Vimeo has announced that it is making some significant changes to its bandwidth policy after several creators discussed how the company pulled the rug from under them by demanding large sums of money if they wanted to continue hosting their videos on the platform. The new policy replaces vague terms with definitive ones, ensuring creators have time to prepare for changes.
In a post outlining the changes, Vimeo says the new monthly bandwidth usage limit is a flat 2TB. Previously, the policy was applied to users who were repeatedly “in the top 1% of bandwidth usage”, which Vimeo itself said could have been more transparent. The company also says it will warn 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 your bill to go up.
Vimeo’s new policy also says creators have “a minimum of 30 days” to respond to Vimeo and strike a deal if they exceed that limit, and nothing will happen to their content during that time. According to the old rules, a maker told: The edge he was given nine days to upgrade his account, reduce his usage, or disrupt access to his videos. Vimeo estimated its costs would go from $900 a year to $3,000 a year — that’s a lot of money to come up with in just over a week.
Under the old policy, several creators say they have received messages from the platform that they are using too much bandwidth and are at risk of having to leave the platform. Many of the creators paid hundreds of dollars a year so they could use Vimeo to host videos for Patreon, and were shocked at how few views their content received. (Videos can still eat up a lot of bandwidth, even with a small number of views — there’s a lot of data to transfer when 10 people watch an hour-long concert in 4K.)
They were also surprised that Vimeo was demanding thousands of dollars more per year if they wanted to continue using the service as it was. One creator didn’t realize they were actually uploading to Vimeo when they uploaded videos to Patreon until all those videos disappeared.
Vimeo’s post, written by the CEO, is very apologetic in tone; it even opens with a picture of a bouquet of flowers, the universal sign for “I messed up, please forgive me.” But it’s worth noting that these changes don’t necessarily make Vimeo a better option for the creators hit by the old high-price policy – Vimeo told The edge in a previous statement that the “top 1 percent” threshold was already around 2 or 3 TB per month. In other words, if creators were supposed to pay more under the old rules, it’s entirely possible they’ll still have to pay with the new guidelines.
Hopefully the new policy should at least keep creators from having to scramble to cut their bandwidth usage or find a new way to host their videos in a few days. Vimeo also says it will give users time to remove their videos from the platform if they find it no longer works for them.
The company is also working on a policy that will exempt some users from the 2TB limit “as long as they don’t use Vimeo to monetize those videos elsewhere.” It says there will be more details about that change within 30 days.