Vimeo and VaynerMedia have teamed to form Vimeo/Vayner Studio, a partnership that will connect brands with Vimeo's top filmmakers to create digital content.
Michael Weissman, chief operating officer at Vimeo, said the video company has "best-in-class behind the camera talent," such as videographers, writers and directors, and while it's worked with some brands in the past, the VaynerMedia deal will accelerate Vimeo's branded content work. This spring, Vimeo won the Tribeca X branded content award for its short film, "Hearing Colors," for Samsung. Vimeo has also done work for Lexus and The Lincoln Motor Co.
Vimeo/Vayner Studios is focused on working with VaynerMedia accounts, but Vimeo can still work with other brands that are not in direct conflict with the agency's client roster, said Mr. Weissman. He added that Vimeo wanted to work with VaynerMedia because the agency's "energetic" founder, Gary Vaynerchuk, has "some of the best understanding in the world of how content behaves on social channels and emerging formats."
In addition to providing clients access to Vimeo filmmakers, VaynerMedia will help raise awareness of the studio, said Mr. Vaynerchuk. He added that he wants to help Vimeo's community of filmmakers understand the nuances, freedoms and even limitations of working with brands if they haven't in the past in order to ensure fast, smooth processes.
Filmmakers can only be selected for a brand project if they're on Vimeo's Staff Pick channel, which is a collection of "the best of the best," said Mr. Weissman. The Staff Pick channel is handled by the editorial team and has no business control, he said. Also, the partnership between VaynerMedia and Vimeo has no financial ties, said Mr. Weissman.
VaynerMedia has a team of more than 65 in-house filmmakers and production people and about 97% of the agency's video work for clients is handled in-house, said Mr. Vaynerchuk. When asked if the in-house staff will be upset about the outsourced production work, he said, his team understands that the agency's mission is to do what's best for the client and that "selfish, personal behavior doesn't help the logo or the clients."
About 30 shoots are already scheduled in January and February for the new studio partnership, which is "money out of our pocket, but it's the right thing to do because of the quality of the filmmakers," said Mr. Vaynerchuk. He declined to disclose the names of clients taking part in Vimeo/Vayner Studio.
The studio will allow brands to distribute the content it creates on whatever platforms they see fit rather than requiring them to only use Vimeo, said Mr. Weissmann. "We want to work with existing Vayner clients and new clients and generate new business and make sure branded content is compelling, original content," he said.
While the content will start out digital, Mr. Vaynerchuk said that "creative is starting to get above-the-line when done well," so the studio can always chop a video into a TV spot if the client wants that.