The Vimeo online video platform originally launched in 2004. For most of its existence, Vimeo has catered to the creative market. However, in recent years Vimeo has begun to pivot towards the B2B (business to business) sector. This article reviews and discusses one element of this shift: the Vimeo OTT solution.
For context, OTT stands for Over-The-Top. This “new media” phenomenon refers to the profusion of internet-based broadcasting. Netflix is a prime example, to name only one. By 2024, experts predict that 310 million households will subscribe to at least one OTT service.
Overall, global OTT revenue is expected to reach $83.4 billion within a few years. Countless businesses are investing in online video. Likewise, power players are making moves and niche markets are developing.
Table of Contents
- What to Know About the New Vimeo OTT Solution
- Pros & Cons of the Vimeo OTT Solution
- Alternatives to the Vimeo platform
- More About the OTT Industry
What to Know About the New Vimeo OTT Solution
Vimeo, a B2C (Business to consumer) video-sharing website, purchased the live streaming video provider Livestream in 2017. Vimeo has offered a plan aimed at commercial use since 2011. However, this acquisition marked the next major move in Vimeo’s B2B pivot.
The Vimeo OTT solution is one of the new offerings the company has built since then. Vimeo offers video hosting solutions at several plan levels.
- For $20/month, you get basic video hosting and 1 TB of uploads per year.
- At $50/month, you upgrade to 5 TB storage and add better analytics.
- For $75/month, you get live streaming and 7 TB of storage.
These plans may be sufficient for some small businesses. For OTT video, on the other hand, broadcasters need something substantially more robust. For example, many professional-grade features are limited to a custom-priced Vimeo OTT solution. These features include:
- Video subscription monetization
- App building
- API access
- Large-scale live streaming
- Premium support and account management
- Vimeo integrations
- High-volume storage
Pros of the Vimeo OTT Platform
Vimeo can be a great choice in a few different scenarios. For example, if you’re a high-end TV station with a large budget or if you need extensive custom development.
Vimeo’s basic plans are also a good choice for B2C customers. People who need simple video hosting features but don’t require API access, advanced analytics, or monetization tools should be happy with this video hosting solution. Here are a few features worth mentioning as the pros of the Vimeo platform:
- Easy uploading from any device, as well as Google Drive, Dropbox and FYP: this is especially useful for B2C users who manage video content primarily from their phones. (Note that users must meet Vimeo’s upload guidelines to access this feature.)
- Player customization: Vimeo Premium, Business, PRO and Plus users can customize the video player with colors and logos.
- Video analytics: users can access stats on the amount of data related to their plan level.
Beyond these pros, the Vimeo OTT solution also has a few downsides. Let’s review some potential issues or limitations of this platform below.
Downsides of Vimeo’s OTT Platform
Like Livestream, Vimeo takes a high-end premium approach to their service. This results in quality but expensive products. For example, full API access starts at $1,000+ per month. Full monetization tools aren’t included until the same pricing level.
Vimeo also can surprise users with some unexpected fees. Some of these fees include:
- For each subscriber: $1 per subscriber per month + merchant fees of 2.5% + $0.30 per transaction.
- For each pay-per-view (TVOD) transaction: 10% + $0.50 per transaction.
- $1 per promo code after 100 codes per month.
- For excess upload hours.
- For branded delivery to smart TVs and other platforms.
As we want to help you make the best choice possible based on your business needs, see below for a few limits of the Vimeo OTT solution that you may want to know:
- After surpassing 1 hour of video uploading, Vimeo charges users $99 for each 10-hour set of additional uploads.
- Users can stream only 3 events maximum, with each event limited to 12 hours.
- Vimeo does not offer 24/7 customer support. For live streaming, for example, users can access only email support within one hour (weekdays) and chat support (U.S. business hours).
- Vimeo playback is not available in China nor in Indonesia. Relatedly, Vimeo uses an internal content delivery network, as opposed to a more powerful and reliable professional CDN like Akamai.
Therefore, Vimeo might be a good choice for a high-end TV station or an enterprise with an extensive budget. But if you have a limited budget or if you need 24/7 live streaming with the customer support that comes with it, you may want to consider other video streaming solutions.
