Led by the success of platforms like Netflix and Amazon, the subscription-video on-demand (SVOD) model has become increasingly popular in the online video community. The latest company looking to latch onto the SVOD trend is Vimeo. In a letter to shareholders, interim Vimeo CEO Joey Levin announced his company’s plan to launch an SVOD offering aimed at viewers.
In discussing the planned service, Levin (who recently took over for former Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor) noted how Netflix’s success has influenced Vimeo’s strategy. “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,” he said. “I believe we can do so at a fraction of the cost of other major competitors by virtue of the audience and content benefits conferred upon Vimeo through our existing marketplace. And I believe we can do it in a way that empowers the content creators.”
The second part of that quote forecasts that a Vimeo subscription service would be aimed at the indie crowd that makes up much of the video site’s community. Therefore, expect the planned offering to look more like the several recently-announced niche SVOD services — including Vrv, Alpha, and FilmStruck — than a bigger entity like Netflix.
While Vimeo wouldn’t be able to strip away ads as part of a premium offering (since it doesn’t run any of them to begin with), it could give subscribers access to some of the paywalled content currently available through the Vimeo On Demand library. It could also offer a toolkit of premium features, as it does with its creator-focused Vimeo Pro service, which has more than 750,000 subscribers. Finally, it could make use of the SVOD technology of VHX, which it acquired in May 2016.
Vimeo is owned by IAC, whose full letter to shareholders is available through its website.