Vimeo Live: Live Streaming Freedom

Vimeo has been a solid alternative to YouTube for a number of years for professional content creators with their own methods for monetization.  A large appeal of Vimeo has been the ability to control where and how your videos can be seen. Currently Failed Normal uses Vimeo as the video platform because it allows me to make it so that videos can only be viewed directly on  A place that Vimeo has been lacking is in live stream capabilities, but thankfully they just rolled out their Live product.

The most important feature of Vimeo Live is the ability to restrict viewing to specific domains.  This means that viewers have to go to your site to watch the video, and you can even put the live stream behind your own paywall. This can be valuable for web services that revolve around instruction, or consulting.

Vimeo Live comes with the general features that you would expect.  The videos play across desktop and mobile devices.  Videos auto-archive after you are done with the live stream. You get analytics and for security you can not only restrict access by domain, but add a password for protection.

Sadly the prices are a bit wonky.  For $75 per month you can stream for 5 hours, but for unlimited streaming time it will cost you $300.  To be clear this comes with unlimited viewers, and unlimited streamed bandwidth, but it seems like there should be a middle ground. Add in that these prices are based on a yearly subscription and that the 5 hour plan goes to $135 month to month, and the unlimited goes to $450 and it seems a bit steep. Even for a site as small as Failed Normal the $300 is well within what we can comfortably pay, but for newer sites that are not at all proven the cost seems a tad steep.

When looking at building a content business this is yet another option other than YouTube video creators should consider.  Vimeo has been a solid platform for me, and as a business that relies on subscription fees instead of advertising they are less fickle that YouTube and the other “free” video platforms. At $300 per month it would still leave the entire infrastructure cost of a platform like Failed Normal significantly below $500 per month all told. If you’re thinking about growing a business you’d like to survive a decade or more that small a cost can be much cheaper than dealing with the vagaries of YouTube, Twitch,, and the other video startups rising and falling by the day.

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