Vimeo Pricing and Review: What You Need to Know About Streaming with Vimeo

By Max Wilbert

27 Min Read

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Max Wilbert

Max Wilbert is a passionate writer, live streaming practitioner, and has strong expertise in the video streaming industry.

     

    Online video streaming is becoming more and more popular as people “cut the cord” on cable and traditional television. The OTT industry, which provides streaming video solutions like Netflix and Hulu, is doing particularly well since more than 69% of U.S. households subscribe to at least one streaming service. 

    For any business aiming at getting involved in streaming media, understanding the live streaming software industry is critical. When it comes to choosing a streaming solution, Vimeo is often one of the top options to come to mind.

    Back in 2017, Vimeo acquired Livestream, a live stream video host platform. Since then, they’ve integrated live video streaming functionality and added OTT services to their offerings. 

    In this article, we will examine Vimeo as a live streaming video provider. Specifically, we’re going to look at the background of Vimeo and explore its entry into the OTT marketplace. We’ll provide an overview of Vimeo pricing before we dive into the specific features of their streaming service. 

    To wrap things up, we will look at a few Vimeo alternatives, including Dacast, for broadcasters that need a slightly different solution.

    Table of Contents

    • Vimeo at a Glance
    • The History of Vimeo
    • Vimeo in the OTT Marketplace
    • Vimeo’s Top Features
    • Vimeo Pricing Plans
    • Livestream Pricing Plans
    • The 5 Best Vimeo Livestream Alternatives
    • Conclusion

    Vimeo at a Glance

    Vimeo is an impressive offering in the online streaming space. Here are a few stats and facts to familiarize you with the platform:

    • Launched in 2004
    • Over 175 million registered users
    • Over 60 million creators and broadcasters
    • Users in 150+ countries 
    • Personal and professional streaming solutions
    • Live and on-demand video hosting

    The History of Vimeo

    vimeo live streaming platform
    Vimeo has been an active player in the video streaming space for nearly two decades.

    Vimeo was launched in 2004 by a group of filmmakers. The creators were looking for a way to share videos with friends. Since video files are bulky, they can be difficult to send over text or email, so an online streaming platform posed the perfect solution.

    Originally, Vimeo was designed to be a consumer-grade video hosting provider, and the service soon grew in popularity, serving as an early competitor to YouTube

    However, Vimeo quickly pivoted to focus on the creative market. Today, Vimeo is a video on demand platform with users that are mostly filmmakers, graphic designers, artists, and the like.

    Vimeo offers a basic plan with highly limited storage space for free. Business plans are available for users with greater needs. These plans offer additional storage space and more features at an additional cost.

    In September 2017, Vimeo announced that it was acquiring Livestream. Previously, the platform only offered VOD hosting. After the acquisition, Vimeo kept its original platform for VOD hosting, and the new “Vimeo Live” service was priced separately from the on-demand video service.

    Today, both platforms are still owned by Vimeo, and they both offer VOD and live stream hosting. However, Livestream’s plans are geared more towards broadcasters with greater needs.

    Vimeo in the OTT Marketplace

    Vimeo currently offers an OTT service for media businesses that are launching their own streaming service. Vimeo uses the Livestream technology to position itself as an upscale video streaming provider for advanced broadcasters. This type of move is familiar to those who follow the online video industry. In early 2016, IBM purchased live streaming video provider UStream for around $130 million. Since then, the division has changed its name to IBM Cloud Video and has moved to position itself as an enterprise video platform with higher pricing. 

    With that context in mind, let’s get into the details of Vimeo’s streaming solution.

    Vimeo’s Top Features

    vimeo streaming
    Explore some of Vimeo’s valuable broadcasting tools.

    Although Vimeo was once geared towards consumers, it has gracefully evolved into a professional platform that is equipped with the tools professional broadcasters need to find success.

    Let’s check out a few of Vimeo’s features.

    Live Streaming

    Live streaming is a valuable tool for businesses and organizations that are looking to broadcast live events. It is also valuable for hosting virtual events.

    Although Vimeo has live streaming capabilities, it is only available on their Premium plan and above. Plans with live streaming start at $75/month.

