Media

Vimeo's latest update shows why it's the Mercedes of the streaming-video world

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Image Credit: Via Vimeo

Streaming-video service Vimeo rolled out a new update to is video player today that’s packed with tweaks that should make it both faster and more responsive.

Vimeo occupies a unique position within the streaming video service market; it’s got a huge library of professional and user-generated content that’s actually better than industry leader YouTube. A big part of that is because of Vimeo’s dedication to making sure its video player is consistently better than the rest.

Vimeo’s new player should be available to all users today.

“This is probably the first major update we’ve seen to our video player technology in years,” Vimeo president Dae Mellancamp said in an interview with VentureBeat.

The new player, which Vimeo basically rebuilt from scratch, will actually be 50 percent faster, meaning videos will load quicker, even when you skip ahead within a video. The player itself defaults to HTML5 on the mobile web, desktops, and tablets, too. Additionally, Vimeo will now offer its creators the capability to add closed captioning and translated subtitles to their videos.

And as anyone who’s spent a fair amount of time watching videos on Vimeo knows, the service doesn’t run ads, so it must generate revenue elsewhere. One way is in renting and selling indie movies and films debuting at film festivals that would normally never find an audience, as VentureBeat previously reported.

The new player update definitely emphasizes this business strategy, and it will now enable viewers to purchase or rent an on-demand film directly from the video player itself. Mellancamp told me the company is confident that this new in-video transaction functionality will lead to higher digital sales. (I tend to agree, because eliminating a few steps in the purchasing process is pretty important for impulse buying, if nothing else.)

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