It was long a favorite of independent filmmakers, but Vimeo’s new prices are ending that. Prices have jumped thousands of dollars. One creator had been paying $200/year, but suddenly was asked to pay $3500/year. She was given a week to upgrade her content, decrease her bandwidth usage, or leave Vimeo. Another popular creator called Channel 5 which does man-on-the-street interviews had their videos removed from their Patreon feed on Vimeo. The result was hundreds of angry messages and the loss of over 500 subscribers. The new price for them was $7000/year.
Vimeo says they are losing money on these customers. The new policy is to charge these higher prices to the top 1% bandwidth-using accounts based on bandwidth usage. So the company is shifting focus from independents to corporate clients. No longer is Vimeo the YouTube alternative. “We are a B2B solution, not the indie version of YouTube.”
Many of these Vimeo creators use Patreon to manage their subscriptions which is the heart of their business model. Patreon is a membership platform that helps creators earn a monthly income by providing rewards and perks to their subscribers. Patreon charges a commission of 9 to 12 percent of creators’ monthly income, in addition to payment processing fees.
Not all Patreon creators use Vimeo to host their videos. Some use YouTube for no charge, but their content is interrupted by ads. Patreon has for years encouraged the use of Vimeo as a hosting platform, with Vimeo even offering a small discount for Patreon creators. Patreon also has a Vimeo integration which allows its users to upload content directly. It was not obvious that they were uploading to Vimeo.
And in the face of this new hosting climate, Patreon is now developing its own video platform. So far only for select users.
After the uproar from shocked users Vimeo has clarified its policy by saying that users who go over 2 TB a month will get the new pricing rather than their previous standard charging “the top 1% of bandwidth usage.” And that users will now have at least 30 days to respond to Vimeo. Previously some users only had a few days to come up with the money or reduce bandwidth.