    Storage and Bandwidth

    Each of Vimeo’s plans comes with a different amount of storage and bandwidth. This is something you need to pay attention to because you need to make sure you’re well-equipped to reach your broadcasting goals and stream at your intended scale.

    Vimeo’s Livestream plans offer unlimited viewers, which is a convenient feature, but this is only the case for the Premium plan on the regular Vimeo platform.

    From the professional broadcasting perspective, it would be even better with an unlimited number of channels to provide users the option to stream various events simultaneously. 

    While Vimeo’s most inclusive plan offers unlimited streaming hours, businesses will want to take into account the 5-hour limit for each event.

    Vimeo advertises its service as including unlimited data. However, “unlimited” might be a stretch in many cases.

    If you are a TV station looking for 24/7 continuous streaming, please note that plans with this feature are only available on Livestream, not Vimeo.

    Video Monetization 

    vimeo monetization
    Content creators see an increase of 20% in signups with Vimeo monetization.

    Video monetization presents a huge revenue opportunity. Video monetization requires special tools that are typically provided by your online video platform. 

    Vimeo offers monetization capabilities at an additional cost.

    Costs begin at $1 per subscriber per month. If you’re a small broadcaster, these costs remain reasonable. Larger broadcasters may find these fees prohibitive. 

    If you want more flexibility, it might be better to consider an OVP that includes monetization tools at no extra cost.

    Video Content Management API

    A video API is exceptionally important if you’re interested in developing programmatic uses of your streaming video provider. Vimeo Live does offer a video content management API. 

    Video API allows you to customize your broadcasting experience on the backend, while player API allows you to customize your video player.

    Customer Support

    For customers on the basic Vimeo Live plan, tech support is available via email with a 1 hour response time on business days. 

    However, Vimeo does not offer a 24/7 customer support option in case you need immediate assistance. This can be quite inconvenient, especially if you encounter a problem in the middle of a live stream and there is nobody to troubleshoot your issue. 

    Content Delivery Network (CDN)

    One of the biggest complaints Vimeo users have is the buffering time with videos. Vimeo doesn’t reveal how they deliver their content. Businesses that need to bypass these issues could potentially solve their problems with a CDN-based service. 

    A CDN (Content Delivery Network) delivers your video to your viewers. By leveraging massive server farms and global networks, a CDN speeds up delivery and solves buffering problems. It is an essential part of online video success. Viewers who request content from a CDN are automatically routed to the closest server. 

    The larger the CDN network is, the faster your video delivery is. Therefore, you want to target a streaming video hosting provider that partners with a powerful video streaming CDN, such as the top-tier, widely used Akamai CDN or Limelight Networks.

    Vimeo Live Streaming Pricing Costs

    The appeal of Vimeo pricing comes with the fact that they truly offer plans for every budget.

    Vimeo offers several streaming plans for consumer-grade use, but their professional-grade plans with live streaming capabilities are sold through Livestream, a platform that they acquired a few years back.

    Beyond these three basic plans, Vimeo offers three enterprise pricing plans under the name “Livestream.” The Vimeo pricing plans include Basic, Plus, and Pro, and the Livestream pricing plans include Premium, Vimeo OTT, and Vimeo Enterprise.

    That said, let’s break down all of the pricing plans from Vimeo and Livestream.

    Basic

    Vimeo’s Basic plan is absolutely free to use forever, but, as one would expect, it comes with limitations. This plan is aimed at individuals and organizations who want to use the Vimeo platform as long as they are willing to follow their community guidelines.

    The plan doesn’t come with privacy features, customization capabilities, live streaming, or advanced analytics, which makes it best suited for independent content creators rather than professional broadcasters. For these reasons, it provides the same experience as a social media platform such as YouTube does.

    Basic plan users get 500MB per week of upload space, up to 5GB total account storage, basic video embedding features, video analytics, and the ability to download converted video files. Plan holders are limited to uploading up to 10 videos per day, create 1 channel, 1 group, and 3 showcases, and the ability to publish videos natively to social and eCommerce accounts.

    Plus

    Vimeo’s Plus plan costs $7/month and comes with 5 GB of bandwidth per week, 250 GB storage every year, and allocates for a single user. The only professional functions available at this level are player customization, privacy controls, and social distribution.

