Magazine article ADWEEK

Vimeo Goes Its Own Way: While Big Video Content Sites Duke It out for Premium Content, One of the Earliest to Hit the Web Is Sticking to Its Indie Roots-For Good or for Bad

Magazine article ADWEEK

Vimeo Goes Its Own Way: While Big Video Content Sites Duke It out for Premium Content, One of the Earliest to Hit the Web Is Sticking to Its Indie Roots-For Good or for Bad

Article excerpt

As the online video space grows ever more cutthroat, companies like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu are all looking for a competitive edge in roughly the same way: through big-budget investments in professional content.

But one company, Vimeo, has decided to take a different path, betting it can grow its audience by sticking to its original playbook.

Vimeo could have been as big as YouTube. It was founded in 2004, a few months before YouTube, with financial backing from Barry Diller and startup expertise from co-founders who'd been key players in CollegeHumor.com. The site had real potential.

And it has had some success, cementing itself as the go-to hub for talented independent video producers. It's become a favorite among indie bands and makers of short films from Brooklyn to Portland. Along the way, it's amassed an impressively sized audience of 55 million worldwide unique users.

(IAC, which owns Vimeo, doesn't break out data on the profits of its individual properties, and neither IAC nor Vimeo would discuss the company's revenue.)

But YouTube it is not. Compared to the reach of its chief competitor, Vimeo has receded into relative obscurity-still chugging along, but quietly.

"Vimeo has always focused on people who [make] video," CEO Dae Mellencamp tells Adweek. "We're not redistributing mass media content. We're not trying to be a network or TV. We think we provide people who want to share [user-generated videos] one of the absolute best experiences in which to do that. …

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