Vimeo is jacking up its prices significantly, forcing creators to look for alternatives.
Many Patreon creators have come to rely on Vimeo to host their video content. However, due to the latest strategic move by the ‘YouTube alternative,’ it has become costly to continue using the service.
Lois van Barle is a Dutch digital artist uploading her content to Vimeo. She felt it was the best way to host her content because she had more control over where and how her videos were embedded. She was shocked when Vimeo sent her a notice that she was within the top one percent of bandwidth users. Out of all the 117 videos, she has uploaded, the one with the highest view has about 815 views.
Van Barle had been paying $200 per year, but Vimeo now wants her to cough up $3,500. The company offered her a custom plan, and she had a week to accept the plan, decrease her bandwidth, or find another video hosting platform. Expressing her disappointment, van Barle said, “I’ve never had it where a platform reached out to me and was like, ‘Pay up, or get off our platform,’ basically.”
Other creators got similar messages from Vimeo, especially those that use Patreon.
Vimeo has been trying to move away from its image as the indie alternative to YouTube. The platform says it wants to be a software company for businesses of all sizes. In a letter to shareholders last month, Vimeo’s CEO, Anjali Sud, wrote, “Today we are a technology platform, not a viewing destination. We are a B2B solution, not the indie version of YouTube.”
In its last earnings report, Vimeo claims some of the biggest companies globally have been buying their products, suggesting the tactics were working.
Vimeo’s new pricing regime is hitting Patreon users hard because Patreon had promoted Vimeo to its users. They even got a discount when signing up for Vimeo and could upload content directly through Patreon. In fact, some Patreon users did not even realize they were uploading content to Vimeo.
One of such users is Channel 5. In January, the account, which specialized in off-the-fly interviews on the street, got a rude shock. Their videos simply disappeared from their Patreon feed, resulting in a loss of over 500 subscribers and lots of angry messages.
Thanks to their bandwidth usage, the account now has to pay at least $7,000 per year to continue hosting their videos on Vimeo.
How did Vimeo arrive at the sky-high evaluation? The company said it factors video plays, resolution, downloading, live streaming, etc. However, Vimeo says it doesn’t charge users until they reach unusually high levels or is in the 99 percentile.
The company claimed it had to introduce the charges because it lost money supporting high usage accounts. In a mail to a user who fell in the category, Vimeo wrote, “On some high consumption accounts (including your account), Vimeo has been losing money supporting its usage. This has become problematic for our leadership team, and they made the decision to implement a fair use policy in which we reserve the right to charge the top 1% of bandwidth-consuming accounts based on the amount of bandwidth they are utilizing.”
Vimeo explained that they work with creators who have exceeded their fairplay usage allowance to accommodate their needs, but users like van Barle weren’t impressed. “Vimeo has become extremely irrelevant over time, and has no cultural impact on the level of YouTube. But I still chose Vimeo. And what do I get in return?”
Van Barle says she plans to move her content to YouTube, although Vimeo claimed over 70 percent of creators agreed to the new plan or lowered their bandwidth usage. Channel 5 retrieved their videos and will now host new content directly on Patreon.
Source: The Verge