Vidme Shuts Down User-Generated Video Service, Citing Inability to Compete With Google, Facebook

Startup Vidme is shutting down its user-generated video service — because it can’t see a way to make money in the face of internet giants Google and Facebook.

New signups and uploads to the Vidme site and apps will be disabled Friday, and the service will be shut down Dec. 15, at noon PT, the company said.

In addition, effective immediately, all paid Vidme channel subscriptions will be suspended, and subscriber-only videos will be exclusively accessible by their video owners. The company said any outstanding earnings will be paid to verified creators within 60 days.

Founded in 2014, the company had described its platform as a hybrid of YouTube and Reddit, with videos curated by community members in different categories.

“Unfortunately we didn’t see a path to sustainability as an independent VOD platform in the face of competition from both Google and Facebook,” Vidme co-founder Warren Shaeffer said in an email.

The crux of the problem, according to Shaeffer: Vidme lacked critical mass in terms of its audience size relative to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, so it “struggled to attract direct advertisers to help offset our infrastructure costs, leaving few resources to spend on product innovation and attracting new audience,” he wrote in a blog post Friday.

L.A.-based Vidme had raised $9.2 million from investors including NEA, Upfront Ventures, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, SV Angel and Mucker Capital.

According to Shaeffer, the company still has a significant amount of its funding available and plans to announce a new product next year (though he declined to provide details). Meanwhile, he’s hoping to cut a deal with a “creator-focused” company that might incorporate the Vidme technology in some new form in the future.

With the shutdown of the UGC platform, Vidme is laying off four full-time employees, Shaeffer said.

At one point, Vidme claimed to have nearly 1 million registered creators and more than 25 million unique monthly users. All told, according to the company, it delivered 6 billion views over its lifetime and the platform’s most popular creators were earning thousands of dollars per month.

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