The Outs” is executive produced by Vaughn Schoonmaker and Adam Goldman. “Darby Forever” is executive produced by Bryant and Jason Carden, and is directed by Oz Rodriguez. “Bianca Del Rio’s Rolodex of Hate Comedy Special: Live From Austin” is executive produced by Roy Haylock (aka Bianca Del Rio), David Charpentier and Jacob Slane for Producer Entertainment Group.