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Vimeo Intros Vimeo Pro Hosting Platform for Small Businesses

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The people at Vimeo think the time is right for a new kind of video hosting solution for small businesses. Up until now, small businesses have had two main options: host videos for free with YouTube or pay around $100 per month for a starter solution with an online video platform (OVP). Noting that even $100 per month can be too much for small companies, Vimeo is launching Vimeo Pro, which offers accounts for $199 per year. 

First the specs: a Vimeo Pro subscription offers 50GB of storage, which should be enough for 500 HD videos or 1,000 SD videos. It also provides 250,000 plays. If users go over, they can pay $199 for another 50GB of storage or $199 for another 100,000 plays. The company representative we spoke to thought that only a small number of subscribers, perhaps one or two percent, would need extra storage or plays.

While Vimeo has long been the favorite host of filmmakers and artists, it has a strict no-commercial work policy. While Vimeo is adding Pro service, commercial videos will remain separate from the main body of Vimeo videos. Vimeo has, however, built in a curious exception called the Community Pass. Subscribers can get a pass on an individual basis to allow a video into the main Vimeo pool. A production company might want to show examples of its work to the main Vimeo audience. With a community pass, subscribers can show off creative but not commercial work, and plays on Vimeo don't count toward the subscriber's total. The company spent two years brainstorming how to add professional services while protecting the Vimeo environment.

Vimeo Pro subscribers will get the same ease and quality that Vimeo is known for. Videos will be encoded into the same formats and an auto detect will ensure that they play on all browsers and devices. Encodes include 720p and 1080p versions. Subscribers will also have access to analytics. 

Businesses will also get a few extras with their Pro accounts that will help them show off their videos. While they can simply use the Vimeo player on their sites, they can also create portfolio pages, which are private mini sites designed to showcase videos. Vimeo will offer 12 portfolio themes at launch. Subscribers will be able changes fonts and colors to customize the portfolios, and can also add their own URL so they feel like a part of the company site. There's no limit on the number of portfolio pages a subscriber can create.

Subscribers can also create private video review pages, for times when they want to share a video with a small group prior to going public. Video review pages have URLs that won't get indexed by search engines, although the pages aren't password protected.

The Vimeo video player includes Vimeo branding by default, although subscribers can remove it. Subscribers are free to use their own player, if they prefer.

"Until now, quality video hosting has been expensive, confusing, and extremely difficult for a small business owner to understand. Small businesses have fallen between the cracks of free video services and massive enterprise video solutions," says Dae Mellencamp, Vimeo's general manager. "Vimeo Pro resolves the contradiction that best-of-breed video quality and hosting can also be easy and affordable."

Vimeo Pro portfolio page

A Vimeo Pro portfolio page.

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