Vidyard shakes up pricing model with new “reverse freemium”

vidyard team

Vidyard, the Kitchener-Waterloo software startup that has created a video platform for businesses, is looking to shake up the typical SaaS pricing model by launching a free option for users of its video-sharing platform.

“This transition is really just about understanding our market.”
– Michael Litt

The new pricing model is an attempt to make video content creation, hosting, and management more accessible to businesses. It also represents a big change for the startup, which has, up to now, offered three pricing options to clients: a starter plan, billed $150 monthly, a “plus plan” at $850 per month, and custom prices for enterprise clients.

Vidyard’s free offering can be used by anyone looking for an easy way to create or share videos, while its premium offerings include more advanced tools like enterprise-grade video content management, security controls, and interactive video, among others. The company said it is hoping to take the typical route for SaaS startups, which generally begin with a free service and later add paid features, and flip it on its head.

“Video is the most effective way to educate buyers and engage customers, and as a result, we’re seeing the use of video skyrocket across marketing, sales and internal communications. There should be no barrier to entry when it comes to businesses of any size creating, hosting, and sharing amazing video content and personalized video messages,” said Michael Litt, CEO and co-founder of Vidyard. “With today’s release, we’re making it easy and free for any business to create and share videos without the drawbacks of consumer-oriented hosting services like YouTube and Vimeo.”

Vidyard said businesses with 31 to 200 employees who use the Vidyard platform published 510 new videos on average in 2018, across their marketing and sales teams. The company added that video analytics has also seen an increase in adoption, with 85 percent of companies using video analytics and increasing the use of intermediate or advanced analytics by 19 percent year-over-year.

In addition to offering free video hosting and publishing, Vidyard’s free offering will include new tools for video content creation and sharing.

“If we’re going to do a free offering, it has to be as feature-rich as possible,” Litt told BetaKit. “I believe that the vast majority of businesses will get enough value out from our free product as they mature, as they start to spend more time and energy on video, because it’s such an effective toolset, it’s a very small hurdle for them to clear into the pro package, to own that brand experience and upload a lot more content.”

RELATED: Vidyard expands offering to bring personalized video to sales teams

Vidyard first began under the name Redwoods Media in 2010, as the first video production company that offers video hosting, analytics, and performance guarantees. It officially became Vidyard in 2011, the same year it graduated from Y Combinator and raised its first seed round of $1.65 million.

In 2013, the company completed its first Series A of $6 million and launched an integration with Salesforce to help sales teams use video to qualify buyers and improve sales performance. Two years later, it completed an $18 million Series B and raised a $50 million CAD Series C in 2016.

Vidyard had been rolling the new offering out in beta for several months, and Litt told BetaKit he is hoping it will get software startups to think differently when it comes to pricing.

“This transition is really just about understanding our market, our buyer, our user, and trying to remove all the barriers possible,” Litt told BetaKit. “Our mission is openly available to help organizations use video to succeed. The best way to do that is to remove all barriers and let them use the products for free.”

Image courtesy Vidyard

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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