March 8, 2017

Vimeo Adds Support for 360° Video — And a Place to Sell It, Too

Vimeo is betting big on 360° video, positioning itself to be a leader in exhibition and sales.

360° video has been on the rise of late, with more and more 360° camera rigs from established companies entering the space. In addition to capturing 360° video natively, a wide variety of software is now available to convert existing footage into 360°. But once you have it in the can, where do you exhibit your 360° content?

Google's YouTube has been investing big in 360°, while Apple is way behind (Safari doesn't support it yet). Facebook has been a player in the space, but by only supporting monoscopic 360° exhibition, the company is leaving money on the table. Vimeo is one of the only online players with 2-pass transcoding, and the company is now intending to give Google some competition in the 360° space.

Vimeo's new 360° service, launching today, does not simply introduce new features for videos on the site, but it also now supports a new content type—one in which the rules are still being made. (There's still a lack of metadata specs and commonly accepted formats for 360° as it evolves; for example, there's no such thing as an aspect ratio in 360° video.) With 360° file sizes commonly four times larger than "flat" video, Vimeo's support of uploads up to 8K (stereoscopic 360° video will often be two layered 4K signals, one for the left "eye" and one for the right), this new release makes Vimeo, for now, the no-brainer destination for 360° creators.

The announcement shows Vimeo prioritizes being on the forefront of the emerging technology and plans to offer as much flexibility as possible for 360° creators.

Vimeo's 360° video features at a glance:

  • High-Quality 360° Viewing: Upload 360° videos in up to 8K resolution; online and offline playback up to 4K
  • Powerful and Customizable Settings: Add metadata for both monoscopic and stereoscopic video, customize player embed settings, capture email leads, and insert calls-to-action directly in the embedded player. Set field of view, pitch, yaw (essentially latitude/longitude) and choose the exact point in space where the video begins. A compass in the player orients viewers and encourage interaction
  • 360 Video School: Educational resources and tutorials on 360° cameras, pre-production, shooting, and editing.
  • Open Marketplace to Sell 360° Videos: Sell your 360° content direct-to-audience worldwide through Vimeo On Demand (Vimeo PRO and Business members). Select rent, buy, or subscription options, set price and distribution region, and take home 90% of the revenue after transaction costs
  • Compatible with desktop, mobile, and VR headsets: iOS and Android support. Also compatible with the following VR headsets: Zeiss VR One, Samsung Gear VR, and Google Daydream, with support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive coming soon.

Of course, Vimeo will be curating 360° videos uploaded on the platform via its new 360° channel. Vimeo is also showing off its new 360° experience at festivals, in partnership with Zeiss VR One, starting with SXSW on Sunday, March 12, 2017. If you're there, be sure to check it out and let us know what you think.      

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