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For those of you who already do a lot of video sharing, you probably already use Vimeo, or have at least heard of it. For funny baby babbles, your pet’s tricks or homemade videos that you hope to go viral and become the next Justin Bieber, YouTube is your bet bet. But for professional videographers, filmmakers or artists who want to share their work, there is no other video sharing service that compares to Vimeo. There are numerous benefits to the service including an online stock music library and free video tutorials, but the best thing about Vimeo is that it is clean, simple to use, clutter free and above all an easy way to showcase your work in a professionally branded way. Read more in our Vimeo Review.
History of Vimeo
Before we get into the basics and benefits, let’s get to know how Vimeo came about. It was started in 2004 by a group of filmmakers including Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein who shared a common interest of their craft with the world. The name “Vimeo” is a play on the word video and fun fact, is also an anagram (same letters different order) as the word movie. The startup was bought in 2006 and at time of publish in mid-2013 it had 90 million visitors a month. Based in New York City, the company now employees over 100 people and has a number of membership levels and services it provides for its millions of users.
The basic membership level is a good place to get started and test out the service. It includes all the following features plus the services below:
- Storage Space: 500 MB/Week
- HD Uploading: 1 Video/Week
- Cost: Free
Enhancers – Much like Instagram does for photos, this lets you apply filters to enhance the look of your videos after they’ve been uploaded. You can also add sound effects or a soundtrack to your video from within Vimeo, no need for a special video editor on your computer.
Vimeo School – Probably one of the coolest features of Vimeo (and it is free) is their online tutorials, lessons and advice on how to make movies. From the basics and Video 101 to how to do more with your DSLR, to gear and lighting, there are a variety of ways to educate yourself and become a better filmmaker. There are hundreds of videos about how to make videos that are categorized by topic and difficulty level. So you can jump in no matter what your level.
Music Store – In addition to enhancing your video with existing soundtracks, you can also search their SmartSound store to find royalty-free songs of all genres and lengths. Their selection is much better quality than by searching on iTunes and many of their songs are lyric free so you can have add background music without distracting vocals. While many are free, there is a small charge to download some tracks but the fee is nominal ($1.99 each) and you can preview the song before you download.
Embedding, Sharing and Mobile App – Vimeo makes it very easy to share your work with the world, or limit by changing your privacy settings (password, sharing or follow restrictions can be assigned by video). You can create your own custom URL to make it easy for others to remember your channel or integrate with apps including Dropbox or Facebook to easily connect, access and share with your social networks. View and upload videos from your mobile device using the app, too!
Vimeo Basic is what it says it is: basic. While it is free (and according to Vimeo, will always be free), there are a number of limitations. One of the limits is waiting up to a day to have your video published. Vimeo gives priority to its paying customers to convert and publish first. Also once your video is uploaded to Vimeo, the original source file is deleted after a week. With a paid version, you can preserve the original format to ensure you have a backup version just in case you accidentally delete it or need to edit it.
For those of you who (a) are more advanced and do more video sharing and/or (b) are impatient or prefer higher quality with less ads, then the Plus version is a great deal. You get all the same benefits of the basic version with these additional features:
- Storage Space: 5 GB/Week
- HD Uploading: Unlimited (1080p same as Blue-ray)
- Extras: No banner ads, faster video conversion, HD embedding, advanced statistics, player customization, unlimited groups/channels/albums, domain level privacy, optional source file storage, custom outros and exclusive discounts on products.
- Cost: $9.95/Month ($119.40 for 12 months)
If you do much film editing and publishing online, then Vimeo Plus can pay for itself in no time. No waiting in line to have your video converted and published and unlimited HD video uploads. You also get advanced customization to your player and choose what shows at the end of the video (text, a link, previews of more videos or nothing at all). If you embed your videos on a website like a blog, they are also in HD and better yet you can use domain-level privacy to only allow people to view your videos on your website versus on Vimeo.
If you’re a mid-to-large size business, a professional videographer or filmmaker, the Vimeo Pro account is for you. In addition to all the Basic and Pro features, you also get the following:
- Storage Space: 50 GB+
- HD Uploading: Unlimited (1080p same as Blue-ray)
- Distribution: Earn up to 90% profit from your work, integrate with third party players
- Extras: Priority publishing and conversion, no length or file size restrictions, advanced statistics, portfolios
- Cost: $199/Year
While it might seem like an investment, Vimeo Pro claims to be the highest quality, cheapest way to host commercial video content. If you use videos for marketing purposes, Vimeo Pro provides you with a robust analytics dashboard to dig into who exactly is watching your video, and from where. This can help you better target your marketing efforts which can help save you money on marketing of your videos, short films, etc. The Pro version also allows you to create custom portfolios that are virtually customizable websites with your logo, colors and background image to showcase specific videos for projects or clients. You can even password protect your portfolio and use your own custom domain name. This could be a great tool for advertising agencies who do a lot of video work or video production houses.
Vimeo’s New Features
Vimeo released new features in November 2014. Due to Vimeo’s growing global audience they’ve decided to add new translation and subtitle tools as well as more currency options.
Vimeo uploaders have two options to add subtitles to their videos now. The first is they can choose from a self-service editor at no cost. Or, they can purchase their captions using a professional translator through Vimeo’s service.
More Currency Options
Vimeo has expanded their list of currencies for Vimeo PRO and Plus subscribers. Currency available now includes: US Dollar, Euro, British Pound Sterling, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar, Japanese Yen, Russian Ruble, Swiss Franc, New Taiwan Dollar, Swedish Krona and Danish Krone.
Why Vimeo Over YouTube?
Less is More – With the popularity of the internet and the affordability of cameras and smartphones with recording capabilities, the number of people creating content and having an easy way to share it with the world is increasing – thus making it difficult to sift through the millions of videos on the web. Although Vimeo does not have the traffic or user base that YouTube has, sometimes less is more. You are competing with quality versus quantity and surrounding yourself and your videos that are all bona fide original or at least agreeing to Vimeo’s creative common license. But remember, less people know to come here and search too so your exposure may be lower to the masses.
No Ads – Depending on the content you are watching on YouTube, many videos require you to sit through a 30 second commercial before being able to see the video. Not only is this distracting and not fun for the viewer, it’s equally not as cool for the creator as YouTube is monetizing and making a profit from your work. Granted, YouTube is free to use, but like many other free basic media services like Hulu or Spotify, sometimes it’s worth the minimal monthly fee to be able to enjoy premium content without the ads.
Vimeo is good at one thing, and one thing only: video. While many other services try to be many things to many people, Vimeo prides itself on catering to passionate, artistic users who take video making and sharing seriously. Much like Flickr and Instagram make photo sharing easy and enhance your photos, Vimeo does the same for video. When it comes to what level you need, it really depends on your usage and how often you’ll use the service. And they make it easy to upgrade or change at anytime. So if you sign up for a Pro account and find yourself not using it as much as you thought, you can always downgrade to a Plus account. So don’t be shy, what are you waiting for? Maybe there is a whole world of filmmaking ahead of you! Learn from the services’ free video school and find the inner Spielberg in you!
Let us know what you think!
Have you used Vimeo before? If so let us know what you think of it in the comments below.