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Vimeo Agrees to Acquire Livestream

September 29, 2017 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Steve Vonder Haar / Wainhouse Research

On-demand streaming technology platform developer Vimeo today said it plans to acquire Livestream - a move that helps Vimeo expand into the market for live streaming video.

The planned acquisition - expected to close in the fourth quarter of the year - also sets the stage for Vimeo to become more aggressive in addressing opportunities in the enterprise streaming segment.

While Vimeo does have some customers using its on-demand platform for marketing-oriented applications, it is best known for supporting consumer-oriented media services. The addition of Livestream allows Vimeo to add live video options that are required for many business-oriented applications.

Despite the obvious synergies between the two companies, the technology integration of Vimeo and Livestream is no slam dunk. Vimeo is a cloud-based service. Livestream, in contrast, offers cloud-based services that are tightly integrated with Livestream-branded hardware solutions that essentially anchor customers in the Livestream ecosystem.

For now, it is unclear exactly how extensively Vimeo will embrace Livestream's ecosystem for enabling live video. In addition to the Livestream acquisition plans, Vimeo today also unveiled "Vimeo Live" - a hosted offering that streams live video for between $100 and $1,000 monthly. We look forward to hearing from Vimeo on how Vimeo Live and the legacy Livestream product offerings will be positioned in the product line-up of the combined company.

The idea of bringing together on-demand and live video capabilities under a single umbrella technology platform is appealing to many information technology executives. In a survey of 440 IT professionals conducted by Wainhouse Research in the fourth quarter 2016, 56% said it is "very important" for their organization to standardize on using a single streaming platform solution for managing all live- and on-demand streaming content.

Vimeo will still face other challenges in addressing the enterprise market. We are not aware of any solution implemented by either Vimeo or Livestream, for instance, that manages the distribution of streaming content on corporate networks behind the firewall. In order to address the full range of opportunities in the enterprise segment, Vimeo will need to develop its own networking options or partner with outside providers of enterprise networking solutions, such as Kollective, Hive or Ramp.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, so while the merger also makes sense from a geographic perspective (Vimeo is based in New York City, and Livestream is headquartered in nearby Brooklyn), the role of the Livestream management in newly combined company is unknown at this point.

In a press release, Livestream says its platform streams "hundreds of thousands" live video events to a total of 50 million viewers monthly. Livestream clients include Dow Jones, Tough Mudder, Spotify and the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.

Vimeo, which was founded in 2004 and operates as a unit of digital conglomerate IAC, said it now has 60 million "members" from more than 150 countries watching video on its platform.

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