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Vimeo now offers live video, plans improved service via Livestream acquisition

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Chalermphon Kumchai / 123RF
Vimeo is bringing the most-requested feature to users: livestreaming. Today, September 26, Vimeo announced its Vimeo Live service, alongside the news that the company is in the process of acquiring Livestream. Vimeo Live brings ad-free videos to viewers and several subscription tiers for creators, while features from Livestream will be integrated into the platform once the acquisition is complete.

Vimeo Live allows paid users to broadcast live video at a full HD resolution, with the ability to embed that livestream anywhere, chat live with the audience, and track audience stats. Unlike ad-based video platforms, Vimeo says their option allows creators to capture viewers emails, sell live videos after they air as rental, purchase or subscriptions, and use all of Vimeo’s customization for pre-recorded videos including privacy and reviews.

Once live videos are no longer live, users can manage their content all from the same place. Live videos can be archived and managed on the platform — including the option to replace the live 1080p stream with a 4K version once the video is no longer live.

That’s just the start for Vimeo Live, however, as the company plans to expand the tool with the acquisition of Livestream, a company that Vimeo says leads the live-streaming industry. Powering over ten million live events a year, Livestream offers a mix of live software along with hardware like Mevo, a compact live camera and broadcast tools to go live from any HDMI camera. Those features will be integrated into Vimeo once the acquisition is finalized, Vimeo says.

Financial details of the acquisition are not being released at this time, but according to TechCrunch, the move is Vimeo’s largest acquisition to date. Livestream’s current employees will have positions at Vimeo.

“With these steps, we will empower a diverse range of creators to produce beautiful live experiences with professionalism and ease,” wrote Vimeo CEO Anjali Sud. “And this is just the beginning. Over the next few months we intend to bring a new level of quality, convenience, and craft to live video. And we’ll be able to move faster and smarter with the combined force of two companies, who share the same passion for helping storytellers do their thing.”

Like Vimeo Pro’s advanced tools for subscriptions and video rentals for pre-recorded content, the ad-free element of Vimeo Live is in part due to the platform’s subscription plans for creators. Subscription plans for video creators start at $75 a month for Vimeo Live.

Vimeo Live is the YouTube competitor’s second major update this year after launching 360-degree compatibility in March.

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