Vimeo has announced that it is making major changes to its bandwidth policy, after several creators explained how the company had cut the rug out for them by demanding large sums of money if they wanted to continue hosting their videos on the platform. The new policies replace nebulous terms with definitive ones and ensure that creators will have time to prepare for the changes.
In an article outlining the changes, Vimeo says its new monthly bandwidth usage cap is 2TB. Previously, the policy was applied to users who were repeatedly “in the top 1% of bandwidth usage. bandwidth”, which Vimeo itself admits could have been more transparent. The company also says it will alert users when they exceed that 2TB limit, so you theoretically have time to figure out how to reduce data usage, or at least prepare for an increase in your bill.
Vimeo’s new policies also state that creators will have “a minimum of 30 days” to respond to Vimeo and reach a deal if they exceed this cap, and that nothing will happen to their content during that time. According to the old rules, a creator said The edge he had nine days to upgrade his account, reduce his usage, or have access to his videos terminated. Vimeo estimated that its costs would drop from $900 per year to $3,000 per year, which is a lot of money to come up with in just over a week.
Under the old policy, several creators said they received messages from the platform that they were using too much bandwidth and might have to leave the platform. Many creators were paying hundreds of dollars a year to be able to use Vimeo to host videos for Patreon, and were shocked at how few views their content received. (Videos can still consume a lot of bandwidth even with a small number of views – there’s a lot of data that needs to be transferred if 10 people are watching an hour-long concert in 4K.)
They were also surprised that Vimeo demanded thousands of dollars more per year if they wanted to continue using the service as they had before. A creator didn’t realize he was uploading videos to Vimeo when uploading videos to Patreon until all those videos disappeared.
Vimeo’s post, written by its CEO, is very apologetic; it even opens with an image of a bouquet of flowers, the universal sign of “I messed up, please forgive me”. But it’s worth noting that these changes won’t necessarily make Vimeo a better option for creators who have been hit with high prices due to legacy policy – said Vimeo The edge in a previous statement, the “top 1%” threshold was already around 2 or 3 TB per month. In other words, if creators had to pay more under the old rules, it’s very possible they still will under the new guidelines.
Hopefully, though, the new policy should at least ensure that creators don’t have to scramble to reduce their bandwidth usage or find a new way to host their videos in just days. Vimeo also says it will give users time to move their videos off its platform if they find it’s no longer working for them.
The company is also working on a policy that will exempt certain users from the 2TB cap “as long as they don’t use Vimeo to monetize those videos elsewhere.” He says there will be more details on this change within 30 days.