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How Vimeo is Killing Their Own Brand

December 23rd, 2009 posted by · 1 Comment

I’ve always been a big supporter of Vimeo to host videos — more so than YouTube, which was late to adopt HD uploading. The quality of Vimeo cannot be matched to any other service out there, and because of that, I ended up purchasing an annual Plus membership a few months ago, which gives me more than enough space to upload HD videos on a weekly basis.

I’ve been pretty happy with them so far, but many of my colleagues have not been. Several bloggers have had their accounts terminated recently due to breaching the site’s terms of service. Included in the terms are restrictions of embedding a Vimeo video into any website where advertising appears. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard a company try to control. Basically, you aren’t allowed to earn a living if you’re a Vimeo customer, as your site can’t contain any advertising when using their service.

I know quite a few big bloggers that still run Vimeo on their site, with dozens of ads visible, but I won’t mention any names out of fear Vimeo will drop the banning axe.

Another sticky area of the terms is Vimeo’s interpretation of what is and isn’t commercial content. They don’t allow any commercial videos where a sale can be made, such as a sales pitch or promotion of a product. Again, they don’t want you to make money while using their service. Are they perhaps from a communist upbringing?

Recently, a blogger I know had his account terminated because an affiliate network sent him an iPod Touch. He unboxed it on camera and did a quick review of the iPod and thanked the affiliate network. Seems harmless enough, right? Wrong. Vimeo suspended him for being “too commercial.”

Paul Boag is a pretty influential name in the industry and did a review of Vimeo this week in a post he titled, “Why You Will Regret Using Vimeo.” He pretty much touches on the issues I’ve raised here and goes on to recommend another site where former Vimeo users are heading to upload their videos called Vzaar. Like Vimeo, Vzaar offers paid options for additional space needed while uploading. They also have no problem at all if you upload commercial videos, or embed them into sites with advertising present.

What Vimeo is doing is company suicide. They’re way too strict on what they do and do not allow when it comes to content, but the big kicker is their policy on not allowing videos to be embedded into sites with advertising. That’s a big enough reason for me to cancel my paid subscription entirely and consider other options.

Sorry, Vimeo, but you guys need to get a grip and embrace how your customers are using your services, otherwise, you’ll continue to lose your precious customers.



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1 Comment so far
  1. CoronadoRealtor MyAvatars 0.2

    I tried Vimeo recently (the free version) because, afterall Youtube is free – but I couldn’t login to Youtube for some reason and I wanted to upload this cool video: http://www.liveincoronado.com/2009/12/24/the-amazing-christmas-house-video/ After 1 hour of waiting for my video to upload, I finally figured out how to access my Youtube account – and got the video hosted and an embed code within minutes. Vimeo kept saying, “if you want to go to the head of the line. . . pay for Vimeo”

    I guess I don’t see the point of Vimeo.