Streaming video service Vimeo now works with Chromecast, the company announced this morning, making it one of the more high-profile services to support Google’s dongle-based media player which plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and allows you to “cast” video, photos, music and more from your phone or computer to your television’s big screen. The Vimeo integration is initially being made available only via the company’s newly updated iOS application, but we’re told the company plans to make similar functionality available in the coming months via Android, as well.
Vimeo explains that its decision to go iOS-first is in part due to bandwidth on its end – the company today is under 200 employees and has a “relatively small” mobile team, it says. But it’s also a reflection of the Vimeo user base itself. There are simply more iOS users than those on Android or other platforms.
Vimeo’s support for Chromecast has been in the works for some time – the company told GigaOm back in 2013 that it wanted to integrate with the then-new service, for example. But those integrations never rolled out for some reason. But given its competitive nature with Google’s own YouTube, its delay to arrive on Chromecast is worth noting.
Before going live with Chromecast, Vimeo rolled out support for streaming via Apple TV, Roku, Xbox and Amazon Fire TV.
Chromecast has been steadily expanding its lineup of video streaming apps to include a number of other video services, and now offers access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO, Showtime Anywhere, Crackle, Encore, Starz, EPIX, ABC, Disney, PBS Kids, Nick, VUDU and several others. But what’s frustrating about using Chromecast is how it limits support for services that compete with its own.
For instance, you can’t stream from Amazon Instant Video via Chromecast except by casting a web browser tab from your desktop using the Chrome extension. (To be fair, the reverse is also true: Amazon’s Fire TV doesn’t let you stream videos you bought on Google Play, either, unless you want to hack your device.)
That’s why more “agnostic” streaming media players like Roku are often a better choice for those who want to use a wider variety of services, instead of locking themselves into a single company’s ecosystem.
To take advantage of the added Chromecast support in the updated Vimeo mobile app, users must first launch the video in full screen, then tap the Chromecast icon. While the video is playing, you can also continue to browse Vimeo’s content from your iOS device, the company says.