Online video site Vimeo has always sought to differentiate itself as a platform for high-quality video content. Now the IAC-owned video platform is now adding features to help creators enhance their videos and make even them more attractive to viewers.
Vimeo’s latest update makes a big push around improving videos by adding soundtracks, and it’s got two main product announcements along those lines: First, it’s rolling out a cloud-based “Enhancer” tool that will let users make changes to their videos without having to edit them on the desktop and re-upload. The main point of the tool for now is the ability for creators to instantly add music to their videos, straight from the Vimeo web site. In addition to adding music, they can also update audio levels and control the start- and end-point of a song.
The second update is the addition of nearly 4,000 new soundtrack options from new music partner SmartSound. Those options come on top of the 50,000 titles already available through Vimeo’s soundtrack tool, but provide more flexibility than existing options. For $1.99 per song for a personal license and $19.99 for a commercial license, users can create customized soundtracks of SmartSound songs. That includes the ability to control the length, musical arrangement and instrument mix of those 4,000 SmartSound tracks.
Vimeo continues to try to define itself as the place for artsy independent video producers to showcase their goods. It’s historically tried to have the prettiest video player on the market and for years has shied away from heavily monetizing its videos through crappy advertising. In January, Vimeo rolled out a fresh new redesign aimed at making its platform even more attractive to video creators who don’t want to distribute through YouTube or other sites.
That said, while YouTube has expanded pretty dramatically over the years, investing hundreds of millions in new original content creation and promotion, Vimeo has sort of plodded along as a much smaller niche competitor. It never got as wrapped up in the low-quality, user-generated content portion of YouTube’s business, but it also hasn’t done a great job of expanding beyond its artsy community of creators.
The group recently gained a new CEO — Yahoo and AOL vet Kerry Trainor — and there have been reports that IAC is trying to sell the video site. (IAC Chairman Barry Diller has denied rumors of a sale.) With that in mind, Vimeo could seek new ways to monetize the site, possibly through more advertising or through more value-added features like music soundtracks and premium video offerings.