    Pro

    The next tier up on Vimeo is the Pro plan. This plan costs $20/month and comes with 20 GB of bandwidth per week, 1 TB storage every year, and 3 team member seats.

    This plan unlocks tools to create and publish unlimited videos, custom video templates, review and approval, private team collaboration, customizable showcase sites, and streaming on your own site. It also has unlimited stock photos, videos, and licensed music tools.

    Premium

    One of the most popular Livestream pricing plans is Vimeo Premium. It comes with 7 TB of storage and claims unlimited live streaming on Vimeo.

    This plan includes 10 team member seats and all of the features included in previous plans plus some tools that are specifically used for live event streaming such as unlimited live events, streaming to multiple destinations, live Q&A, graphics, and polls, as well as audience chat.

    The Premium plan is the best option for professional broadcasting, as it includes privacy and security features, powerful analytics, a white-label video player, and more.

    Vimeo OTT

    video ott pricing
    Vimeo OTT offers several distinct pricing plans for broadcasters with different budgets.

    The Vimeo OTT-specific pricing package is another Livestream pricing plan. These plans include all the basics for starting your web-based OTT channel, as well as growing your OTT business online.

    There are two Vimeo OTT pricing tiers, including:

    • Starter Pricing: $1/subscriber per month
    • Growth Pricing: starting at $500/month

    Vimeo Enterprise

    The Enterprise plan includes everything that the Premium plan includes, plus a larger storage capacity, live stream recording, eCDN, video API access, multiple simultaneous streams, and Q&A moderation.

    Enterprise plans are custom priced.

    The 5 Best Vimeo Alternatives

    Although Vimeo has made strides towards the realm of professional broadcasting, most of its plans are still geared towards broadcasters with lesser needs. It doesn’t have the infrastructure to host large broadcasts like 24/7 continuous live streaming.

    Some broadcasters are better off seeking alternative solutions that meet their needs more effectively. That said, let’s take a look at 5 Vimeo alternatives that broadcasters can consider for their professional streaming needs.

    1. Dacast

    OTT platform provider
    Dacast is a great alternative to Vimeo for more broadcasters with more advanced needs.

    If you are looking for an alternative to Vimeo that supports broadcasters with more advanced needs, Dacast could be an option for you.

    Dacast is a unified streaming solution, which means we fully support both live and on-demand video hosting. Here is a summary of key features, pros, cons, and live streaming pricing of the Dacast live streaming platform.

    Although Vimeo has set monthly prices, certain features, like monetization required paid upgrades. With Dacast, most features, such as video monetization, video API, unlimited channels, and much more, are built into all of our plans. The main difference from plan to plan is bandwidth and storage, which are presented transparently from the start.

    Key Features

    New!

    Pros

    Cons

    • A large range of features require a bit of an initial learning curve

    Upload Guidelines and Specs

    • Minimum dimension: None (but 240p is the recommended minimum)
    • Maximum dimension: 1080p or 4K (depends on the user’s hardware and internet)
    • Video aspect ratio: No restrictions (but 16:9 is the default)
    • Max file size: None
    • Max video length: None
    • Total file storage: 10-1000GB (depends on plan)
    • Compatible video formats: MP4 (preferred), MOV, M4V, M2V, AVI, MPG, FLV, WMV, MKV, WEBM, OGV, MXF, ASF, VOB, MTS

    Pricing

    Dacast’s live streaming pricing plans begin with the Starter Plan, and include the following:

    • Starter Plan: $39/month (includes 1,000 GB of bandwidth & 50 GB of storage)
    • Event Plan: $63/month (includes 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage)
    • Scale Plan: $188/month (includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage)

    Custom Enterprise plans are also available for broadcasters with greater streaming needs. We urge you to check out Dacast’s bandwidth calculator to find a plan that suits your broadcasting needs.

    2. Cincopa

    Cincopa streaming solutions
    Cincopa is a great Vimeo alternative for multimedia hosting.

    If you are looking for multimedia hosting support, as opposed to video hosting alone, Cincopa might be the Vimeo alternative that you are looking for.

    Cincopa is a multimedia hosting solution that is geared towards large organizations. The different types of media files that Cincopa supports include video, audio, and images. When it comes to video streaming, specifically, Cincopa is capable of hosting live streams and VOD files.

