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Vimeo Debuts a Live and On-Demand OTT Subscription App Solution

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The video sharing site with an arty side is all businesses at NAB, announcing an OTT subscription service solution, an eCDN, a compact encoder, and Studio 5 beta software for Windows and Mac.

For those looking to offer their own over-the-top (OTT) subscription video service, Vimeo debuts a way to create custom apps that stream both live and on-demand content. The solution's SDKs and API developer tools let content creators customize the apps to their liking. Customers are able to set their own price and create a free trial period of anywhere from 3 to 30 days (with Vimeo collecting credit card information upfront to maximize conversions). Customers can put teaser content in front of a paywall, plus offer promos and coupons. 

On the backend, a dashboard lets customers monitor audience acquisition, engagement, and churn. Vimeo is keeping the price affordable for small-timers, letting them launch for no money upfront, paying $1 per subscriber per month. Branded apps go for $500 per month per app, while enterprise service (which includes advanced features like dedicated account management and live support) starts at $1,000 per month. Customers can create native apps for iOS, tvOS, Android, Android TV, Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, and Tizen.

Building off its Livestream acquisition in September 2017, Vimeo is releasing its first cloud-based eCDN (enterprise content delivery network) that lets large corporations stream to employees around the world without crippling their servers. Vimeo's eCDN uses peer-to-peer technology to improve delivery speed and reduce buffering. It's completely turnkey, the company promises, with no additional hardware or software needed. Contract pricing is based on the size of the company and the features needed.

Vimeo is also showing off new hardware: the Studio One encoder, a compact model (it's an 11-inch Mini-ITX box) that can stream 4K from two 4K inputs or four HD HDMI or SDI inputs. Consider it an upgrade from Livestream's previous Studio HD31 entry-level live production switcher. Vimeo is marketing it to broadcasters who need a solution that's both powerful and affordable. Pricing starts at $4,499.

Finally, Vimeo is debuting the latest version of its Studio 5 production software in beta for Windows and Mac users. With Studio 5 and a Vimeo Premium account, customers can use cloud-based controls to stream live video to multiple platforms. Using only consumer-level cameras and computers, creators can produce quality multi-camera live streams. Those just getting started will appreciate the new Simple Mode, which offers less complicated workflows. It's available to all Livestream and Vimeo Premium subscribers as part of their account, or a la carte for $799. 

"This shows our commitment to our creator-first strategy," says Mark Kornfilt, Vimeo's general manager of live, and the founder of Livestream. "Live streaming was the number one requested feature from our community, and these product releases show our commitment to building the most powerful live platform while providing the highest quality end-to-end video workflow across all video formats." 

For a site built on independent creatives, how does the new emphasis on corporate video figure in? For Vimeo, it's all part of the video creator evolution:

"We’re at an interesting point in time, especially as technology reduces the barriers to make, distribute, and monetize videos, and as the definition of what a ‘creator’ is expands," Kornfilt says. "Of course, there’s the creative community—the filmmakers and video professionals—but there’s also a lot of brands, marketers, small, and enterprise-level businesses using video to communicate and share their stories with communities and audiences. We definitely see an explosion in the growth of video as a business communication tool and have the opportunity to serve creators of all kinds."

Additional news 4/10/18: Vimeo today released a redesigned Vimeo macOS app. The free download can accept ProRes and other codecs from Final Cut Pro, and upload finished videos to a Vimeo account. Users can add captions, descriptions, and privacy settings; play videos without opening a browser; and upload multiple files at once. Read more about the app in Vimeo's blog post.

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