Vimeo has opened Vimeo On Demand to Vimeo Pro users. It allows them to make money from their videos by charging viewers to rent or buy the content for set periods, thereby giving independent filmmakers a new distribution channel to get their work seen.

Last week, Microsoft added its first exclusive movie to Xbox Live, the British-made independent film Pulp. The co-director and producer Adam Hamdy said it was difficult for low to mid-tier indie filmmakers to get their works seen by audiences now the straight-to-DVD market had collapsed. Vimeo hopes that Vimeo On Demand will also provide opportunities for creative studios and individuals in this category.

Creators can set the length of time for which the movie or video is available, how much it costs, and which region or regions are allowed to access it, from individual countries to worldwide distribution. Revenue for every view will be split 90/10, with the original copyright owner getting 90 per cent of the money.

The films can be viewed on any device that is Vimeo compatible (or has an app), from smartphones to tablets to connected TVs. And on computers, naturally. The system uses the site's proprietary 1080p rendering, so they films be presented in Full HD wherever necessary.

"With the addition of Vimeo On Demand, creators can now use Vimeo to control the way they earn revenue and retain a significant portion of the proceeds," said Kerry Trainor, Vimeo CEO.

Vimeo On Demand is now available to Vimeo Pro users. A Vimeo Pro account costs $199 (£134) a year.

Head over to Vimeo's creator services to find out more: