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5 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Vimeo

Nancy Messieh 03-03-2017

Vimeo is known best as the video-sharing site preferred by indie filmmakers. But did you know that there are a handful of secrets and lesser-known details about Vimeo that you probably weren’t aware of? Here they are in no particular order.


1. An HBO Show Started on Vimeo

HBO’s comedy series High Maintenance actually started out as a web series on Vimeo. The show provides little vignettes as a Brooklyn pot dealer delivers his wares to his clients around the city.

Vimeo continues to step up its original content with Vimeo originals, with a commitment to support female filmmakers. Resulting content has included a documentary about artist Marina Abromavic, a comedy special starring Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci of Garfunkel and Oates fame, and a comedy starring SNL’s Aidy Bryant.

The latest original content to come from Vimeo is the show 555 starring Kate Berlant and John Early. The show is not free and will cost you either $0.99 per episode or $3.99 for all five episodes.

2. Capitol Records and Sony Sued Vimeo… and Lost

Capitol Records and Sony took Vimeo to court last year over copyright infringement and lost. The lawsuit, which dates back to 2009, alleged copyright infringement in nearly 200 videos uploaded by users to Vimeo. The court ruled that Vimeo could not be held liable for unknowingly hosting copyrighted content. The Electronic Frontier Foundation hailed Vimeo’s win, saying it fully vindicated Vimeo’s position.

3. Vimeo Isn’t Afraid to Throw Shade

While YouTube was embroiled in the #YouTubeIsOverParty debacle, Vimeo put out a timely message. Here’s the backstory. YouTube’s Advertiser-friendly content guidelines caused a kerfuffle when popular YouTube channels were informed that some of their content would no longer be monetizable if it was deemed “mature.”


As YouTube was caught in the backlash, Vimeo put up a post on its blog entitled Here’s to the best of advertiser-unfriendly videos. While there was no mention of YouTube in the post, the timing could not be missed. The post stated:

Vimeo provides an exclusively ad-free viewing experience for a number of reasons… For filmmakers, perhaps the most important thing is the ability to express a vision without constraints. If Vimeo relied on advertising, then we would have to restrict the voices we celebrate to ensure our featured videos were “advertiser-friendly.” And if the whole world of videos was advertiser-friendly, we believe it would be a boring place.

4. Vimeo Is Older Than YouTube

Vimeo actually showed up on the scene before YouTube. Founded in November 2004 while YouTube was launched in February 2005. Josh Abramson, one of Vimeo’s co-founders, said on Quora that YouTube’s traffic shot past Vimeo’s because it was able to host content that Vimeo couldn’t.

He also said that he made absolutely no money from his ownership of Vimeo. Vimeo was sold in 2006 to IAC as part of a deal that included CollegeHumor and Busted Tees. Abramson said of the acquisition: “Vimeo, however, was really just a side project at the time and as a result added zero value to our acquisition price.” IAC later fired the other co-founder and bought out Abramson. 

5. Most of Vimeo’s Audience Is Outside the U.S.

70 percent of the U.S.-based Vimeo’s audience is international. Vimeo actually has 170 million viewers worldwide, with 42 million viewers in the U.S.

Curious about the exact breakdown by region?

  • 30 million in the Middle East and Africa.
  • 5 million in Asia and the Pacific.
  • 58 million in Europe.
  • 15 million in Central and South America.
  • 60 million in North America.

5 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Vimeo VimeoStats 670x337

Other notable numbers include 25 million members and 715 million video views. According to Alexa, Vimeo is ranked 127 globally among all sites and ranked at 92 in the United States.

Do you know any other interesting trivia about Vimeo? Let us know about it in the comments. 

Related topics: Trivia, Vimeo.

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