Vimeo Live will let subscribers stream live events.

By Tom Huddleston, Jr.
September 26, 2017

Vimeo is adding live-streaming capabilities to its video-sharing website so that users can stream live events, including everything from concerts to sporting events.

The company said on Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire the live video streaming service Livestream and is launching a new service called Vimeo Live. IAC-owned Vimeo did not announce the financial details for its acquisition of Livestream, a Brooklyn-based company that says it has more than 10,000 subscribers including businesses like Spotify and Dow Jones.

Once the deal closes, Vimeo said it will fold Livestream’s technology into its new Vimeo Live service, which will allow Vimeo’s paying community of “creators” to stream live video from anywhere and then archive that footage, which they can distribute and sell later through the site.

Vimeo’s subscribers, who currently pay as much as $50 per month to host their videos on the website, will have the option of signing up for a similar monthly or annual subscriptions for access to Vimeo Live’s new live-streaming tools. Vimeo’s website is already advertising those new Vimeo Live subscription plans, starting at $75 per month as well as a custom plan for businesses like media companies that costs $800 monthly.

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“Live streaming is the #1 request from our creator community this year, and we’re focused on bringing a new level of quality, convenience and craft to this evolving medium,” Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud said in a statement. “With the launch of Vimeo Live and the addition of Livestream’s impressive team and innovative product suite, we can empower a diverse range of creators to produce beautiful live experiences with professionalism and ease.”

Vimeo Live will allow subscribers to broadcast live events in high-definition video with the option of hosting live-chat next to the video. And, once the deal for Livestream closes, Vimeo Live will also offer mobile live-streaming, including through the Vimeo app on Apple iOS, Google Android, Roku, Amazon, and Samsung devices, among others.

Vimeo’s push into live-streaming comes only a few months after the company announced that it had abandoned plans to launch a subscription video service in 2018. That service would have featured original programming from Vimeo, which had said it planned to spend “tens of millions” of dollars on original content in an attempt to follow in the footsteps of other streaming video services like Netflix (which is spending $6 billion on its own original programming this year).

Instead, Vimeo will look to compete with other digital companies that already offer live-streaming video, including Google’s YouTube and Facebook’s Facebook Live.

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