Why Vimeo has put emphasis on stock video marketplace over original programming

Vimeo's Stock marketplace

Vimeo has launched a stock video marketplace it hopes will empower creators and differentiate the brand from rivals. This is the culmination of a 12-month initiative where its strategy is shifted from original video to a 'software-as-a-service' company.

To increase its utility to agencies, brands and creators, Vimeo has introduced the new video stock marketplace in its creator dashboard. Harris Beber, chief marketing officer of Vimeo told The Drum that this will help members meet a rising demand for agility when creating video content.

In 2016, Vimeo laid the groundwork to develop compelling original videos. This would have seen it compete with the almost bottomless war chests of YouTube, Netflix and Amazon.

After only eight months, Vimeo dismissed the feasibility of the originals strategy. In the year since it has built out its unique selling point. It doubled-down on becoming a software-as-a-service, with a suite of tools designed to help creators. Beber believes that Vimeo now has no obvious rivals in the space now.

“We now don't really have any one competitor. The previous Vimeo did have a lot of competitors. Now they are complementary to our creators and we see them as partners now. We've expanded our partnership with YouTube and Facebook, and our offices are just across the street from Google. We are deeply integrated with the platforms," he said.

On deciding to perfect its editing, collaboration and distribution tools, he added: “There really isn't anyone else out there in the market servicing the creator because they are so focused on monetising the views where we are focused on offering services to users.”

By creating originals, Vimeo would have been competing with the 80 million creators it purports to support. Instead, it has focused on delivering tools to make it easier to get some of its 280 million unique monthly visitors tuning in. This includes social sharing capabilities; Vimeo can't afford to embrace the walled-garden approach adopted by some in video.

“Our community didn't need another content platform, they needed services that supported them as creators to not only make better videos but also reach their audiences in multiple places. These features enable and empower them to make better content. That’s what the community wanted so we double-down on it. We decided to focus on servicing creators of content, not the content itself.”

Whether that’s providing an infrastructure for creatives to host their video, creating the infrastructure to sell movie rentals, or doing the groundwork to create a subscription video on demand service like BrewDog’s, Vimeo is looking to draw itself as the place for video creators to gather and collaborate.

And there is potential for Vimeo to see massive growth. Citing research that estimates the stock video industry to be worth in r $700m, and projected to grow by 30% this year, Beber would like to see Vimeo taking a substantial slice of that market.

Vimeo Stock has rolled out some incentives for new creators and existing members. On the selling side, Vimeo will undercut rivals by offering creators a 70% split of the stock sale, rather than the industry standard of 35%.

“We are not in the business of content, we want to give creators that money and help monetise their efforts. We are doubling what they would make anywhere else, which enables them to make high-quality content which is what brands and agencies are demanding.”

Meanwhile, enterprise stock video buyers will get a 20% discount on the content too. The video company is apparently meeting the demands of agency partners, they've said there needs to be a higher quality, easier to use, stock footage marketplace if they are to meet their video deadlines.

"It may be a team creating mobile ads but they don't have time to shoot anything, or it may be an agency commercial in need of an aerial shot of Manhattan. They may not have the budget or the permits but the need is still there for that scene."

Beber added: “We believe there is an opportunity in the market that doesn't exist today that only Vimeo can fill because we have the creators and the consumers."

At SXSW, Vimeo also celebrated 10 years of its Staff Picks feature, running an experiential activation to spotlight 100 films that best show how it cultivates talent. Contrasting with YouTube’s algorithmic shuffling, staff members curated the videos they think best represented the platform. In a decade, some 12,000 videos were been championed. Beber's internal data found that 70% of those highlighted by staff picks said it helped their career or got them business as a result.

Beber concluded: “It is the aspiration of quality content that really matters, not the stage you are in the life cycle of a business. A yoga instructor or a small coffee shop still has the need for video. The reality is, the demand for video is growing, 80% of internet traffic in 2019 will be video, and that is a daunting task for even a small business or large corporation alike.”

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