Since its inception, Vimeo has always been the forgotten stepchild in the onilne video family; always playing second fiddle to big brother YouTube.
Vimeo has constantly been looking for its own identiy.
In the world of online apps, it's pretty much winner take all. You would be hard pressed to find a compeitor for Instagram or Facebook (MySpace anyone?) Ironically, MySpace is still around. Sadly. Rupert Murdoch once paid $580 million (when that was considered to be a lot of money) for MySpace. Bad investment.
Now, Barry Diller, Chariman of IAC, is buying Livestream to see if he can make Vimeo competitive.
I think there is no question that Live is going to be a big part of online video and clearly Diller wants to own that space.
This is a big departure from Vimeo's plan earlier this year to launch its own VOD service - to make it a competitor to Netflix. But with Amazon, Apple and now Facebook getting into that space, he must have seen the handwriting on the wall and turned to greener pastures.
This is probably a good idea. Vimeo has always cast itself as a kind of upscale YouTube - more a place for professionals and semi-professionals, and I have to admit that the tech is in place for a very disruptive live video thing.
A few years ago, Lisa and I went to the Country Music Awards in Nashville. 17,ooo people filled the Bridgestone Auditorium (as every seat was taken). I would say that at least half of those people were holding up their smart phones to shoot stills or video of the event.
ABC was there to carry it live, but seriously, what was preventing all those thousands of people from also live streaming the event? What was ABC going to do, arrest everyone?
The tech always trumps the prior barrier to entry.
Well, Barry Diller is not a billionaire for nothing.