Alternatives to Vimeo
For small and medium businesses, or organizations with no extensive budget, here are some professional alternatives to consider.
Alternative #1: Brightcove
The first alternative to the Vimeo OTT solution we’ll review here is Brightcove. Brightcove is a massive video host that focuses exclusively on the Enterprise market. They offer a wide range of services, but this platform is likely out of reach for smaller and medium-sized businesses.
Since Brightcove operates based on a fully custom pricing model, it’s impossible to predict exactly how much it costs to access a given feature. Therefore, here’s a simplified look at Brightcove’s feature list.
- Live streaming is included with Brightcove starting at the $499/month level.
- API access is available only on custom-priced plans.
- Monetization is supported only with custom-priced plans.
- Customer support for Brightcove is available at three tiers: Silver, Gold, and Premium. Phone support starts at the Gold level. Customers can upgrade their support plan for an additional fee.
- Pricing for Brightcove starts at $199/month for a basic video hosting service. Prices rise to $499/month for live streaming (although this basic plan only offers 8 hours per year of SD live streaming). Additional features such as monetization are custom-priced.
Alternative #2: IBM Cloud Video
Today, IBM Cloud Video focuses on the Enterprise video hosting and live streaming market. Like Brightcove, their products are aimed at large businesses with large budgets. Here’s how IBM Cloud Video compares.
- Live streaming is included on all IBM Cloud Video plans, but only up to 720p resolution.
- API access is available only on custom-priced plans.
- Monetization is not supported natively.
- Customer support includes phone support available from 6 am to 6 pm pacific time, 7 days a week.
- Pricing for IBM Cloud Video starts at $99/month for a basic video hosting service with 100 viewer-hours. Prices rise to $499/month for access to analytics and additional data. Watermarking and other security features begin at $999 per month. Custom-priced plans are necessary for many OTT features.
Alternative #3: Dacast
Dacast offers OTT video hosting and live streaming functionalities. Recently, Dacast also acquired streaming platform vzaar, for advanced VOD features and China playback accessibility. Additionally, the Dacast OVP works with powerful industry partners, including the Akamai CDN for highly scalable video delivery.
Here are some key features that set Dacast’s streaming solutions apart from the Vimeo OTT solution :
- Live streaming is included at all plan levels. Even better, 24/7 live streaming comes at all plan levels with options for an unlimited number of live channels.
- API access with the Dacast player API, which is available at all plan levels, and Broadcaster API, available starting at the Premium plan ($125/mo).
- Monetization options, including pay-per-view, subscription (via a white label and easy-to-use paywall) and ads-insertion, also available starting with the $125/month Premium plan.
- Customer support includes 24/7 support at all plan levels, including phone support for Premium plans and above.
- Pricing for Dacast video hosting and live streaming solutions start at $19/month, including a white-label html5 video player, real-time analytics and live recording. Pay-as-you-go pricing is also available for one-time streamers, as well as custom-priced plans for broadcasters with high-volume streaming needs.
About the OTT Industry
Video is the dominant online media today. A full one-third of all online activity is spent watching video. At this point, more than 69% of U.S. households subscribe to at least one OTT service. A staggering 38% subscribe to two or more.
The rate of growth has been spectacular. In the U.S. alone, subscribers to OTT services more than doubled between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018.
We can expect this trend to grow even further with 5G. The coming 5G cell networks will provide speeds roughly 100 times faster than the best available 4G LTE networks.
Overall, the video streaming market is predicted to be worth $70.5 billion within two years. OTT is already one of the dominant media markets. Within the coming years, OTT can expect to claim the undisputed heavyweight title for mass media.
We hope that this article has introduced you to the world of OTT video. Specifically, we’ve focused on the Vimeo OTT solution and some noteworthy alternatives.
For the right user, Vimeo can be a great platform. At the same time, it’s not for everyone. We think alternatives to the Vimeo OTT solution, like Dacast’s streaming solutions, offer some very compelling advantages. See for yourself with our 30-day free trial! No credit card required.
Do you have questions or comments about OTT solutions, Vimeo, Dacast, or anything else? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. We will get back to you.
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Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your live broadcasts.