Vimeo Announces 5GB Upload Limit on Basic Streaming Accounts

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

When you’re trying to take on an 800 lb. gorilla like YouTube, it’s generally not a good idea to place storage restrictions on the content they wish to upload. Some think Vimeo is doing just that with a 5GB lifetime storage limit on basic accounts. But isn’t that more than it was a week ago?

“Supporting our community of creators has always been, our top priority. As we invest in more tools to help our creators – and continue to be an ad-free service that relies on member support instead of ad revenue – we have to adjust what we offer for free (like storage, which, between transcoding and hosting is pretty expensive). This is to let you know that starting January 29, we’re introducing a 5GB storage limit for Basic members. – Vimeo, email announcement of storage limits

The difference between YouTube and Vimeo can be like night and day. Though both offer streaming video services to the masses, YouTube is ad supported and has to be concerned with content being “advertiser friendly,” while Vimeo tends to cater to the professional cinematic and technology class that just needs a place to put up their reel, and showcase their content to a more niche oriented market.  Vimeo also offers on demand services to content creators, who can rent or sell their content directly to their audience. YouTube, wants to become the next great pay-TV portal.

So while YouTube can offset their bandwidth, encoding and storage costs with more ads, they’re also engaged in a frustrating, give and take with c0ntent creators over “adpocalypses” that limit who can make money off of ads and who can’t..

Vimeo has to rely on member supported subscriptions to offset the hard costs of streaming.  While the basic membership is free, plus accounts start at $7 a month. The more you pay, the more storage and bandwidth you can enjoy.  Recently, Vimeo updated their  basic membership storage limits, placing a hard cap of 5GB of LIFETIME storage for users to upload their content. Dropping it from the 25GB of annual storage the portal was offering. That 25GB was parceled out to 500MB per week.

Anyone who shoots 4K knows that doesn’t go very far, even at the old limit of 25GB. For 5GB, users will be able to only upload seconds, instead of minutes. And considering it’s a lifetime limit, that’s not very useful. Vimeo assures creators that if over the limit, they won’t lose their content. But they will either have to remove older content to upload newer content, or upgrade their membership to buy more space. If users want to store more, they must go with the $7 a month Plus account, which gives them up to 5GB per week/250GB per year, or the Pro account, which offers 20GB per week/1TB a year for $20 a month.

YouTube and their adpocalypse could see u providing a better platform 4 creators 2move2, instead U do this? Jordan Waka, Twitter

The move has met with some serious push-back, however, from user groups who think that Vimeo is making a cash grab. “Let’s all let Vimeo know that their just-announced decision to impose a hard storage limit of 5GB on Basic accounts will damage their brand,” Tweeted the Blackmagic Cinema Camera Users on Twitter. “It has nothing to do w/rising costs of storage capacity, it’s just a revenue play.”

Well maybe that’s true. And Jordan Waka makes a point that YouTube’s latest restrictions on AdSharing left the door wide open to become a viable alternative for content creators to move their audiences to. But this lifetime limit fo 5GB shows they’re going the wrong way and seems tone deaf to the needs of content creators.

Such is the problem if Vimeo wants to stay ad free and avoid the headaches that YouTube has encountered over the last few years. But what would you rather have? The limitations on the free basic account that can be offset by the cost of two tall latte’s at Starbucks? Or an Adpocalypse every six months, limiting your ancillary income?

You get what you pay for.

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About James DeRuvo 172 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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