Bandwidth is the data used to deliver your videos to your viewers. Factors like the number of viewers, average time watched per view, and streaming quality all affect bandwidth.
Vimeo has a monthly bandwidth threshold of 2TB (measured as 2,000GB). If an account requires more bandwidth than what our subscription plans were designed to support, we’ll reach out to the user to explore alternative options. Those options can include upgrading to a custom plan that better fits their bandwidth usage, bringing down their bandwidth below the 2TB monthly threshold, or even migrating off of our platform, if Vimeo is no longer the best solution for their needs.
It’s important to understand that the vast majority of Vimeo’s users — over 99% — don’t reach our monthly bandwidth threshold and will never be required to pay for additional bandwidth.
If a user exceeds our bandwidth threshold, they can expect automated notifications alerting them of this. If their high bandwidth usage continues, the user will receive direct outreach from the Vimeo team. Users will have thirty (30) days to respond to our team and reach a resolution, and during that time there will be no changes to their account, videos, or service.
Vimeo offers account owners access to a report in their account that shows monthly bandwidth usage (see Bandwidth Report Walkthrough for a walkthrough).
In this article:
- What is bandwidth?
- What’s the difference between bandwidth and storage?
- Why does Vimeo have a bandwidth threshold?
- What is Vimeo’s bandwidth threshold?
- What impacts bandwidth?
- How can I track bandwidth at Vimeo?
- Which of my videos consume the most bandwidth?
- What happens once I exceed the monthly bandwidth threshold?
- What are my options once a Vimeo rep reaches out to me regarding my bandwidth usage?
- How long do I have to decide?
- What will happen if I don’t respond to Vimeo’s notices on my bandwidth usage?
- How much does bandwidth cost at Vimeo?
- What happens if I upgrade and use more bandwidth than was estimated?
- How can I estimate how much bandwidth I might use?
- What’s the difference between Custom, Enterprise, and OTT plans at Vimeo?
- What can I do to manage or reduce my bandwidth usage?
- Can I increase my bandwidth threshold by using multiple self-serve accounts?
- Why does Vimeo have an exemption policy?
Effective April 18, 2022
We may, at our discretion, exempt certain self-serve users from our monthly bandwidth threshold or provide extra bandwidth at no additional charge. In most cases, users who meet the exemption criteria below will not be contacted regarding their bandwidth usage. If you have been contacted by a member of our team and believe one of the below criteria applies to you, you may submit an exemption request for our review:
Creative professionals who are primarily using Vimeo to showcase their creative work (click to expand)
Creative professionals (i.e video editors, producers, directors, and filmmakers) may qualify when no more than 50% of their Vimeo account’s viewership in the past 12 months is consumed for the purpose of (1) monetizing videos behind a paywall (unless it’s via Vimeo On Demand) or an advertising solution; (2) marketing commercial products or services (unless it’s for promoting their creative work); (3) live or on-demand event production; or (4) a custom-built video experience via direct file access or API.
Nonprofits with an annual budget of less than $1M (click to expand)
Nonprofits must provide proof of 501(c)(3) status, if in the U.S., or the equivalent international status. Nonprofits in the following areas are currently ineligible for this exemption, but may be eligible for other nonprofit discounts: faith-based organizations; educational institutions (including K-12 schools, colleges, universities, libraries, and trade schools); commerce and trade associations without charitable aims or activities benefiting non-members; political and labor organizations; government entities; and organizations that advocate, support, or practice discrimination.
Users who primarily use Vimeo through one of our strategic partnership integrations (click to expand)
Users of Vimeo’s strategic hosting integrations may qualify for an exemption when at least 50% of their Vimeo account’s viewership in the past 12 months is consumed on the third-party partner platform using Vimeo as the video hosting solution (allowing users to upload and embed the Vimeo player as part of the integration). Currently, strategic hosting integrations include Patreon, GoDaddy, and Constant Contact.
The exemption criteria above are intended to better support Vimeo’s creator community and small nonprofits.
If you have an active Vimeo Custom bandwidth plan and believe you meet the exemption criteria above, you may submit an exemption request. If you qualify, we may permit you to terminate your Vimeo Custom plan and provide you with a prorated refund of any prepaid fees applicable to the remaining portion of the term.
This policy is not meant to be exhaustive and shall not be construed to impose limitations or obligations on Vimeo that do not appear in our Terms of Service. We may, from time to time, update our policy to address new requests that may arise.
If you have questions about your specific bandwidth use case, feel free to get in touch with our team and we’ll help answer your questions and find the right solution for your needs.
Q: What is bandwidth?
A: Bandwidth is the data that gets used when viewers interact with video content. When a video is uploaded and shared with viewers around the world, data is transferred across servers. Bandwidth is the metric that measures that data (usually in GB or TB units).
Q: What’s the difference between bandwidth and storage?
A: Bandwidth is the data used to deliver your videos to viewers around the world, while storage is the space it takes to store them on our servers. It is true that these can influence one another. For example, the larger the video file, or the greater the number of videos published, the greater the bandwidth required.
Q: Why does Vimeo have a bandwidth threshold?
A: Vimeo has a bandwidth threshold because our business model requires it. Vimeo is ad-free, which means we do not recoup any of our content delivery costs through advertisements and instead charge a flat subscription fee. When a user consumes more bandwidth than what our flat subscription plans were designed to support, costs can quickly scale above what we can sustainably provide at no additional charge. In those instances, we ask those users to either lower their bandwidth consumption or upgrade to a custom bandwidth plan that is better suited to accommodate their usage.