    Key Features

    • Multimedia hosting
    • Live and VOD hosting
    • Live stream recording 
    • Powerful video player
    • Video monetization
    • Integrations for a customizable streaming experience 
    • OTT streaming
    • Reliable content delivery 
    • Multiple CDN partnerships
    • Privacy and security

    Pros

    • Variety of powerful features
    • High-quality streaming
    • Professional hosting tools
    • Customization via integrations
    • Tech support

    Cons

    • Video hosting is not the main offering
    • Some limits on media storage 

    Upload Guidelines and Specs

    • Minimum dimension: 144p
    • Maximum dimension: 4K
    • Aspect ratio: 4:3, 16:9
    • Max file size: 1, 2, 20GB (depending on the plan)
    • Max video length: not available
    • Total file storage: 5 videos, 40 videos, unlimited videos (depending on the plan)
    • Compatible video formats: AVI, MOV, WMV, MP4, M4A, F4A,  F4B, F4V, F4P, M2TS, MTS, VOB, MKV, RMVB, M1V, QT, DIV, DIVX, DV, 3GP, 3GPP, 3G2, MPG, MPEG, MPE, FLV

    Pricing

    Cincopa offers three different pricing plans, including:

    • Plus: $25/month; includes marketing tools (CTAs, email integrations, etc.)
    • Corporate: $99/month; advanced broadcasting tools
    • Agency/Enterprise: $350/month; advanced broadcasting tools with more flexibility 

    3. JW Player

    jwplayer streaming video
    JW Player has pricing plans that are comparable to Vimeo.

    JW Player is a unified streaming solution that began as a small piece of open-source code for video and audio players. This code was used for one of YouTube’s first video players, and YouTube continued to use it until it was bought by Google.

    The video player from JW Player supports MPEG-DASH playback, CSS skinning, DRM, and other advanced features. However, that is only one of the many professional streaming tools from the company.

    Some of the other main tools from JW Player include HLS adaptive live streaming, multi-bitrate transcoding, simulcast to FB Live, and real-time analytics. While JW Player offers some basic plans for a low cost, the most inclusive, custom-priced plans from JW Player are designed for users with enterprise-grade needs. 

    Key Features

    • Multi-bitrate streaming 
    • Adaptive video player
    • Global content delivery
    • Tech support
    • API access for customization
    • Secure streaming
    • Monetization tools (AVOD)

    Pros

    • Powerful video player
    • Simple, easy-to-use platform
    • Good advertising tools

    Cons

    • Live streaming is limited to custom-priced plans with a 6-hour duration
    • Tech support is limited to custom priced plans
    • Only ad-based monetization
    • No China video delivery

    Upload Guidelines and Specs

    • Minimum dimension: 360p (640 x 360)
    • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920 x 1080)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3, 2.39:1
    • Max file size: 25GB
    • Max video length: Not available
    • Total file storage: 25GB to 500GB (depends on the plan)
    • Compatible video formats: MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, 3GP, FLV

    Pricing

    JW Player offers three different pricing plans. These plans include:

    • Free: 30-day free trial subscription which includes full API and SDK access, and a non-commercial license; 25 GB hosting bandwidth and 75 GB streaming
    • Starter: $10/month (billed annually); includes an HTML5 Video Player and video gallery; 150 GB hosting bandwidth and 500 GB streaming (50,000 plays) per month 
    • Enterprise: Custom-priced for high-volume storage and streaming; adds support for support live streaming

    4. Kaltura

    kaltura ott platform
    Kaltura is an open-source OVP with a powerful video player.

    If you are looking for a streaming solution that is more customizable than Vimeo, Kaltura might the option for you. Kaltura is an open-source streaming platform that offers a unique solution in the professional streaming space. 

    Kaltura offers cloud-based video hosting and distribution services for both VOD and live streams. The open-source nature of their software allows users to use a variety of integrations and add-ons to reach their desired results.

    One major downside to the extensibility of this platform is that it makes it a bit complex. That’s why it is best suited for experienced broadcasters with some technical know-how.

