Vimeo is finally offering 360 video to its filmmakers.
“The launch is part of a broader effort to expand our product offering in response to strong interest from our community in emerging formats like 360 video,” Anjali Sud, SVP & GM of Vimeo’s Creator Platform, said in an interview. “Despite support on other platforms, there’s still very much an unmet need — 360 video was among one of our top feature requests last year.”
While many other platforms offer 360 video to users, Vimeo is the first major marketplace for creators to be able to sell their 360 videos directly to audiences worldwide through Vimeo On Demand.
Viewers can watch 360 video in Vimeo mobile apps — including iOS and Android powered devices — that can be used with compatible VR headsets.
Vimeo, which launched in 2004, had been primarily known as the go-to service for independent creators looking to sell content directly to consumers.
The division of IAC attracted talent with favorable revenue splits and tools that give creators the opportunity to set up their own paywalls.
But after the success of the 2012 hit High Maintenance, which got picked up by HBO, the New York-based company has been building up its original content library and investing heavily in its creators. Recently, Lionsgate announced it is partnering up with Vimeo to launch a Global Television Store.
The service, which rolled out Oct. 18, offers premium scripted U.S. content — from Lionsgate’s movie and TV library — to consumers in over 150 countries. That includes: Orange Is The New Black, Mad Men, Hulu’s Casual, The Royals, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Boss, Blue Mountain State and Manhattan.
Despite all these strides, the platform is delayed in adding its 360 video offering. YouTube, for example, added 360 video offering in 2015. The video platform introduced 360-degree live streaming in April 2016.
“Vimeo’s take on 360 video is simple: provide a home for creators to learn new techniques, upload, share, and sell 360 videos,” Sud said, noting the platform will “be the first major marketplace for creators to sell 360 videos direct to audiences worldwide.”
This, Sud noted, is something iTunes and Amazon do not do.
The platform will hold a launch preview of the 360 offering at South by South West on March 12.