The basics of bandwidth
Bandwidth is the data that gets used when someone interacts with your video content. Many factors can count toward your bandwidth usage: playing a video, loading the player and thumbnail image, loading the video for viewing it yourself, downloading, and live streaming all use bandwidth. The quality in which your viewer is watching your video also affects bandwidth usage — higher-quality videos will use more bandwidth to watch than small videos viewed on a slow internet connection. But basically, the more popular your video is, and the more times it is loaded and played, the more bandwidth you will be using.
On Vimeo, we give our 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 they do 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 this article to read about playback quality, and the minimum internet speeds required to play back different qualities of video.
High bandwidth usage
As a general rule, we do not limit or impose overages on the amount of bandwidth that someone on our platform is using. However, this is subject to fair use. If the bandwidth usage reaches unusually high levels (i.e., in the 99th percentile of users when it comes to bandwidth consumption), we do require that they work with our team to transition to a custom plan. If this occurs on your Vimeo account, someone on our team will reach out to you about next steps. It’s worth noting that most accounts on Vimeo never reach this threshold.
Because business needs can vary greatly, we aren’t able to provide general estimates regarding cost. If you have questions about your specific bandwidth use case, feel free to get in touch with our team and we’ll help steer you toward the right plan for your needs.
You can read more about the Vimeo Terms of Service here.