Kerry Trainor, CEO of Vimeo, shares the company’s big plans for 2015…
IP&TV News: Hi Kerry. So, it’s the beginning of a new year. What was the stand-out achievement for Vimeo in 2014?
Kerry Trainor: In 2014 Vimeo branched out into original content with our first original series, the critically acclaimed High Maintenance. High Maintenance follows Brooklyn cannabis dealer “The Guy” as he slips in and out of the lives of his eclectic Brooklyn clientele. Beyond being incredibly proud of the series itself, it’s amazing to see a series mature so greatly and solely in the Vimeo community. High Maintenance has grown up and built its audience organically on Vimeo, and embodies our mission to empower creators bringing high quality content to the world over the web. It’s been a huge success for us and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the series.
Looking back at the year from a more general industry perspective, who has inspired you most in 2014 in terms of trailblazing in the area of video?
Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld, the creators of High Maintenance, are really leading the charge. Ben and Katja are amazing creators – that’s why we invested in them. We wanted to empower them to keep doing what they do so well and having complete creative control is a big part of that. Vimeo is all about empowering creators. It’s one of the differentiators of our platform – whether it’s our customizable player, zero pre-roll advertising or the fact that we don’t force creators into set pricing structures or to release in set windows or territories. It was important for us that Vimeo’s first original be no different and Ben and Katja’s end product is truly inspiring.
Vimeo has big plans for mobile video. Please tell us about your current thinking in this area?
We’re continuing to build out our overall and complete mobile experience from our full mobile web redesign in 2014 to our native apps, including Cameo. We’re eying a big update to our Cameo app in 2015 to make shooting and making short films on the go even easier. You’ll see a full redesign and a ton of added features.
Vimeo has been very vocal on the issue of net neutrality. Has the legislation started moving in the right direction more recently in the US? What would you like to see happen next?
We saw significant progress towards net neutrality this year, and alongside a number of other tech companies, Vimeo will continue to support a true open web. President Obama’s vocal support for net neutrality was a turning point that has caused the FCC to seriously consider the proposed rules that we and other tech companies consider the best path: treating the Internet like a public utility. The matter is now in the FCC’s hands and we hope to see a new set of proposed rules circulated in early 2015 that will keep the web the vibrant, democratic medium that has allowed it thrive.
Finally, does Vimeo have any big plans up your sleeve for 2015, or do you think it will mostly be about further developing existing services?
Vimeo is committed to our community of creators and supplying them the best, quality tools they need. In 2015 we will continue to support our creators and to further improve, and more deeply develop our tools and products to better serve the community. 2014 was exciting because we proved that our creators could distribute, charge and sell their content directly to audiences worldwide on Vimeo On Demand. 2014 also showed us that premium video content is king. The current online video ecosystem is much like the early days of broadcast television where there was the big ad-supported networks providing decent content for mass audiences. Then along came HBO, changing the game completely by offering a premium experience for audiences willing to pay more to watch higher quality content, and without disruptive advertising. Vimeo very much sits in this premium content space and while currently operating in a transactional VOD model (TVOD) with our Vimeo On Demand platform, we have started building a SVOD product that will launch in 2015.