Vimeo Adds Support for 360-Degree Videos

Vimeo 360 product image - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Vimeo

Vimeo creators will now be able to sell the immsersive videos directly to consumers.

Vimeo is adding support for 360-degree videos to its streaming video platform, providing new tools for the emerging format to its 50 million creators. 

Beginning on Wednesday, creators will be able to upload, share and sell their immersive videos much they way they would a standard 2D clip. 

The IAC-owned streaming service is embracing the platform nearly two years after both YouTube and Facebook began offering support for 360-degree videos, often seen as a precursor to full virtual reality experiences. Anjali Sud, general manager of Vimeo's creator platform, says Vimeo's adoption of the technology can help take it mainstream. "We have this amazing creator community and they're asking us, they're telling us that they're ready," she adds. "That combined with us being able to provide these tools, we'll be able to make a real dent." 

Vimeo's 360-degree experience launches with a collection of 360 videos created by its community of filmmakers. They include films from Greg Barth and Jason Drakeford, as well as projects from the American Museum of Natural History and Charity: Water. The 360 channel will update with new projects as more are published to Vimeo

The launch of Vimeo 360 will also bring audiences with an library of titles to rent or buy. Like any Vimeo video, creators will keep 90 percent of the revenue after transaction costs and can set their own pricing. 

Vimeo is especially focused on helping the creative community set new standards for 360-degree video production, which is still a new, expensive format. "There are standards changing all of the time," says Sara Poorsattar, director of video product at Vimeo, who notes that Vimeo 360 will support player customization, offline viewing and 4K video. She adds that Vimeo is exploring how to bring its creators support for full-fledged VR experiences that feature interactivity. 

Vimeo's apps for iOS and Android will support 360-degree videos at launch. VR headsets compatible with Vimeo 360 include Zeiss VR One, Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream. Support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive is coming soon. 

Vimeo will showcase the new technology during the SXSW festival in Austin, which kicks off March 10.