IAC shines spotlight on video streaming service Vimeo

Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:00pm EST

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(Reuters) - As one of the media properties tucked away within IAC/Interactive Corp's vast group of online holdings, executives are putting the spotlight on Vimeo, breaking out the number of users and revenue for the first time.

IAC revealed that Vimeo has an audience of more than 100 million unique users, 400,000 paying subscribers and about $40 million in revenue over the past 12 months ending October.

"We have a number of assets that could live on their own," said IAC Chief Executive Greg Blatt. "Vimeo, we believe, is an asset that will reach that status."

As a video web site, Vimeo competes with Google's YouTube and other streaming video services though it is known for attracting a niche audience of creative professionals.

Founded in 2004 by a group of filmmakers under media mogul Barry Diller's IAC, Vimeo has been grouped with company's other media properties such as Ben Silverman's Electus production studio.

Anyone can post content to Vimeo's platform or watch it for free, but the company charges $60 or $200 a year for more comprehensive editing tools depending on the package.

"We have begun to turn our attention to how do we build a business around the viewers," said Kerry Trainor, Vimeo's chief executive officer.

Part of that strategy is giving Vimeo subscribers a way to charge for their own content. Vimeo takes a 10 percent cut of the revenue.

"Vimeo has proven there is an entire world of really high quality content out there, just as YouTube showed the power of broadcasting," Trainor said.

Vimeo hired News Corp executive vice president Greg Clayman in October to grow Vimeo's audience by building partnerships with content creators.

IAC also houses a collection of search and dating sites such as Ask.com and Match.com, which represent a majority of the company's revenue and operating income.

In recent quarters, IAC's search business - its largest - has been slowing. It is turning to other revenue sources such as video to keeps its growth streak alive.

Jason Helfstein, a research managing director at Oppenheimer & Co, estimates that Vimeo's average valuation at the mid-point is about $500 million.

"It has been one of IAC's most successful startups," he said.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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Comments (1)
rblivingston wrote:
So Vimeo was profitably chugging along, and now IAC wants to make more. Goodness, greed is complicated! (Or not, if one recalls the story of the goose that laid the golden egg.)

Up to now, I saw Vimeo as a solid alternative to YouTube and other video posting sites because it primarily has managed (far as I can tell) to host only original material. It also is an attractive and well-functioning site where I considered posting after YouTube and Flickr alienated me with their heavy-handed “improvements” designed more on behalf of increasing profits than on satisfying users.

I had been holding off– to read the tea-leaves, or this story, I guess.

I am so tired of good websites being dispensed with or ruined by the never-ending need of companies for More. The original designers, creators, visionaries, and democracy-advocates are pushed to the background, and the shucksters move to the fore.

You know what?

I am consciously spending more of my time on the internet avoiding Google, Yahoo, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter etc, to look for what is left of the keen and creative. I suppose I comment here at Reuters because it still has many informative articles and does not require me to comment using Facebook or Disqus. I am especially concerned about privacy following Snowden’s humanitarian revelations. I also don’t like the idea of being “packaged” to market to.

Increasingly, I suspect that that chief problem with the internet, as with every other service in our lives (including the media and health care), is more than just corporatism, slip-shoddiness, or political corruption.

I suspect capitalism itself.

Nov 18, 2013 9:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
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