IAC/InterActiveCorp wants to remind people that YouTube isn’t the only online video platform in town.
Executives of IAC, a company that owns over 50 internet properties including About.com, Match.com, The Daily Beast and, of course, Vimeo, revealed that their online video site has more than 100 million unique users and 400,000 paying subscribers. Those audience numbers have helped Vimeo generate $40 million in revenue over the past year ending in October.
IAC Chief Executive Greg Blatt told Reuters: “We have a number of assets that could live on their own. Vimeo, we believe, is an asset that will reach that status.”
While YouTube is by far the dominant cousin of the two — Vimeo’s 100 million unique users is about one-tenth of YouTube’s — Vimeo has thrived in its own right by catering to a more artsy, high quality video-seeking crowd, and the company has banked on the idea that their audience will pay for that type of content. Late last year, Vimeo introduced a “tip jars” feature for their creators, wherein viewers could “tip” any dollar amount to a video’s creator, with 10 percent going to Vimeo. A couple of months later, the site launched their pay-to-view service with an initial offering of six art house films.
In April, Vimeo announced its Brand Creator Fund, an initiative to bring in more ad revenue by pairing top Vimeo creators with brands to create unique advertising content. At the time, Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor explained the Vimeo business model to NMR:
The first in the core of Vimeo is selling subscriptions of upgraded versions of our tools. Vimeo really grew up as a tool set for creators to upload, store, share HD-quality content across the internet. That business, through our basic, plus and pro subscriptions packages, is growing very nicely for us and we’re going to continue investing in that. The second phase of our business, which we announced at SXSW in March, is a video-on-demand platform, which comes with our pro subscription package and empowers creators to charge for their video content and have viewers pay them directly.
The recent money-making initiatives rolled out by Vimeo coupled with IAC’s focus on its video streaming property shows that IAC sees online video as one of their best bets for greater revenue.