At Vimeo, our aim is to provide our users and their audiences with the highest quality video experience possible. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to ensure we can accomplish this at scale while operating our business sustainably and maintaining a fair and open platform for our more than 260 million global users. This is why we have a policy on bandwidth usage. We know that there are often questions about this policy, so we wanted to share more context around how it works at Vimeo and why.
Unlike most video platforms, Vimeo does not recoup our operating costs through advertising. In fact, there are no ads on Vimeo at all. We offer paid subscription plans that enable access to our platform to cover the costs of our operations. Each paid tier provides different limits on usage and different access to advanced video tools and features.
We believe in this ad-free model because it enables our users to maintain complete control over how their content is displayed, without having to worry about ads cluttering up their viewers’ experience or other videos being suggested that take their audience elsewhere.
Our platform is powered by a variety of technologies and capabilities that we keep a close eye on, one of them being bandwidth usage. Delivering these videos requires data, which is what we call “bandwidth.” Bandwidth is the data that gets used when someone interacts with video content. If you play a video, live stream an event, or even load a thumbnail, bandwidth is used. The larger the number of people interacting with a video, the more bandwidth used.
Here’s an important distinction: bandwidth is not the same as video storage, although the two can influence one another (the larger the video file, or the greater the number of videos published, the greater the bandwidth required). Like storage, bandwidth has associated costs — all video platforms rely on and pay third-parties (Content Delivery Networks or CDNs for short) to seamlessly deliver video content all over the world. For the vast majority of our users —over 99%— we don’t charge extra for that bandwidth. However, there are instances when someone uses more bandwidth than we can sustainably provide at no additional charge.
Specifically, if someone consistently or significantly exceeds monthly bandwidth thresholds, we reach out to try to find a mutual way forward that’s agreeable and sustainable for both parties. Our goal is to continue supporting these users while offering them lower rates than they would be charged elsewhere. This way Vimeo can keep providing the best possible video solutions for all users of our platform.
Vimeo provides a number of ways to keep users in the loop of their bandwidth—a dashboard to track usage, in-product notifications, and emails from our team—and we are actively working on enhancing these measures for even more transparency into bandwidth usage.
We hope this is helpful! For more information on bandwidth usage at Vimeo, you can read our FAQ in Vimeo’s Help Center.
Update 3/18/22: After fully reviewing our existing bandwidth policy and listening to feedback from our community, we are making some changes to better support those who consume large amounts of video bandwidth at Vimeo. You can read more about these changes and our commitment to improve in a blog post authored by our CEO.