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Lionsgate Licensing TV Shows to Pending Vimeo Online Store

13 Sep, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Movies will be available for rent in the U.S. only

Lionsgate Sept. 13 became the first Hollywood studio to license content to Vimeo’s pending online television store, launching Oct. 18.

New York-based Vimeo has since 2004 operated an online platform enabling filmmakers to create, share and sell videos. It now wants to branch out to third-party transactional VOD and electronic sellthrough.

Lionsgate will supply Vimeo with virtually its entire catalog of television series, including “Orange Is the New Black,” Golden Globe-nominated dramedy “Casual,” “The Royals,” Emmy Award-winning drama “Mad Men” and catalog titles “Weeds,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Boss,” “Blue Mountain State” and “Manhattan,” among others.

Lionsgate movie titles will be added to the service for rental in the United States subsequent to launch.

“[Lionsgate's] television slate includes nearly 80 series on 40 different networks, and they are a great partner with whom to kick off a service that will bring premium scripted shows from the U.S. to our hundreds of millions of viewers around the world,” Barry Diller, chairman of Vimeo parent company IAC, said in a statement.

Diller, who helped start Fox Broadcasting Co., and was once CEO of Paramount Pictures, said he expects other studios to follow Lionsgate’s lead in licensing content.

Vimeo is polar opposite to Diller’s previous project: A $20 million investment in Aereo TV, the controversial platform that offered online subscription access to over-the-air digital broadcast TV on portable devices. Following a series of industry lawsuits, Aereo TV shuttered in 2014.

Lionsgate has been one of the first studios to partner with digital platforms, including Starbreeze, Steam, Google’s virtual reality Daydream initiative, and Comcast’s Xfinity service, among others.

“Platforms such as Vimeo … are transforming the face of entertainment and bringing our content to consumers around the world through an expanding array of touchpoints,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.

Vimeo’s transactional platform will debut at MIPCOM 2016 Global Market in Cannes, France, with kickoff ceremonies led by Jim Packer, president of worldwide television and digital distribution at Lionsgate, and Sam Toles, head of global content acquisitions and distribution at Vimeo.

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