CEO Q&A: Dae Mellencamp, Vimeo

Dae Mellencamp, CEO of video-sharing website Vimeo, speaks with Danielle Drolet about addressing the needs of today's content creators.

Dae Mellencamp, CEO of video-sharing website Vimeo, speaks to Danielle Drolet about addressing the needs of today's content creators.

How important is PR to your business model? Can you talk about your rapid growth and the need to strengthen communications?
Vimeo has been fortunate enough to experience more than 100% growth year-over-year three years running. As of December 2011, we had approximately 70 million monthly uniques and 9 million registered users. With Vimeo's focus on authenticity and brand integrity, we have looked to PR as our primary external communications channel with historical growth coming purely through word-of-mouth and PR. 

The growth has pushed us to communicate to a much broader global audience. As such, we expanded the team to include Deborah Szajngarten, our marketing communications director; Sean Hamel, North American PR manager; and European PR lead [Nikki Thompson].

In the US, we scaled up for a broader communications strategy from niche agencies to a midsize firm when we hired MWW Group last July. We are searching for a European agency of similar size and scope to support our growth in the EU.
 
What audiences do you target when communicating? Do you have a different communications model for each?
Vimeo has expanded its outreach to encompass a broader demographic that reflects the wide audience visiting the site each day. We continue our efforts toward the creative audiences while also reaching to attract more mainstream attention. However, we try to tailor the message to the appropriate skill/audience. 

For example, we conducted a beginner-level holiday-focused campaign to promote Vimeo video school (www.vimeo.com/videoschool). We offered easy-to-understand tips on how to take better holiday videos and make video holiday cards. 

Simultaneously, we opened submissions for our second Vimeo Festival + Awards, inviting filmmakers to submit their work across 13 categories, including advertising, animation, action sports, documentary, experimental, fashion, music video, narrative, and original series. We promoted the opening of submissions to each of these respective industries – calling for their best online videos.

The digital video space is thriving through a number of other platforms via YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, which all use a professional content model, while you focus on people who make video versus redistributing mass media content. Why take this stance?
Vimeo's mission is to empower and inspire people who take video. With more people than ever having access to high-quality video capture through increasingly low-cost cameras and mobile devices, we believe there is not only a great opportunity to serve these millions of consumers, but there is also exceptionally compelling content being created that deserves to be seen in the best quality and environment possible.

Can you talk about Vimeo's recent expansion of its mobile and TV apps? Many are saying mobile will be the next space to tackle. Do you agree?
Vimeo recently expanded its mobile presence with the launch of an Android app that works on phones and tablets, including the Kindle Fire. We also launched an app for Windows 7, as well as an upgraded version of our iOS app that includes both iPhone and iPad versions. We have been working on the PC-TV integrations for quite some time, with Vimeo now available on TVs through Samsung, GoogleTV, Apple TV, Vizio, Phillips, Western Digital, Roku, and more coming soon.

It's less about social versus mobile as platforms and more about user needs. Vimeo simply wants customers to be able to watch, upload, or share their videos wherever and whenever they want.   
 
What's coming up for Vimeo this year?
You can find us this March at South By Southwest in the Vimeo Theater. In June, we host our next Vimeo Festival + Awards with a show and two-day festival in New York City. There will be some exciting product announcements in 2012, as well.


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