Vimeo just made a big play for hosted content by acquiring over-the-top (OTT) platform VHX. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
If you’re not familiar with VHX, there’s probably a good reason. Rather than concentrate on the crowded market of consumer-facing platforms (where Vimeo and youTube currently reside), VHX simply offers the backbone to help individuals and small companies design and build their own branded platforms.
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Recently, VHX launched an API that allows any developer to build an attractive, robust video streaming service with relative ease. Around the same time, Vimeo refreshed its iOS app, and allowed content to be purchased directly via Roku (and it streams in 4K!).
Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor offered the following on the announcement:
Online video is expanding from a few, mainstream subscription services into a flourishing world of interest-based streaming channels, much like the evolution from broadcast to cable television. Vimeo is home to the world’s leading video creators and the viewers who love them, and we’re excited to add VHX’s team and technology to our streaming marketplace. As the video universe continues to unbundle, Vimeo offers the ideal home for the next generation of premium video channels serving passionate global audiences.
The entire VHX team will join Vimeo, with co-founder and CEO Jamie Wilkinson reporting directly to Trainor.
With some aggressive maneuvers, the VHX acquisition can help Vimeo parlay into a truly competitive platform. While it doesn’t have quite the direct reach of a YouTube, Vimeo with VHX should be enticing to those brands who would rather keep their own aesthetic — on their own site or app — especially if they want to launch an on-demand service.
It also doesn’t compromise Vimeo’s existing efforts for independent creators, which could potentially serve as curated material for on-demand services, making it even more lucrative.