Where Should You Put Your Content, Vimeo vs. YouTube?

Shooting content for a digital marketing campaign

In 2022, video traffic will account for over 82% of all web traffic (15 times more than it did in 2017). If you haven’t considered video as part of your long-term marketing plan, it’s time.

The first step to creating videos is to decide how you will host them. Video hosting platform YouTube is the largest web, but it may not be the best option for every company.

We compared YouTube directly against the smaller, niche platform Vimeo across several factors to help you decide which is best for your company. Look at the results to make your judgment.

An Introduction To The Platforms

YouTube is home to plenty of creators, some of whom wax lyrical about it, while others have had their fingers burned. The features on each video platform may or may not suit your needs. 

Let’s See What YouTube Offers

It’s a free service where anyone can upload and watch content, and it’s the second-largest search engine in the world, after Google. It all started in 2005, when YouTube’s founder, Jawed Karim, posted a video of himself holding elephants at the San Diego Zoo. Despite his inactivity, YouTube has become a massive platform.

  • The number of channels has reached 37 million
  • Has two billion users
  • Over 80 languages of content
  • Daily viewing time exceeds one billion hours

The platform has helped several stars gain massive followings and become millionaires. The top earner in 2021 was a nine-year-old Kaji—his family earned nearly $30 million last year from licensing sales of toys. 

Over 52 billion – yes, 52 billion – views separate 13 of the top 20 most-watched videos. YouTube isn’t just limited to musicians and multimillionaires – it also has a variety of content, including tutorials, how-to guides, insightful documentaries, and videos of cats being cats. YouTube is the most comprehensive video library on the web. 

How About Vimeo?

Second in popularity is Vimeo. The most common complaint against YouTube has been how ads pop up at random during videos. Vimeo users don’t face this issue. With no distractions, viewers can focus on the content.

A free basic version of the platform allows for max—Uploads of 500MB per week. Although users can upload a limited amount of data in the free version, the length of videos is unrestricted. You can easily upgrade to 5GB for premium users. Vimeo supports the following video formats:

  • MOV 
  • WebM
  • MP4 
  • AVI 
  • MPEG4 
  • WMV 
  • FLV
  • MPEG PS 
  • 3GPP 

What makes Vimeo the best place to upload videos? A user can browse for free high-quality videos! Let’s look at the pros and cons:

Pros—YouTube

Cost

It is free for businesses to use YouTube and even offers affordable Ad Campaigns. If you are looking to run your ads on video platforms, YouTube is unbeatable. When you spend $10 a day on YouTube ads, you get personalized support from a “YouTube Advertising Expert.”

Search Optimization

This is where YouTube dominates Vimeo. As a search engine, YouTube is right behind parent company Google. It’s the best place if you plan to make a video that caters to a specific search query (e.g., how to pick a video platform for your website). Not only will the video appear in search results directly on YouTube, but it also appears that Google favors YouTube videos over content posted elsewhere.

The Number of Active Users

Since YouTube has an audience of over two billion monthly users – almost half the internet population—there is no competition here. YouTube provides the best reach.

The Mobile Internet

YouTube and Vimeo automatically optimize their videos for mobile devices, but YouTube offers greater mobile visibility and discovery. YouTube is the top mobile streaming service, with 70 percent or more views coming from mobile and outpacing even competing services like Netflix, Hulu, and Twitch.

Data Storage

YouTube offers unlimited storage for all YouTube users, while Vimeo bills on a tiered basis for storage. You get 500MB of storage free with the basic Vimeo account. The highest level package, $50/month, offers 5TB of storage with no weekly limit.

Pros—Vimeo

Keeps Your Statistics Current After Re-uploading an Updated Video

Ever uploaded a video, only to realize afterward that it needed changes? With Vimeo, you can replace an uploaded video without losing its statistics. A helpful feature in case you need to update an existing upload without losing your views.

Ad-Free

The Vimeo website does not feature any ads, and you won’t find one playing before, during, or after any content on the site. Memberships are the source of their income. Ads can be a turn-off for many viewers.

Videos On Vimeo are Better Encoded and Sound Better

Quality in Vimeo trumps quantity on YouTube. Vimeo’s processing load is lighter because of its stricter video policies. So uses better encoding techniques to enhance the video quality. Since Vimeo has a much higher bitrate, uploading the same video to YouTube and Vimeo gives the Vimeo version a far better visual effect.

The Vimeo Audience is More Sophisticated

Vimeo’s restricted nature makes it appear more prestigious. While YouTube has a broader reach than Vimeo, it is more likely that Vimeo viewers will engage with your content more deeply. Vimeo’s customers are more willing to absorb slower and more thoughtful content. 

There is a remarkably different dynamic on Vimeo, where commenters are usually more thoughtful, constructive, and insightful. As a creator, this can be pretty refreshing.

Cons—YouTube

YouTube home screen on a laptop

No Do-Overs 

The downside is that you can’t update most uploads on YouTube without deleting the existing file and re-upload it. As a result, you’ll lose all your views and statistics. You can’t fix mistakes once you post them on YouTube, so double-check spelling and content!

Too Many Ads

You may have noticed ads within the YouTube video player and throughout the website. As a marketer, you have tons of options for delivering highly targeted ads to their specific audiences on YouTube, but your viewers may find it overwhelming.

Open to Everyone—Funs, Critics, Hater and the Trolls

YouTube is notorious for its awful commenting atmosphere—it’s easy to find a comment from a superfan, a superheater, or someone who’s attempting to be funny. Comparing their comments sections is the best way to see the difference. 

Prone to Skimmers and Scanners

YouTube appeals to a different audience, characterized by short attention spans, many distractions, and a desire to watch quickly. The attention your video deserves will require more work on your part. Consider the sheer number of players that upload videos every minute in your niche.

Quantity Over Quality

There are over 500 hours of video uploaded every minute to YouTube. YouTube must process all of this data before uploading them. For YouTube to handle such a traffic volume, it needs to balance compression speed with compression quality affecting quality.

Cons—Vimeo

Cost 

Vimeo is more expensive so that businesses and content creators can view videos ad-free. 

With a premium subscription starting at $7 per month and access to 250GB storage per year, the “Plus” plan is their most affordable option. Alternatively, you can sign up for their pro or business plans for higher upload limits, live streaming features, and SEO or Google Analytics. 

Small Audience

According to Vimeo, it has 240 million monthly active users. The smaller audience size on Vimeo ensures niche communities are more likely to discover videos on the site. Documentaries and feature-length films can benefit from Vimeo’s ad-free experience. 

Which One Is Right For You

Vimeo vs. YouTube has everything to do with how you want to use it. For filmmakers and businesses posting feature films, Vimeo offers an ad-free experience. YouTube is perfect for influencer marketing, promotional videos, and basic video content. The service has a range of free features, including analytics, editing, and uploading videos online.

Contact us for help in deciding where to showcase your video needs.

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