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Vimeo introduces customer facing subscription service


Video creators can now build and customise their own customer-facing subscription channel and distribute it on Vimeo and other distribution platforms such as full mobile and connected TV apps. Joey Levin, CEO made this announcement in his letter to the shareholders in September 2016.

According to his statement, creators setting up their subscription channels on Vimeo can avail Vimeo’s hosting, bandwidth, and credit-card processing services. The platform will charge a fee of $1 per subscriber per month from each channel. The company claims to have 100 such subscription channels since the acquisition of VHX in May 2016. The company intends “to experiment with proprietary consumer subscription services on Vimeo in addition to the existing experience that enables consumers to purchase from or subscribe directly to the creators on Vimeo’s platform.

Vimeo Creator SaaS Platform

Vimeo seems to have been started primarily to target creative individuals, professionals and businesses a platform to share their work, something like a portfolio. Reason enough, unlike YouTube, the creators pay the platform to provide ad-free viewing experience of their videos to the viewers. The platform offers creators four paid packages namely Vimeo Plus ($5/month), Vimeo Pro ($199/year), Vimeo Pro Unlimited ($399/year) and Vimeo Business ($599/year with 30 day free trial).

While the free basic version comes with 25GB of storage space per year, the Plus, Pro, Pro Unlimited  and  Business subscribers get upto 250GB, 3TB, 1TB and 5TB per year, respectively. Apart from storage space, different categories of paid subscribers also get other privileges based on their package such as closed privacy settings, analytics dashboard with advanced settings, video customisations with logo, team collaborations, online sale of videos, customisable portfolio sites, among others.

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The company presently claims to have over 750,000 creators as paid subscribers on the platform with more than 90% of their paying customers choose annual subscription and their average customer stays with the platform for more than 4 years. Vimeo claims to have over a billion monthly video views, 115 million videos, 240 million monthly viewers of which over 100 million are on Vimeo properties and 24 million who watch 3 or more videos on Vimeo per month and “millions of whom have already purchased content on the Vimeo platform from a Vimeo creator.

As of September 2016 (Q3 2016), Vimeo has increased its subscribers to 741,000 up 13% from 654,000 subscribers in the same quarter last year (Q3 2015). IAC, the parent company of Vimeo has recorded a revenue of $60 million from its video businesses for the quarter ending September 2016 (Q3 2016), up 0% from $60.1 million in the same quarter last year (Q3 2015).

Other developments in video on demand

In May 2016, YouTube was reported to be working on a new service called Unplugged which will stream cable TV packages for a fee. In the same month, Amazon launched a new video service named ‘Amazon Video Direct’ (AVD) that allow users to post videos and earn royalties from them

With video streaming services such as Netflix, Eros Now,HotStar, Hungama Play, ALT Digital and HOOQ gaining ground in India, Reliance Entertainment relaunched its streaming service Bigflix for a fee of Rs. 49/- per movie in April 2016. In the same month, Hotstar launched premium subscriptions for Rs 199 per month offering exclusive selection of movies and TV shows.

In March 2016, Viacom18 Digital Ventures’ online video streaming platform VOOT went live. Similar to YouTube, the platform is monetised through ads. In the same month, Mobile VOD company Vuclip launched Viu, a video on demand (VOD) service in India at a fee of Rs. 99 after a month long free trial.

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In February 2016, Zee Digital, the digital arm of Zee Entertainment, launched a new video on demand (VoD) platform called OZEE for free.

In January 2016, online TV network Netflix launched in India free for the first month and a fee of Rs 500/- thereafter for non-HD content.

In December 2015, Live streaming platform YuppTV launched YuppFlix, an on demand movie streaming service in all its regions of operation.

In October 2015, YouTube launched a new paid service called YouTube Red which will allow users to watch videos without ads, original content and listen to music.

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