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A picture shows a You Tube logo on December 4, 2012 during LeWeb Paris 2012 in Saint-Denis near Paris. AFP—AFP/Getty Images

Here's How Vimeo Is Poaching Some of YouTube's Talent

Updated: Jan 15, 2015 3:11 PM ET

Online video site Vimeo is aggressively recruiting some of YouTube’s talent.

The company has just signed a deal with Maker Studios, one of the biggest multichannel networks on YouTube, to bring some Maker videos to Vimeo first for an exclusive timed window. While most content on YouTube is free, the videos created through the Vimeo deal will be part of Vimeo on Demand, the site’s online store where it sells films and episodic content.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Vimeo has long billed itself as a premium alternative to YouTube that caters to filmmakers. The site doesn’t show pre-roll ads, instead encouraging creators to charge viewers for their content in order to make money. Vimeo takes a 10% cut of video sales, a smaller portion than the 45% of ad revenue YouTube typically takes for videos hosted on its site.

Maker Studios, which was purchased by Disney for nearly $1 billion last year, counts among its ranks huge online stars like PewDiePie and Andrea Brooks (however, neither Maker nor Vimeo have yet disclosed which creators will be crafting videos as part of the deal). The Maker videos funded by Vimeo will cover a wide variety of genres and will be both short and long form, Vimeo spokeswoman Jessica Casano-Antonellis said in an email. The exclusivity window for different videos will vary, so the content could still end up on YouTube with ads at a later date. For now the initiaitve is only running through 2015.

The Maker-Vimeo partnership is the latest in a series of attacks on YouTube’s dominance of online video. A startup called Vessel is planning to offer paid subscriptions that give fans access to video creators’ content before it arrives on YouTube and Facebook has also reportedly been trying to recruit YouTube stars to make content for its fast-growing video platform. For its part, YouTube already offers creators the ability to charge money for their videos if their channels have at least 1,000 subscribers.

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