Despite the number of high profile blogs that seem to be allowed to bend the Vimeo terms of service, Vimeo make it reasonably clear multiple times on their website that they are not for commercial use.
Their terms of service mentions it
The signup page mentions it clearly… below the fold it is however very easy to miss.
You could also take a look at their community guidelines
It is just as clear within their FAQ
The only place it isn’t 100% is their page for Vimeo Plus – you would expect if you were paying for the service you would be able to use it commercially.
I like Vimeo, the encoding is high quality and they use a top tier CDN (Bitgravity) so even here in Poland the video is relatively smooth even on a low end ADSL connection.
They also have some cool domain locking features which would make it perfect for the members area of a commercial membership site.
There isn’t any lapse in communication of their commercial terms as can be seen by this recent forum thread.
Either a lot of very high profile sites have somehow been overlooked by Vimeo, or they have some kind of alternative arrangement – I am sure they love the Google juice, but isn’t that then payment in kind for links?
However it is also quite possible they don’t realise that they are breaking the Vimeo terms of service. I have had to point it out multiple times in the last 2 weeks to friends, so I am sure this is a common occurrence.
Ramifications? I know Master New Media had their account deleted and they could easily turn around and send you a huge bandwidth bill or threaten legal action. Vimeo’s parnet company however is IAC… why haven’t they offered a commercial option yet?
I have some posts lined up covering lots of alternatives with various advantages.
What are your favorite video hosts, CDNs and FLV Players?