For the longest time, Vimeo was one of YouTube's most conspicuous alternatives. It was where you posted your indie production if you weren't a fan of YouTube's approach and it even created original material in a bid to stand out. The company has always lived in the shadow of its Google-owned rival, however, and now it's backing away from that obvious rivalry. In an Axios interview, company chief Anjali Sud said Vimeo was shifting away from its emphais on indie filmmaking and will instead focus on selling a creative tool, Vimeo Stock. However, a Vimeo spokesperson told Engadget that the company is absolutely not moving away from its core offering of video hosting and embedding tools; instead, Vimeo Stock footage is meant as a feature that creators can use in their videos shared on Vimeo and other platforms.
Vimeo Stock will center around access to a large stock video collection, and will offer tools to optimize and post footage across a slew of social networks.The solution will sound familiar if you've ever used a service like Shutterstock, but Vimeo is betting that it can attract stock video creators by giving them a much higher cut of revenue when customers use their footage (at least 60 percent versus the usual 35 percent). Sud also characterized Vimeo as an "agnostic and independent home" where creators could offer their video to various services, rather than a YouTube or Facebook that has a vested interest in locking you in.
Vimeo has been increasingly centered on creative tools, and its marketing has emphasized pros in recent months (just ask anyone who has seen its endless wave of ads on YouTube). Vimeo may not compete directly with YouTube in terms of the sheer volume of video it hosts, but many content creators will likely use it as an ad-free zone to share their videos -- and now they have a new place to buy and sell the footage they'll use inside those videos.
Update, 9/5/18, 4:30PM ET: This post has been updated to reflect information a Vimeo spokesperson sent Engadget regarding the future of its video hosting and sharing services. Contrary to a report from Axios, the company has no intention of leaving that space and is positioning Vimeo Stock as another tool for content creators to augment its current offerings.