Thankfully, as of yesterday, it would appear that all of the previously available titles are back. Fans of Transformers G1, Transformers Prime, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, G.I. Joe Renegades, and even Jem, are able to purchase or rent individual episodes and seasons. The titles are available for direct download or streaming via the website or mobile app.
Whew! I won’t lie– this admin is happy to see the content back again. Over the past few months, we’ve discovered that Sunbow G.I. Joe is one of the few things that calms my future nephew when he’s cranky! At 10 months, he’s already shown a clear penchant for Cobra Commander!
So, there’s no time like the present to snag your favorite Hasbro titles on Vimeo. C’mon– portable Sunbow G.I. Joe is AWESOME!
As of this week, all Hasbro titles are no longer available on Vimeo for purchase or rental.
Nearly a year-and-a-half ago, online video content site Vimeo became the exclusive digital home for the Hasbro Studios animation library. Titles such as the classic 1980’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Transformers (Generation 1), and Jem were available for both rental or purchase. They were joined by other series like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, G.I. Joe: Renegades, and Transformers Prime. Accessible via website or mobile app, the Vimeo deal was a bold new step for Hasbro which had only previously hosted digital content on Netflix.
As of Monday this week, the Hasbro Studios page on Vimeo told a very different story. All content appears to have removed from the site, for either purchase or rental. Users who had previously purchased animated episodes or series may still access them, but will also see a disclaimer attached.
For those who have purchased Hasbro Studio titles, the question remains: how long will users continue to be able to access that content? Vimeo titles may be downloaded DRM-free but, given the file size of both the Sunbow G.I. Joe and Transformers G1 series, this is not a simple task. We’ve reached out to both Hasbro PR and Vimeo but have yet to receive an answer back at this time.
With a new Transformers movie hitting theaters this summer, is Hasbro seeking a new digital partner for their content? Or is the Pawtucket toy maker seeking to develop its own online portal for content access going forward? As of now, all we know is that the Vimeo run was nice while it lasted. (My fiance’s nephew loves to watch animated Sunbow G.I. Joe on my phone.) We’ll post more information as we have it but, for now, it seems that Hasbro’s partnership with Vimeo has come to an end.
As reported yesterday by Wired.com, Hasbro Inc announced yesterday that they were partnering with video sharing site Vimeo to be the exclusive online host for many of the toy-maker’s animated series. Currently available are Transformers (Generation 1) and Jem & the Holograms with other series including G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and My Little Pony to follow later this year.
Per the announcement, episodes of the Hasbro series will be $.99 to rent for 24 hours or $1.99 to purchase individually. Entire series may be purchased for $40.00.
Is this a good move for the Pawtucket-based Hasbro, Inc? By the numbers, it means that Hasbro’s animated properties will be delivered to a significantly smaller audience. As of Q1 2015, subscription-based Netflix had an audience of just over 60 million global subscribers. As of December 2013, Vimeo was sitting at 22 million subscribers. It’s not a strict apples-to-apples comparison as far as the dates go but it indicates that Vimeo doesn’t quite have the reach that content posted on Netflix does.
There’s also the issue of the the pricing model. Increasingly, more and more digital content has gone “pay-to-play” requiring viewers to either rent or purchase episodes on a platform-to-platform basis. Vimeo follows that model meaning that fans will have to pay around $40 to own a full season of their favorite nostalgic series. This puts it on par with the cost of owning the content on DVD and Blu-Ray from retailers such as Amazon.com but it leaves casual fans a bit out-of-the-loop. Rather than being able to randomly browse through a few episodes of a series before getting hooked, viewers will be have to pay to rent or view episodes on an series-by-series basis. This could limit the Hasbro content’s overall reach when it comes to new viewers rather than diehard fans who most likely already own the content in tangible form anyway.
What do you think? Is the move to Vimeo better for Hasbro? Will is help grow the audiences for their animated properties? Will you be making the jump to the new video-sharing service in order to follow the adventures of your favorite characters? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!