Vimeo finally rolls out livestreaming product

AMSTERDAM—After dabbling with the prospect of entering the consumer SVOD market, Vimeo is doubling down on its pro maker market with the introduction of a livestreaming service.

At IBC, the online video company previewed the new premium service, which will be available to users of its subscription platforms in the coming weeks. 

According to Vimeo General Manager Christophe Gillet, live streaming has been the No. 1 requested feature by Vimeo’s loyal pro-level online video creators for two years running. To date, these clients have largely relied on free solutions provided by YouTube and Facebook, as well as various other solutions in the market. 

RELATED: Vimeo's planned SVOD service is a no-go

Gillet said Vimeo took an “Apple approach” to getting the livestreaming service’s features and technology performance right, when asked by FierceOnlineVideo what took so long to debut the offering. 

The launch of the anticipated livestreaming service comes several months after Vimeo balked at an earlier leaked plan to compete with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon in the subscription video on demand market. 

“We chose to double down on our creators,” Gillet said. 

In June, Vimeo, the video platform controlled by Barry Diller’s IAC Corp., ditched its plan to roll out a subscription online video service featuring original programming.

The company’s interim CEO at the time, Joey Levin, had previously been bullish on the plan and Vimeo had seen some success with shows like “High Maintenance,” a critical darling acquired by HBO. “Vimeo has the once-in-a-generation opportunity to, following in Netflix’s footsteps, deliver compelling subscription viewing experiences for consumers in the market for pay TV,” Levin wrote in a letter to shareholders last November. He cited Vimeo’s creator and user community, plus the company’s analytics, as key advantages.

Later, explaining his reversal on SVOD, Levin explained: “This was a difficult decision—the idea of pursuing an SVOD service for Vimeo has always been intriguing,” Levin said. “The opportunity ahead for Vimeo to empower creators is too large and too important for us to attack with anything other than absolute focus and clarity.”

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