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Vimeo Goes Live: Acquires Livestream, Launches Live Video Product

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The ability to shoot and share live video has been the top request of the Vimeo creator community, says company CEO Anjali Sud, and now those requests have been answered. Vimeo announced this morning it's acquiring live video specialist Livestream for an undisclosed amount. That partnership let it create Vimeo Live, so paid users can stream live video.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. The two companies are nearly neighbors, as Livestream is based in Brooklyn, while Vimeo, owned by IAC, is in Manhattan.

Vimeo Live is available now as a standalone product, and will only be integrated with the rest of the Vimeo platform following the Livestream acquisition. The service starts at $75 per month for 5 hours of live streaming. A $300 per month plan offers unlimited live streaming (with a 5-hour limit per stream), while an $800 per month plan allows for 24/7 live streams. (Those prices require annual billing.)

Users can take advantage of Livestream's Mevo camera and Studio switcher, but will need to wait for future integrations to access their live streams directly through Vimeo. Vimeo Live offers 1080p live broadcasts, with cloud transcoding and adaptive streaming built in. Archived sessions can be replaced with 4K files for higher quality on-demand viewing.

The Vimeo Live player can be embedded in any page, and will show creators who's watching, capture emails, display live and archived stats, and offer live chat. Creators will be able to stream live to Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter. At some point, Vimeo will bring live streaming to its over-the-top distribution system, letting creators stream to iOS, Android, Roku, Samsung, Amazon, and more. Monetization is limited to archived events, but will come to the live streams at some time in the future, as will mobile streaming.

“Vimeo answered the call for live capabilities from its creators today with this number one requested feature," Sud told StreamingMedia.com. "The Vimeo community wanted the opportunity to connect with their audiences in real-time, archive and host their post-event videos, and distribute and monetize them all on one platform, with the quality and reliability they expect from Vimeo — so we’re excited to deliver on that request in a big way with Vimeo Live.

"With the acquisition of Livestream, we bring on board an incredible team, set of proprietary technology, and deep institutional knowledge. Together, Vimeo Live and Livestream will accelerate the growth of live video and provide the most complete, truly end-to-end video solution on the market.”

Earlier this year, Vimeo was in talks to create its own subscription video-on-demand service, but ended that possibility in June citing market saturation.

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