Why Apple should buy Vimeo

With iOS 6, Apple is getting rid of yet another link with Google; the Maps app which has always been made by Apple but uses data from Google Maps will start using Apples own proprietary map tiles and directions.

Still, one well known Google property remains on the first home screen: YouTube.

Signs were there early on in February when Mountain Lion was first previewed to a few journalists. OS X is taking good part of iOS and one of those elements is the share button. In ML you’ll be able to share content to different services much like you can on an iPhone or an iPad. But videos, you can only share to Vimeo, not YouTube. This might obviously change by the time 10.8 is released but I think it send a pretty stern message: there is nothing Apple needs from Google.

After becoming a father just over a year ago I’ve shot a lot of little videos of our son. Email isn’t great for sharing files like that so I most often just upload them to YouTube as an unlisted video and send the link to my family. System supported service for uploading videos to is essential, even more so than for photos.

What’s stopping them? I don’t think Vimeo ‘is not for sale’. Any venture capital funded company that doesn’t have a clear path to turning large enough profits to bring a good return for its investors, is for sale. At the right price.

Biggest problem there is is the sheer scale of iOS; 365 million users* would definitely put an unpresented strain on the service. What better way then than to test how well it scales by incorporating it in a smaller product like OS X Mountain Lion?

UPDATE: After reading this again, I realised I didn’t clearly answer the question. Reasons are that 1) Vimeo on its own won’t be able to scale fast enough and 2) Apple is all about integrated services that it has full control over.

*Devices sold as of June 2012

3 thoughts on “Why Apple should buy Vimeo

  1. alex kent

    But why?
    As i see it, vimeo is three things;
    1. A robust video on the web ingest – storage – playback system.
    2. A social network of users and comments etc.
    3. A community of creative film and video bods.

    Thing 2
    Do apple want to get into the online social network game? Nope.

    Thing 3.
    Apple embracing the film and video community? After the FCPX launch? Hahaha!
    I jest, but would apple really be interested in managing a community site like this? I don’t think so.

    This leaves thing 1 (which i think is what the article author is imagining would be useful for apple). Would Apple really bother buying this in? They’ve already got the server infrastructure and major pieces of the software stack needed to run this type of service.
    iTunes / Movies in the Cloud, iCloud, etc.

    I say no to Apple buying Vimeo.

    I say probably to Apple rolling out their own online video sharing solution.

  2. Kristian

    Either buy them outright, perhaps less likely or a strategic investment.

    They’re showing keenness in allowing iOS/OS X users easily share content to third party services. Flickr with iPhoto, now Twitter and soon Facebook. None of these are great for uploading video. YouTube works pretty/really well but I’m sure they’re finished dealing with Google. Enough so that they’re ready to spend some cash on having to rely on them.

    But why the need to spend cash? I don’t think Vimeo would be capable of coping with the potential ‘hundreds of millions’ of new users.

    I also don’t see them extending iCloud so you could share videos through it in the same way as you facebook a photo.

    1. alex kent

      ‘Shared Photo Streams’ is a listed feature of iOS6.
      Shared video doesn’t seem like such a stretch of the imagination.


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