Vimeo wants more independent filmmakers to distribute their work using its Vimeo On Demand platform – and it’s prepared to pay some serious cash to make it happen.

Today, the company announced that it will be putting forward $10 million in fresh funding to help creators finish their films and make sure they’re seen by the largest audience possible. The extra money will be used to expand its crowdfunding program – a $500,000 pot launched at this year’s Sundance Festival for films funded on Indiegogo, Kickstarter and similar sites.

It will also bolster its film festival program, which offers funding to filmmakers who premiere their work at major film festivals, in exchange for a timed exclusivity release through its Vimeo on Demand platform.

The company said it would also be offering ‘grants’ for its PRO service – a premium tier that offers unlimited HD uploads and up to 1,000GB of storage each year – and distribution through Vimeo on Demand for filmmakers that meet the criteria for its crowdfunding and film festival programs.

Vimeo also mentioned, rather ambiguously, that some of its new investment could be used to expand its title and catalog acquisitions. “[We] will work with filmmakers and distributors to accelerate its investment in quality individual titles and catalogs suited to [our] unique audience,” the company said.

The strategy is clear. Vimeo wants its Vimeo on Demand platform to be the go-to place for distributing and viewing works by independent filmmakers. To attract a sizeable audience though, it needs some exclusive content – or high-profile creatives to upload their work on the site first. It probably won’t happen overnight, but some fresh investment on Vimeo’s side will likely tempt a few aspiring or cash-strapped filmmakers.

Vimeo press release (Via TechCrunch)