Q: What is Vimeo’s bandwidth threshold?
A: The bandwidth threshold is 2TB (measured as 2,000GB) per month.
Q: What impacts bandwidth?
A: Many factors impact bandwidth usage, including playing a video, loading the player and thumbnail image, downloading a video, video traffic, and live streaming an event. The primary driver however is how many people watch a video or a live stream, and what quality they watch it at.
Vimeo gives creators and viewers lots of options for the quality of playback, because we want your viewers to be able to watch your videos in the optimal conditions for their viewing environment. If the viewer does not select the playback quality, we use what we call adaptive streaming to intelligently choose the highest quality possible based on the viewer's network connection, graphics processing ability, and player size. You can check out Troubleshoot playback quality and buffering issues to read about playback quality.
Q: How can I track bandwidth at Vimeo?
A: Account owners can always access and track their bandwidth usage on a report located in their Vimeo account in analytics(you must be logged into Vimeo; this report is available to paid users).
Q: Which of my videos consume the most bandwidth?
A: This information will be soon available in your video analytics dashboard in your account. In the meantime, our team can provide you with information about how much bandwidth each video consumed.
Q: What happens once I exceed the monthly bandwidth threshold?
A: Generally, when users exceed the 2TB monthly threshold, we do not enforce this limit by stopping their ability to stream. Instead, users will receive automated notifications encouraging them to keep their bandwidth usage below Vimeo’s monthly limit. Someone from our team may reach out to you if your usage:
- Exceeded 2TB per month at least two (2) times in the past 12 months, or
- Exceeded 10TB per month one (1) time in the past 12 months
Q: What are my options once a Vimeo rep reaches out to me regarding my bandwidth usage?
A: There are a number of options for you in these instances, and our aim is to find a solution that best serves their needs. This includes:
- Reducing bandwidth usage below 2TB/month and remaining on your current Vimeo plan.
- Upgrading to a Vimeo Custom or Enterprise account, where pricing depends on the expected bandwidth usage. Rates are competitive relative to alternatives in the industry.
- Exploring an alternative option to migrate, in the case that Vimeo is no longer the best solution for your needs.
Q: How long do I have to decide?
A: Users are expected to respond and reach a resolution within thirty (30) days from the initial outreach by our team regarding bandwidth usage.
Q: What will happen if I don’t respond to Vimeo’s notices on my bandwidth usage?
A: Users are expected to respond and reach a resolution within thirty (30) days from our initial outreach. During this time, users will receive multiple emails from the Vimeo team. If a resolution is not reached within this timeframe, the non-compliant account is at risk of being temporarily suspended. That means their Vimeo videos, wherever they are distributed or embedded, will no longer play for viewers (however, users will still have access to those videos). This is temporary and can be changed by responding to our team to find a resolution.
Q: How much does bandwidth cost at Vimeo?
A: The specific cost for each user depends on how much bandwidth they expect to use. Our team can help you estimate the amount of bandwidth you will need based on your usage. Bandwidth is priced per GB and includes volume discounts, meaning the higher the amount of bandwidth purchased is, the lower the cost per GB.
Q: What happens if I upgrade and use more bandwidth than was estimated?
A: Our team does our best to estimate the amount of bandwidth you will need based on your usage, and we recommend users purchase the correct amount of bandwidth upfront as it is more cost-effective. Vimeo’s custom plans are offered annually, so monthly fluctuations in bandwidth usage do not impact the annual pricing.
Q: How can I estimate how much bandwidth I might use?
A: Since numerous factors impact bandwidth, it’s only possible to provide a rough estimate of the expected bandwidth usage if the following information is known: How many monthly viewers will be watching the videos, what is the average watch time per viewer, and what quality/resolution the video will be watched in.
Q: What’s the difference between Custom, Enterprise, and OTT plans at Vimeo?
A: Vimeo offers a few advanced plans that service high bandwidth users:
- Vimeo Custom: With this plan, users can continue using their Vimeo account at levels higher than the 2TB threshold per month. This plan provides the exact same feature set as Vimeo Premium (including live streaming), but with the addition of an account manager who can support their day-to-day needs and answer any business-related questions. This plan also offers advanced customer support.
- Vimeo Enterprise: This plan is intended for more advanced video use cases and includes capabilities such as Live API access, Live backup stream, Vimeo webinars, Closed Captioning, and more.
- Vimeo OTT: This offering is for users looking to monetize their live and on-demand video content across a branded site and mobile/TV apps. Learn more at Vimeo OTT.
Q: What can I do to manage or reduce my bandwidth usage?
A: Bandwidth usage is driven by multiple factors, including:
- The number of viewers
- The average time watched per view
- The Bitrate or streaming quality: 4k, 1080p (HD), 720p, 540p (SD), etc.
If a user reduces any of the above inputs, then bandwidth consumption would decrease.
Q: Can I increase my bandwidth threshold by using multiple self-serve accounts?
A: No, the 2TB limit applies to all jointly controlled accounts. Opening multiple accounts does not increase your bandwidth limit.
Q: Why does Vimeo have an exemption policy?
A: We believe in the value of our custom and enterprise offerings to help businesses thrive. Our exemption policy exists to better support user groups like creative professionals, who are primarily using Vimeo to showcase their work, and small nonprofits.