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YouTube or Vimeo?

We know all too well that developing branded content can be incredibly involved in its own right... figuring out the best site just to host that content shouldn't have to be another headache! This week, we'll see how YouTube stacks up against Vimeo and consider which site is the best for your brand.

should i use youtube or vimeo

1) YouTube Is Free

By and large, the biggest pro to using YouTube is that it's free. After verifying your account, YouTube has virtually no upload limits. Vimeo has a free plan, but it only includes up to 500mb per week, with a total limit of 5gb (500mb = 20-30 minutes of 1080 video). Paid plans are available at $12/month, $20/month, or $65/month (click here for Vimeo's plan breakdowns). Because YouTube is completely free for all users, it is host to more content, thus attracting more viewers (and potential customers/clients!). Of course, the downside to a free platform is the ads--as we'll explore below. Either way, the fact that YouTube is free keeps it the more accessible hosting platform.

2) Both Have A Variety Of Features

YouTube is directly linked to Google, which is great for SEO (search engine optimization). This means it's easier for people to find your videos from a basic Internet search if you post them to YouTube (as opposed to Vimeo or other sites). YouTube is also unique in that it offers the ability to monetize your channel with ads (check out our blog post from 5/25, which includes a breakdown of basic YouTube monetization), has a huge user-base (2 billion... as compared to Vimeo's [very respectable!] 200 million), and supports live streaming. Meanwhile, Vimeo is not only ad-free, but it generally looks more polished. The privacy and embedding features grant you complete control over who can watch your videos and when, along with where your videos can be posted/shared. You're able to replace videos without having to change the original URL (which is super helpful when you need to update a video that has already been shared). Vimeo also guarantees significantly higher video quality than YouTube and allows you to customize the web player to reflect your brand. Additionally, Vimeo can be a helpful tool when working directly with clients. The privacy settings allow you to provide just your clients with content previews, and the platform provides a simple interface for clients to leave notes for you. This way, all project notes are easily accessible for both parties.

3) Vimeo Is More Professional

If you've watched even one YouTube video, you know the site is ad-heavy. The platform uses third party advertising, which can't be turned off. This means that YouTube inherently profits off of all of your videos, and you have no control over what kind of content appears before/during/after/around them. Additionally, the interface is generally a bit clunky and can be frustrating to navigate, especially for new users. YouTube (forcibly) equips most videos with auto-play, which catapults viewers directly from your completed video to vaguely similar content by a completely different creator/brand. Imagine you've piqued the interest of a potential customer/client and direct them to one of your branded videos... only for YouTube to introduce one of your competitors to the viewer the literal instant your video was over. Definitely not the ideal look for a successful brand. Meanwhile, (you guessed it!) Vimeo doesn't have these issues. Further, many of Vimeo's unique features discussed above (higher quality uploads, more embedding and tech options, etc) can directly add professional accents to your content in ways YouTube can't.

Ultimately, we recommend uploading every video you make to YouTube--it's a free service that offers great SEO potential. However, many instances require the more polished options offered by Vimeo. As a video professional, I use Vimeo for anything that is client facing. If your business relies heavily on videos, it may be worth investing in Vimeo.


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