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Vimeo vs YouTube: Which is Best for Hosting Videos?

vimeo vs youtube

Vimeo and YouTube are the two most popular video hosting and sharing providers. Both sites let people upload videos for public viewing and feature tons of free content. However, each site also has its own unique features and appeals to a specific clientele. So, how can we compare Vimeo vs YouTube?

In this article, we will compare Vimeo vs YouTube along five categories: video creation, video upload, live streaming, analytics, and cost. The article will conclude with a summary of the differences between Vimeo and YouTube and an explanation of which platform is better for which type of consumer.

First, let’s briefly discuss what is Vimeo and what is YouTube.

What is Vimeo?

vimeo logo

Vimeo is a video creation and hosting platform used primarily by businesses. The Vimeo app can be used by marketing and sales professionals to send out sales videos to prospects. It can also be used to stream conferences and business meetings. Although you can also use the platform to upload any video you like, the Vimeo video features are best used by businesses for connecting with clients and advertising their product.

What is YouTube?

youtube logo

YouTube is the most popular video streaming website as well as one of the top social media platforms. You can upload any video to YouTube to share it with a wide audience. The top videos on YouTube can receive millions or even billions of views. Additionally, top streamers on YouTube can make serious money through ad revenue and build a career as a YouTuber. Overall, YouTube is the social video platform for everyone.

Comparing Vimeo vs YouTube

Video Creation

create video with videmo

Both Vimeo and YouTube include features that can help you create the best video possible. On both platforms, you can add subtitles, music, and sound effects to your uploaded videos. You can also edit videos that you’ve already created to cut out unnecessary parts and optimize your video and audio. Once you’ve uploaded several videos, you can customize your channel with images, logos, and custom colors to make it truly yours.

However, Vimeo goes a step beyond by offering both a screen recorder and professional-level video creator to users. You can use Vimeo’s screen recorder to record your screen, webcam, or both and then either upload these videos or message them to others. Vimeo also includes a video maker with custom video templates so you can create custom videos with images, clips, music, and more. Overall, Vimeo’s video creation features are miles above YouTube’s limited customization options. Nevertheless, Vimeo’s screen recorder and video creator can only be accessed with a paid account. 

Video Upload

upload button on a video

You can upload videos on both YouTube and Vimeo for either public or private viewing. On YouTube, you can upload videos up to 15 minutes in length on any account and up to 12 hours in length (or 128GB in size) on a verified account. You can upload an unlimited number of videos for free. The platform automatically uploads videos as HD. While uploading a video, you can set its title, description, playlist, preview thumbnail, and any relevant tags. You can also change or translate the automatically generated YouTube subtitles. Privacy settings can also be set to public, unlisted, or private. Unlisted videos cannot be found through search terms, while private videos can only be shared with a private link.

Vimeo, on the other hand, is a lot more limited in terms of free uploads. You can only upload 500MB of video per week or 5GB total on a free account. Your uploads are also limited to 10 videos a day. For more video storage on your account, you can select a paid account. These accounts range from storage limits of 250GB/year to 7TB total. When you upload a video, you can customize your video player, set playlists, set playback speed control, and add custom end screens. You can also choose from 5 privacy settings: private, password-protected, public, only me, or hide from Vimeo (which means the video can be embedded on other websites but can’t be viewed on vimeo.com). Do note that regardless of which plan you choose, all videos on Vimeo are ad-free.

Live Streaming

woman holding a live stream screen

Both Vimeo and YouTube include live streaming capabilities. On YouTube, you can live stream on your computer as long as you’re verified and don’t have any strikes on your account. To live stream on mobile, you need to have at least 1,000 subscribers. Live streaming events are limited to 8 hours in length.

On Vimeo, you can set up both private and public live streams. Vimeo includes useful live stream features that increase audience engagement like live polls, Q&A, audience chat, email capture, and custom calls to action. You can download Vimeo’s Livestream Studio for additional features that let you switch between camera feeds, create layered broadcast graphics, add pre-recorded video, and mix audio. All live streams are limited to 12 hours in length. Live streaming is only available for Vimeo Premium and Enterprise accounts.

Analytics

youtube analytics channel views

Vimeo and YouTube both measure data for your account and videos, though the kind of data that they measure differs. Youtube studio tracks both individual video and channel statistics such as number of views, watch time, and number of subscribers. YouTube can also measure the number of impressions and impressions click-through-rate for each of your videos. It can measure traffic source types and identify specific sites of external traffic. YouTube can also measure audience engagement and demographic metrics, such as audience retention, likes, average view duration, age and gender, location data, and top subtitle languages. Best of all, these analytics are all completely free to view. They can be formed into charts and comparison tables for download.

Vimeo includes in-depth analytics such as traffic source type, device type, location, and time spent watching. The platform can also measure when viewers stop watching your video. It can even measure and report your videos’ performance on all social media apps and record every like and share. Analytic reports can all be viewed from one dashboard and can be divided by region, device, and source reports. For even more in-depth analytics, Vimeo Business subscribers can integrate Vimeo with Google Analytics. Basic analytics are available for free users, while paid plans get access to the professional analytics dashboard.

Cost

measuring value vs price

As most know, YouTube is completely free to upload videos. None of the YouTube features mentioned in this article come at a price.

Vimeo, on the other hand, offers 6 different plans – Basic (free), Plus ($7/mo), Pro ($20/mo), Business ($50/mo), Premium ($75/mo), and Enterprise (custom pricing). The basic account comes with limited video upload and analytics and not much else. Single users who need more player customization, privacy controls, video embed, and unlimited screen and webcam recording should select the Plus plan. The Pro, Business, Premium, and Enterprise plans are for teams and businesses that need multiple users on one account as well as more advanced features such as video templates, live streaming, advanced analytics, team projects, and more! You can directly compare the Plus, Pro, Business, and Premium plans here and read more about Vimeo for Enterprises here.

Vimeo vs YouTube: Which Video Hosting Platform Should I Choose?

man holding a tablet with dozens of videos on it

The answer to this question depends on both your use case and your budget. If you are working on a limited budget, YouTube is the obvious choice as all of its features are completely free. Additionally, if all you need is basic video hosting, editing, and analytics, YouTube will work for you. And if your main concern for video hosting is attracting the largest possible audience, YouTube is the better choice as it attracts a much wider audience than Vimeo.

However, businesses that use video for marketing and customer engagement should absolutely consider Vimeo. Vimeo comes with many important features that YouTube does not such as a screen recorder, video templates, easy video embedding, and interactive live stream features. Vimeo also offers more privacy settings and higher security. If you are looking for an all-in-one video creation and hosting service, you should look into Vimeo.

Finally, if neither Vimeo nor YouTube fits your needs, you can check out our list of top video sharing and video hosting websites. And if you are looking for an easy way to record, share, and store videos, check out Droplr.

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