Vimeo came out in 2004, debuting as a video-sharing website. One year later, YouTube was created, and Vimeo became an also-ran YouTube alternative in the eyes of many … but not all. Vimeo has successfully carved out a niche of indie films and instructional videos. People looking to watch the latest box office hits or popular television shows won’t find value in Vimeo, but anyone who wants arthouse films are in luck here.
Vimeo Streaming Content Offerings
Compared to others, the Vimeo streaming service boasts the most original content, with budding videographers and filmmakers showcasing their work. The service also has streaming deals with several distribution partners, including BFS Entertainment & Multimedia Limited, Gaiam, and Drafthouse Films. Housing a variety of unique content, Vimeo’s catalog ranges from animated shorts and feature films to documentaries and instructional videos, including workouts and cooking guides.
The content is catered to a more artistic audience, with winners from famed festivals like Sundance and Tribeca. For example, top titles from this year’s SXSW Film Festival can be found on Vimeo. Critically-acclaimed films like Wolfe Video’s “Pit Stop” and documentaries like Patagonia’s “DamNation” are currently available as well.
Vimeo even gets access to some films before they hit theaters, like Spike Lee’s “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.” While Vimeo provides access to the underground movie scene, some users upload copies and clips of popular television shows and movies. These are harder to come by though, as the service tries to minimize this content and promotes more original videos.
Similar to iTunes and YouTube, users pay to stream certain content, with pricing varying by title and genre. Some rentals can cost $3.99 and others $5.99, while purchases can cost anywhere from $9.99 to $14.99. (Read our YouTube vs. Vimeo guide for more about each service’s pros and cons.
Vimeo was originally limited to the Web, but now like most streaming services, is available on a variety of devices. Users can watch content on their smartphone, tablet, or television thanks to Vimeo’s iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps.
Users can also use media streaming players like Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast for Vimeo. While gamers can access Vimeo on their Xbox 360 consoles (still no Xbox One app), there’s no PlayStation equivalent.
Ease of Use
Vimeo is simple to use on most devices and easy to navigate thanks to its clean interface. On the website, users can scroll the page to explore categories like “Mesmerizing Documentaries,” or browse by genre.
If you already know the title you want to watch, you can also search manually by name. Certain selections can be downloaded and watched offline.
Users can also rate and comment on videos, as part of the social element of the service. With so many people uploading their own content, this is a great way to learn more about the videos you are browsing.
Depending on your taste in film and your willingness to explore the unknown, Vimeo is a great service. The content is fresh and the quality is good. You might not find the most popular TV shows or movies, but you could find a lot of indie treasures that aren’t available elsewhere.
Versus the Competition
YouTube has more in common with Vimeo than you might think. Read our comparison to learn all about it.