YouTube vs Vimeo. Which Video Platform to Use?

YouTube vs Vimeo. Which Video Platform to Use?

Are you starting your journey in video content creation, and you are unsure which one of the best video sharing platforms to choose?

If you're trying to decide whether Vimeo or YouTube is the right platform for you, then this guide will help. In it, we'll compare the two video sharing platforms on everything from production quality to video editing integrations and beyond.


What is YouTube?

YouTube is a well-known video-sharing website where registered users can upload and share videos with anyone who has access to the site. These videos can also be shared and embedded on other websites.

YouTube was founded in 2005 by former PayPal employees and was acquired by Google in 2006. Throughout the years, YouTube has had a significant impact on the media and advertising, having a great reputation as one of the best video hosting platforms.

With over 51 million channels and 2 billion users, YouTube has grown to be a massive platform. And the list of celebrities who have become millionaires after amassing massive followings while creating YouTube videos continues to grow.

Simply put, YouTube is the video sharing platform that has the most video content on the internet.


What is Vimeo?

Vimeo is a video-sharing website founded in 2004 by a group of filmmakers. Since then, the platform has grown to over 80 million creators, the majority of whom are artists in film, animation, music, and other forms of art who can use Vimeo to share and promote their work.

Vimeo has a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model, with over 200 million active users and 1.5 million creators paying to host their content on the site.

It is distinguished from YouTube by its "artsy" character, as it is mainly designed for professional video creators. That is not to say that artists should not promote their work on YouTube if their target audience exists there. However, while people spend time sometimes scrolling through cat YouTube videos, that is not the case for Vimeo videos.


YouTube Vs Vimeo: Main Decision Factors

To have a full understanding of the YouTube vs Vimeo main differences, we have analyzed the video hosting platforms from numerous points of view, so you can make an informed decision.

Let’s dig deeper into the differences between these two video hosting websites!


Opportunity to Get More Views

If you have a large audience, and your content is appealing to a wide range of demographics, YouTube is the way to go. The video platform has more users than Vimeo and is much more popular among viewers. In fact, it has more subscribers than any other platform in the world.

Vimeo has fewer users than YouTube, which translates into less potential traffic for your videos. If your goal is to build an engaged audience, or just get them watching more videos on the platform, then Vimeo may not be right for you.

In addition to having more subscribers than Vimeo (2 billion vs 100 million), YouTube also gets more views daily than any other platform—over 4 billion compared with Vimeo's 60 million.


Analytics Tool for Video Creators

If you use the right video hosting websites, you can track your video views, engagement and demographics. Video sharing platforms like YouTube have a lot of really useful analytics that can help you to understand how your audience is responding to your videos.

On YouTube, you will have access to details such as:

  • Total number of viewers, watch time, and subscribers
  • How your subscribers discovered your channel.
  • What percentage of your content is being viewed.
  • Your audience's ages and locations.

To make it more accessible, it is all broken down using charts and other types of data visualizations.

You can access data in the background with Vimeo as well, but it's much more limited than with YouTube. Because you will use Vimeo differently than YouTube, some data will be different and less detailed.

The analytics you can access through Vimeo are:

  • What percentage of your audience watches your video up to various points?
  • How does your target audience discover your website?
  • Do they watch from their phones, tablets, or computers?
  • How many videos have been viewed and how many have been watched all the way through?

When you start paying for your Vimeo account, you also get more advanced data options, such as where your viewers are located and video performance over time.Production Quality

When talking about production quality of the video content on free video sharing sites like Vimeo and YouTube, there are two factors we need to take into consideration: audio and video quality.

  • Video quality: YouTube supports HD or 4K video uploads for free, but the bitrate is generally pretty low, which can lead to compression artifacts for busier footage. The quality is by all means sufficient for most types of productions and it’s unlikely that general audiences will be able to tell the difference. Film makers and videographers, however, might find it lacking. By contrast, Vimeo offers much higher bitrates and overall video quality, but you need one of their paid plans in order to unlock the best video quality options. 
  • Audio quality: The sound quality on Vimeo tends to be better than on YouTube because it isn't compressed as much after being uploaded into their servers. Vimeo offers 320Kbps audio bitrate, while YouTube’s videos are 192 Kbps max, the equivalent of a low quality MP3 from 15 years ago. You’re unlikely to notice this on mobile phones or TV soundbars, but if you put on headphones and listen to one of your favorite songs on YouTube and compare it to the Spotify version (provided you set the Audio Quality to Very High), you’ll definitely notice a difference. 


