Vimeo Abandons Plan to Become the Next Netflix

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There's a lot to love about original movies and TV series from Amazon and Netflix. There aren't a lot of high-quality streaming options beyond those two, though, and now that Vimeo has abandoned its plans for a subscription-based service, the list of options isn't likely to grow any time soon.

Vimeo first floated plans for a Netflix-style streaming service last year, but determined that it could not pivot from a hub for professional videographers to a consumer entertainment service, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The company's CEO, Joey Levin, told the THR that "the opportunity ahead for Vimeo to empower creators is too large and too important for us to attack with anything other than absolute focus and clarity."

Vimeo's existing subscription service is geared towards professional filmmakers, with monthly subscription fees for hosting content on the company's ad-free video platform. Vimeo's relationship with those customers would have been the seed for its original content business, since some of the videos it hosts are later picked up by studios like HBO, Netflix, or Amazon as TV shows.


  • Everything Leaving Netflix in July Everything Leaving Netflix in July

Among those shows is High Maintenance, which originally appeared on Vimeo before moving to HBO. Levin hoped to lead other shows down a similar path, and he announced last fall that the company would spend millions of dollars to do so.

"I believe we can build a compelling new consumer experience to complement the services we currently provide to creators, and in doing so help transform the industry," he wrote in a letter to shareholders in November.

Vimeo's about-face will likely serve as a warning to companies that want to compete with industry juggernauts like Netflix. It's not all bad for streaming fans who like indie content, though, since Vimeo appears committed to its previous mission of being a hub for high-quality (and free-to-watch) original videos.

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