Video service Vidme is shutting down after almost four years, citing competition from online juggernauts Google and Facebook. The self-professed YouTube-meets-Reddit-style platform boasted 25 million users as recently as last December, which is a blip in comparison to YouTube's 1.5 billion users. Like fellow video also-ran Fullscreen, Vidme is the latest millennial-chasing platform to luck out in its hunt for a niche. The service is wasting no time in disabling sign-ups, video uploads, and paid channel subscriptions, according to co-founder Warren Shaeffer.
The digital video landscape has changed drastically since Vidme's arrival in 2014. In its own words, YouTube was the sole video service for creators looking to make cash from their work when it landed on the scene. Back then, the fledgling startup's focus on patronage -- with the introduction of now common tools, such as tipping and paid subscriptions -- helped it to amass 1 million creators. Meanwhile, its community went about grouping user videos into curated categories (think subreddits), including gaming animation, "weird wide web", and movies.
Then everything changed. Clocking YouTube's ad numbers, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter got in on the video act. Add to that the billions Amazon, Netflix, Apple, and Hulu began spending on original programming, and suddenly Vidme was dwarfed by a gaggle of larger competitors. The startup watched as Vine went bye bye, as did NBC's comedy-oriented Seeso, and Verizon's vertical video-centric Go90 struggled -- none of which were small fry. And now Vidme too is bidding farewell to its fans.
The company promises a new product next year (although it won't say what) and is in talks with "creator-focused" firms to integrate its technology and maybe even "revive" its service.