I hope you are enjoying spring is blossoming into summer for you. It certainly is for us in Bratislava. Tables are back out in the street, music late into the night.
I'm writing this now to let you know that Vimeo is running a 30% off sale this weekend (get it here with code MOM30). As you probably know, we are big fans of Vimeo and have had our own Pro account for about seven years.
Vimeo offers the smoothest and most headache free encoding and hosting platform in the world. Vimeos encoded by Vimeo look great and stream fast. Vimeo's encoding is at much higher bitrates than YouTube as Vimeo prioritises quality of presentation over bandwidth. Vimeo hosts our own homepage video via API if you'd like to check HD performance.
The only platform which can compete with Vimeo in terms of bang for the buck is YouTube (only because YouTube is free). The YouTube API has so many limitations and so much branding, that we only recommend YouTube for very specific situations like zero budget sites or sites with really active existing YouTube channels.
Vimeo very rarely runs sales so if you were on the fence about a Vimeo Pro account now is the time to leap. If you are thinking of live streaming, Vimeo now offers live streaming. It's a bit too rich for my taste at €70/month but I think it's just because we are so spoiled by our Pro Account with 1 TB of uploads per year at €15/month.
Those people who actually do live streaming probably think that's the most affordable high quality live streaming option in the world. I remember last time we were dealing with the live streaming guys they were asking figures like $500 for a couple of months worth of live streaming and bandwidth.
If you are trying to decide which Vimeo account to take, the one most FV Player Pro users need is the simple pro account at €16/month. The reason I say this are that:
- it's unlikely you'll exceed 1 TB of uploads/year
- the €40/month plan offers as its principal additional benefits enhancements to the video iframe player with Video Marketing tools like email capture. FV Player Pro covers email capture and overlays in native WordPress format with no iframes
- you can already sell videos on Vimeo with the Pro plan (it's called Vimeo On Demand and is a great feature for casual video sales)
- even this account allows unlimited bandwidth (apparently there are now limits with third party players of which we are one but the limits are very high
Risk is very low. You are on deck for less than €200/year which is what most video hosts or CDN's I know charge for just one month with 4000 GB of bandwidth, let alone 80 GB of new uploads and transcoding with nearly unlimited bandwidth. Even if you stream so much video that Vimeo eventually asks you to upgrade or move some of your video off to your own CDN, you will have recouped your investment tenfold. By the time Vimeo comes calling, your video site will be really successful. Paying Vimeo for your bandwidth or adding a CDN would be a good problem to have.
There's some new cool tools. We haven't taken advantage of all of them (we tried older third party integrated versions which then disappeared).
- Three team members in Pro (used to be just one) outside of the owner account. This is really useful as you can lock down delete and management privileges to your internal team but allow external collaborators to upload videos to your account. We use this.
- With a pro account, you can share direct downloads of master files with your visitors (more important for artistic work than marketing materials).
- Video review tools to allow your team to share notes internally (we do this in project management so we don't switch platforms but if our content was all video driven we would probably move over to Vimeo based time-coded notes).
- Version history, so you can track uploads and changes to a video. Very important in long distance edit collaboration.
Unless you're a filmmaker or an editor, you probably don't want a Plus account at all, as members are not allowed to use a Plus account for anything except creative videos. The rules are pretty tight. There's no options to hide your videos completely from Vimeo users (you can password protect them). If it doesn't belong in a creative portfolio, you will eventually run into trouble with Vimeo Free or Plus. In the old days Vimeo didn't have pro accounts at all and these art-only policies were really a problem. Fortunately the Pro account tier solved that issue once and for all.
There's some publishers who just can't use Vimeo.
- escorts, adult sites and sex toy vendors (yes, really, specifically no toys or toy demos allowed)
- pyramid or confidence scheme operators
- some political commentators
Vimeo leans left politically so videos encouraging transgenderism are likely to be allowed as "inclusive". Pro-life or gender re-orientation videos will be banned eventually as "hateful". Most religious content is on thin ice at Vimeo. I'm a free speech sort of guy so this double standard on what is allowed and not allowed grates on me but you have to work pretty hard to fall outside the guidelines. I'll post something later this year about video hosting platforms which are reliably pro free speech (hint: it's not YouTube).
Most of us with real estate virtual showings or music tutorials or product demos will be fine. If I were to publish controversial political videos which could be construed as conservative, I'd make sure I hosted it elsewhere and kept my Vimeo account within the guidelines.
You'll also not want to try to use Vimeo to pirate copyright content (read Hollywood or even international movies). This can get your account disabled pretty quickly which is seriously inconvenient. Scrambling to move 2 TB of videos in days is never much fun!
Vimeo content warnings give you about one week to move house. If the issue is borderline, you will probably be allowed to remove specific videos and leave the rest of your account alone. Vimeo piracy warnings probably take force almost immediately as they leave Vimeo in considerable legal liability. Make sure to keep your rights contracts handy (always a good practice)!
Vimeo Pro is a no-lose proposition for even an occasional professional video publisher. You can't get anything like the smooth workflow, API or encoding quality for even five times the price on a small volume of videos. As an example, Wistia is $99/month with just 10 hosted videos and 200 GB of downward bandwidth vs 80 GB of upload and unlimited downward bandwidth.
A Wistia publisher can save a fortune by using Vimeo hosting and FV Player Pro as his or her marketing tool. A Wistia account with 25 videos and just 1 TB of download would be at least $305/month. Ouch. At 4 TB of bandwidth (we work with many publishers who exceed 4 TB) your monthly spend would be over $855/month or over $10K/year. That's 46 times more expensive or roughly the equivalent of five luxury week long getaways for your family per year. Some of Wistia's marketing tools are still more polished than ours (we'll get there later this year) but all the core features like overlays and end of video pop-up ads are there in FV Player Pro. FV Player Pro is way ahead of Wistia in terms of running third party ads.
I worry that Vimeo Pro Pricing is so good that eventually Vimeo will remove the basic Pro account for new users or radically downgrade its limits and leave only the Business Account for new users. If you don't have a Vimeo account yet or haven't yet upgraded to pro account yet here's where to grab Vimeo Pro at 30% off this weekend with code MOM30.
This offer starts tomorrow morning and only goes to midnight on Sunday so make sure you don't miss it. There's a 30 day money back guarantee so if you're not sure, it's an ideal time to test an alternative platform.
Alec has been helping businesses succeed online since 2000. Alec is an SEM expert with a background in advertising, as a former Head of Television for Grey Moscow and Senior Television Producer for Bates, Saatchi and Saatchi Russia.