    Key Features

    • Highly customizable via Video API 
    • Multi-bitrate streaming
    • Adaptive bitrate video player
    • Global content delivery 
    • Multi-CDN approach (and the option to bring your own CDN)
    • Ticket-based tech support
    • Security features (several authentications and encryption options)
    • Monetization tools (subscription, advertising, and PPV)

    Pros

    • Many available features
    • Customizable to meet your needs
    • Many monetization options
    • Robust security

    Cons

    • Slow tech support
    • Can be tricky to use
    • Does not support China video delivery

    Upload Guidelines and Specs

    • Minimum dimension: 180p (320 x 180)
    • Maximum dimension: 1080p (1920x 1080)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
    • Max file size: 2GB
    • Max video length: Not available
    • Total file storage: 10GB to Unlimited (depends on the plan)
    • Compatible video formats: MOV, MP4

    Pricing

    Kaltura doesn’t have ser pricing plans because users can be credits to spend on access to features and usage. Check out the platform’s pay-for-what-you-use pricing model to see how the cost of credits is broken down.

    5. Muvi

    muvi ott platform
    Muvi is an OTT-focused Vimeo alternative.

    Broadcasters that are looking for an OTT-focused solution to build a streaming app, like Netflix and Hulu, should consider Muvi.

    Muvi is a Vimeo alternative that functions as a turnkey appliance for OTT broadcasters. This platform helps users to launch a video or audio streaming platform. Muvi includes specific tools for creating streaming websites, mobile apps, and TV apps.

    This platform is on the more expensive end, so it is best suited for advanced broadcasters that are looking to launch an OTT streaming service.

    Key Features

    • OTT streaming
    • Brand customization
    • Audio and video streaming
    • HTML5 video player
    • Video analytics and reporting
    • Monetization options
    • DRM and security features

    Pros

    • Video hosting
    • Powerful content deliver 
    • Video CMS for streaming management
    • Cloud transcoding
    • Tools for website and app building

    Cons

    • Can be difficult to use
    • Some challenges with integrations
    • Complex user interface
    • Doesn’t support China video delivery

    Upload Guidelines and Specs

    • Minimum dimension: 144p (256 x 144)
    • Maximum dimension: 4K (3840  x2160)
    • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 4:3
    • Max file size: not available
    • Max video length: not available
    • Total file storage: 1TB, 2TB, 5TB (depending on plan)
    • Compatible video formats: MP4, MOV, MKV, FLV, VOB, M4V, AVI, 3GP, MPG

    Pricing

    Muvi prices its plans at the following five levels:

    • Standard plan: $399/month (+ $299/month per app + infra fees), allows 2000 concurrent viewers, 1TB each of bandwidth and storage, and API access.
    • Professional plan: at $1,499 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) increases limits further and adds premium support.
    • Enterprise plan: $3,900 per month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) adds a dedicated server with auto-scaling.
    • Ultimate plan: $8,900/month (+ $499/month per app + infra fees) doubles the bandwidth and storage of the enterprise plan and adds your own CDN and unlimited API calls.
    • Black plan: this is a custom solution and includes everything in the Ultimate plan plus premium services and project management.

    Conclusion

    Vimeo is a viable streaming solution, especially for broadcasters that are looking for a cheap option and have minimal broadcasting needs.

    Please keep in mind that opting for a cheaper solution doesn’t always mean you’re getting a better deal in the world of live broadcasting There are several Vimeo alternatives available that will give you a much better bang for your buck when compared to their streaming platform.

    As we covered, one of these alternatives is our own service, Dacast. We offer a large collection of video streaming tools with transparent pricing.

    Not yet sure where to start with all the live streaming solutions on the market? Take advantage of our 14-day free trial by signing up for a Dacast account today. No credit card is required.

    Get Started for Free

    Do you have questions or comments about any of the topics introduced in this article? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. We’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.

    And please reach out if we can help you plan and launch your linear live streaming channel. For exclusive offers and regular live streaming tips, you can also join our LinkedIn group.

    Please note that this post was originally written by Max Wilbert. It was revised in 2021 by Emily Krings to include the most up-to-date information. Emily is a strategic content writer and storyteller. She specializes in helping businesses create blog content that connects with their audience.
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    Max Wilbert

    Max Wilbert is a passionate writer, live streaming practitioner, and has strong expertise in the video streaming industry.

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