For the most part, both YouTube and Vimeo are great places to create video content. However, they do have some differences in functionality that might make one better suited for your needs.

If you're a casual video creator, or if you plan on uploading lots of short clips of family outings and other fun things that don't require a lot of editing, then YouTube is probably a good choice for you. You can edit YouTube videos before publishing them, and export them from your external video editor.

The main feature of YouTube is undoubtedly its recommendation algorithm. It determines which videos will appear on your main page, which will appear in your sidebar, and which will appear elsewhere on the website. YouTube currently prefers long-form (30 minutes+) content divided into parts, but the algorithm is constantly changing, so keep an eye out for those changes.

YouTube Streaming is another fantastic feature. After Twitch, YouTube is the second-largest live streaming service. It gives creators a variety of live video options and allows their audience to interact with the stream in a variety of ways.

On the other hand, if you're an aspiring filmmaker who wants to share complex narratives with high production values in mind (for example: documentaries), then Vimeo is probably better suited for your needs, as it has integrations with multiple top-notch video editing platforms. 

Moreover, the platform provides several features aimed at video production collaboration, such as the ability to leave notes on the video, add teammates, and file sharing features.


Uploading Videos

One of Vimeo's best features is the ability to edit and reupload videos without losing any stats or having to change the video URL. The ability to make edits to ensure your content remains evergreen is extremely useful.

YouTube does not provide this feature, and if you upload a new video, you will lose stats such as view count and your video will have a new URL. However, after your video has been uploaded, you can make minor changes such as trimming.


Video Editing Integrations

Vimeo is the platform that video editing professionals use to share their work, and it has a better integration with video editing software. Many professional filmmakers have their own channels on Vimeo, where they post videos about the technical aspects of filmmaking and how to do things like color correction and audio mixing.

When it comes to YouTube hosting, you will need to use external video editing tools to make changes in your videos. However, there is nothing to worry about: there are plenty of tutorials for beginners who want to learn how to use certain applications. All you have to choose is the right online video editor, and you will have high quality videos in a matter of minutes.


Target Audience

The target audience for Vimeo is a bit more niche. It's not just for everyone, but rather creatives and professionals (artists, filmmakers, etc.) who are looking to share their work or find high quality videos that they can use in their own projects. 

As a result of this focus on quality content, there is a higher cost of opportunity associated with uploading material on Vimeo than on YouTube.

  1. Privacy Opportunities

Controlling how private — or public — your content is can be an important consideration when comparing YouTube and Vimeo.

You can change the privacy of your video on YouTube at any time, switching between public, private, and unlisted.

To share a private YouTube video, add the email addresses you want to have access to, and they will receive a notification saying they can watch the video. Only the email addresses you've specified have access to the video.

However, if you want a similar feature on Vimeo, you must upgrade your Vimeo account from the basic package to get more than basic video privacy.


Interface and User Experience

Both platforms offer a clean, simple user experience. The YouTube video hosting platform has been around for quite some time, and its interface is very intuitive. 

However, Vimeo's interface can be more complicated to use for beginners or mobile users.


Community Building 

You want your video to reach the right people — those who understand your message, love your products, or think you're hilarious — so selecting the right platform is critical.

As we discussed earlier, the potential audience for your content on YouTube is massive — 2 billion viewers kind of massive. Although YouTube does not give you access to your audience's email addresses or social media profiles, you can still learn enough about them to remarket to them across Google platforms.

The majority of your interactions with your community take place in the comments section of your videos or during live streams

Unlike YouTube, Vimeo is not a place where most people go to browse through videos and find new content, so it might not be your go-to option if you want to use it for community video marketing.


Ad Revenue

Vimeo has the advantage of not allowing advertisements. However, if you want to market your own products or services, you won't be able to buy ad space on Vimeo.

By now, everyone knows that advertisements appear all over YouTube. Ads can also randomly interrupt videos, causing viewers to stop watching before the end. The one advantage is that if you qualify, you can join the YouTube Partner Program and earn money from advertisements that appear on your videos.

When you spend $10 per day on ads, YouTube provides an advanced, user-friendly ad platform as well as personalized support from a "YouTube Advertising Expert."

Overall, YouTube profits from advertisements, whereas Vimeo profits from membership signups.


Which Platform Will You Choose to Create Videos?

Vimeo vs YouTube? Both YouTube and Vimeo can be the best video hosting platform if the features fit your needs. Now that you understand the key differences, you are the one to choose which one is more suitable for your specific needs. 

Let us know in the comments which platform you will choose for video creation and distribution!

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