Vimeo Will Host Films From Kian Lawley and Four Other YouTube Stars

Even as YouTube has been teasing new original projects from some of its most high-profile creators, longtime competitor Vimeo has been slowly digging itself deeper into the niche. The video platform that has become a hub and incubator for web series and indie films is doubling down on its commitment to offering YouTube stars a home for their long form projects. Vimeo recently inked a deal with digital studio Supergravity Pitctures that will bring four new films from top YouTube stars exclusively to the platforms video on demand section.

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The first of the four films to premiere will be The Chosen a teen thriller that stars former O2L vlogger Kian Lawley. The film will premiere on July 24th and is expected to receive an added publicity boost from a fan event timed to coincide with this year’s VidCon. It’s likely the film will receive a warm welcome in Anaheim given that this year’s VidCon is expected to draw an audience of nearly 20,000 YouTube creators and fans, most of whom are in Lawley’s key demographic.

The three other films included in the deal have yet to be announced. Supergravity has made a name for itself by producing feature length films featuring YouTube stars and it’s safe to assume that the remaining films in the deal will also feature high profile YouTubers. At least one project Supergravity is known to be developing is a documentary about net neutrality helmed by the former prince of YouTube, Ray William Johnson.

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This deal, along with similar arrangements inked with the likes of New Form Digital might signal a new phase for Vimeo. Rather than a YouTube competitor, the platform shows signs of becoming a much needed YouTube companion, providing a home for the sort of long form content that YouTubers want to create but which has generally struggled to find a place on their home platform. For the moment, this relationship seems to be working out fairly well for digital stars, but with YouTube talking about dumping more money into original programming and developing its own VOD system, the symbiotic relationship between the two platforms might be short lived.

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