Predating YouTube, but decidedly an afterthought over the last decade amid the user-generated streaming video revolution, Vimeo is about to step into the spotlight.
Barry Diller’s InterActiveCorp is using the division to launch an SVOD service that will compete with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
“We’re going to spend real money on programming for the first time ever, and put real marketing money behind it,’’ IAC chief executive officer Joey Levin said in an interview with Bloomberg at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week.
As Bloomberg noted, Vimeo was purchased in 2006 by IAC, an “afterthought" to the main prize, digital comedy platform CollegeHumor.
The platform never caught on like YouTube, but did find a boutique niche as a destination for entertainment pros and others with more advanced video-production chops to share their work.
The site even began dabbling in original series content in 2014. For example, the site launched High Maintenance, a short-form series about the trials and tribulations of a marijuana dealer, which ultimately got sold to Time Warner Inc. and put on HBO as a regular full-length linear TV series.
Levin will strive to make of that kind of “edgy” original series, Levin said. “Our content will be the kind that gets your heart rate going,’’ he noted. “We’ll look at what our audience watches, and organize that data to help us program.’’
Vimeo will also acquire and license programming that has already run elsewhere (aka repeats).
Levin took over the reigns of Vimeo from Kerry Trainor, who created a viable business for Vimeo in charging content pros for marketing and conducting analytics on their shared work. Bottom lined jointly with production house Electus, Vimeo helped generate $60 million in revenue for IAC last year.