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Vimeo rolls out 'stats' feature for paying users

Video host Vimeo is finally rolling out a way to see more information about where your videos are ending up. The good news? It's awesome. The bad news? You gotta pay for it.

Since being acquired by Google, YouTube's had a target on its head. This has been true both from a legal perspective, as well as from competitors that have done as much as possible to put out more features, or simply do things better. Web video host Vimeo's latest feature--called stats, which rolls out to paying Vimeo Plus members Tuesday afternoon--is a mix of both.

Stats has been in the works since 2008, though the project got sidelined for more pressing matters like better categorization, a mobile interface, 1080p video, and an HTML5 video player. Though not as sexy as most of those things, stats is probably the most important feature in helping Vimeo's video creators know more about how well their content has been received, as well as who's watching it.

Stats gives users a visual and numerical breakdown of:

  • Referrers (where videos are being watched from--including the individual sub-domain pages)
  • What country viewers are from
  • A breakdown of user likes and comments
  • How many times a video has been downloaded
  • How many times a video has been played versus how many times the player was simply loaded.
  • How many of users actually finished the video (both on the site and in embeds).

The tracking that goes into making these numbers available works even for non-paying Vimeo users. The feature simply turns on once you become a Plus member. It can also go as far back as to when you joined the site, which for me was in June 2007. Although in a phone call with CNET a few weeks ago, a Vimeo representative said the tracking has only been going for the past year.

Beyond these metrics, many of which can be found on other video hosts, Vimeo's secret sauce is that it can further break out each metric by the quality of the video. So if you want to get an idea of how many viewers watched a standard definition, versus a high-definition copy of your video, you can do that. It can also spit those numbers out on a spreadsheet-friendly .CSV file. 

The stats feature should be going live to Vimeo Plus users in the next few hours. Below, and after the break are some shots of what users will get.

The stats home page gives you a quick overview of all your video activity. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Users can drill down and see what the most popular videos were for each particular month, as well as pick what kind of data points they want to chart out. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Vimeo can now tell you where your viewers are from in a fairly standard map. For us, this included stats on 88 countries. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Vimeo can tell you where your viewers are coming from by domain, and sub-domain. Here I'm seeing what CNET News posts were driving traffic to what videos. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET