Vimsy Company Update

An update on Vimsy – free channels, Vimsy Enterprise, and company structure changes

rowan@vimsy.co profile

Written by Rowan

Updated 2019-06-26

Vimsy Company Update

As you might be aware, last week we migrated Vimsy to a new hosting provider. While the new provider that we’ve moved to will give us the infrastructure we need to support the 1000+ channels already on Vimsy, as well as new channels that will join us in the future, the main reason we’ve moved our platform is because our existing provider (Kyup) shut their business down. Their reasoning was that they couldn’t make their business sustainable.

As a service based company ourselves, we’re often looking at our business and asking ourselves the question of “is this sustainable?”

For those who don’t know, Vimsy is not funded by external investors; we’re a couple of guys who put our life savings into building this product, service and business. This has the benefit of keeping our business nimble and agile (we don’t have anybody to answer to but ourselves and our customers), but it means that we need to make money from Vimsy to get our money back from it.

Vimsy Company Update

Paul and I starring in a Vimsy tutorial last year. We started Vimsy in 2015 with our life savings and no external investment.

Every business needs to make money to sustain itself and continue operating, let alone continue growing. In our world that means having the resources we need to develop the product to continue attracting new customers (like adding new features and languages), and also being able to keep on top changes imposed by external forces, such as new laws like GDPR in the past and the incoming Strong Customer Authentication changes that will effect how we take payments from customers through channels starting in September. This is also while providing the man-power to support a growing customer base, answering questions about the product, and providing hands-on help with getting our customers up and running with their channels. (Which we love doing!)

The good news is that Vimsy isn't going anywhere...

The good news is that Vimsy isn’t going anywhere, but we are making a few changes that might affect you.

Changes to Free Channels

The main change we're making is that, later in this year, we will be adding advertisements to Free channels.

We strongly believe in offering a free tier for Vimsy because we want content creators to be able to take their time getting to know Vimsy and feel confident in building their business on it before they have to commit financially. We’re also very aware that there are some sectors, such as charities, for which Vimsy is ideal but there simply isn’t the budget to spend.

But we’re dedicating a lot of resource to managing the platform for these channels without getting anything back in return. We’ve tried monetising these free channels by taking a higher percentage transaction fee on payments made through them, but we’re finding that free channels aren’t selling their content in high enough volumes for this model to make sense for us anymore. They are getting a lot of traffic though – enough to support our product through advertising without it costing the channel owner anything.

We've held off on this option for as long as possible, but the alternative was to implement an arbitrary free trial period before forcing channels to upgrade to a subscription plan. We felt like that wasn't the right solution and it would be far more upsetting for existing customers.

We don't have an exact timescale for when this will happen other than "later this year". If you're currently using Vimsy for free and don’t like the idea of us displaying advertisements on your channel, you can upgrade to Vimsy Extra, Vimsy Premium or, now, Vimsy Enterprise. None of our paid plans will include advertisements on your channel unless you've put them there yourself.

Introducing Vimsy Enterprise

We’re introducing a new Vimsy Enterprise tier for customers who need more resources and support than Vimsy Premium can offer them. Vimsy Enterprise comes with higher capacity video allowances, proactive support (including telephone support and a dedicated account manager) which means we'll proactively check your channel before releasing any updates to Vimsy as a whole, and will also allow us to work to a bespoke SLA that matches your needs – such as making sure that Vimsy conforms to certain standards or supports specific web browsers and devices that are used within your organisation.

Vimsy Enterprise can also be purchased independently from any individual channel, which makes it ideal if you need a service offering that spans across multiple channels – this is ideal for users who need separate channels in different languages or want to create individual channels for multiple brands.

It is also worth noting that we have ambitions for native mobile applications that are fully branded for each individual customer, which will only be available in this tier, although there is no timescale for this right now. If you’re considering another broadcast-level OTT platform, this is the sort of plan you should be looking at in order to get a similar offering from Vimsy.

We have some customers on this tier already, unofficially, and are excited to make it a formal offering that’s available to any customer.

Company Administration Update

Finally, on a purely administrative level, we are going to be making some changes to our company structure. For anybody who’s been following along closely to our company's journey, you might be aware that in addition to Vimsy we also run a corporate video production company called Southpoint Films. It was through our experience in making corporate videos and from identifying a need amongst our own customers that Vimsy was first created back in 2015.

When we started Vimsy we decided to set it up as a separate company as we felt this gave us more flexibility with regards to how we funded the new venture. At the time we were open to external investment and we simply didn’t know what to expect at that point. As time has gone one we’ve realised that external investment is not the path we want to take and that operating two different companies from an administrative perspective is creating barriers that simply don’t need to exist with regards to how we manage our finances, accounts and payroll. We’re also doubling our costs in some areas too, such as paying for two sets of company accounts to be produced, which isn’t ideal.

Starting immediately we will begin the process of merging the two companies together, with Vimsy Ltd being absorbed into the more established Southpoint Films Ltd. This doesn’t have a material change on Vimsy at all, but you might notice that instead of saying “Vimsy Ltd”, our website, privacy policy, and other materials will start saying “Southpoint Films Ltd trading as Vimsy”. If you pay for Vimsy via invoice you’ll also start receiving invoices from Southpoint Films and our bank account details will be different as a result.

You shouldn't see any other changes – and definitely no changes regarding the branding of Vimsy, our web address or email addresses, or your channel.

That’s all we have to announce for now but if you have any questions or concerns please email hello@vimsy.co so that we can offer you further information. Thanks for using Vimsy!

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