Best Video Hosting Provider: YouTube or Vimeo?

Best Video Hosting Provider: YouTube or Vimeo?

Battle or Alliance of YouTube and Vimeo

In the realm of online video hosting and marketing, it is clear that two brands stand taller than the rest; YouTube and Vimeo. It is also evident that YouTube is by far the prevailing mainstream choice, to the point of being over-saturated with content. Vimeo, on the other hand, is a smaller community with more of an artistic niche, where quality and community trump quantity and advertising.

As is commonplace, people will debate with force and ferocity over which platform is better. Many will stand loyal to YouTube –it clearly guarantees the bigger audience. Others stand steadfast in solidarity with House Vimeo, claiming Youtube is for amateurs and trolls while Vimeo is geared towards creatives and community. 

Here’s a completely different perspective on the matter…why not use both? Each platform has something unique to offer your business or creative endeavors, and both platforms can help you further market your brand.  

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YouTube arguably dominates its competitors with more daily hits on its collective output than any other video hosting provider. In terms of marketing reach, YouTube is the number one destination for streaming music, and Google prioritizes YouTube in its search results. Uploading content is free, regardless of how many views or subscribers accrue across your account. Plus YouTube has on-site editing features to add subtitles and links to other videos, a nice tool for someone uploading a lot of content, allowing them to easily connect. The interface is simple to use – copyright issues are easy to spot and even easier to fix, play-lists can be made and sorted with ease. Abundant advertising opportunities are another advantage of using YouTube. You can craft an ad and pay to have it appear in search results, triggered by target keywords relevant to your video.  

Let’s cover a few YouTube limitations.  In order to keep the site free, YouTube viewers must wade through a surplus of unsolicited advertisements; this will turn some would-be viewers away. The another unpleasing aspect of YouTube that must be acknowledged is the commentary. The comments section associated with YouTube videos is not for the faint of heart, often transmitting as harsh and abrasive. In fact, there is actually a comedy series (ironically housed on YouTube) called “YouTube Reconstruction,” in which two posh, elderly British men recreate petty arguments found in the comments section of YouTube videos, dramatizing them with Oscar-worthy acting and intense, visceral orchestral cues. 

Youtube, while an awesome platform to express yourself through the power of video, is abused by so many who harbor little talent or self-awareness, and essentially embarrass themselves online with cringe-inspiring videos their parents would “spank” them over.  This is entirely due to the fact that YouTube’s whole business model hinges on quantity over quality, on advertising over artistic merit.  On that note, let’s move on to Vimeo.

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Beginning with the drawbacks, as referenced earlier, Vimeo lacks the traffic and brand appeal of YouTube. Your videos won’t have nearly as big of a potential audience; unless you market your Vimeo uploads in a smart and strategic manner. The other major encumbrance of Vimeo is that you’ll have to pay for some of its best features. If you have videos you’ve made with the sole intent of “going viral,” a paid Vimeo subscription alone won’t meet your video marketing needs. Go with YouTube or Vine, they’re free and have a wider audience. However, if you’re looking to upload quality content without time limit constraints, Vimeo blows YouTube out of the water.

For starters, the quality of content across the board is significantly higher than YouTube because Vimeo is a niche community geared towards filmmakers, videographers, graphic designers, keen marketers, gamers, animators, and artists – whilst YouTube is not. The Vimeo player itself is of a much higher caliper than that of YouTube, not only in its multi-functional interface, but also in allowing users to embed their own logos into the player, unique to their uploads. Having customizable players to embed gives your uploads an almost subliminal edge, making your video and brand really stand out. 

Other awesome features that give Vimeo a clear advantage on quality is the ability it gives you to choose a thumbnail clip from any moment of your video. That’s right; any frame of your video can be chosen to represent your video profile. Another Vimeo unique feature is its integration with Dropbox, making upload and organization a breeze. Additionally, Vimeo gives users the ability to pause an upload and resume uploading at a later time. 

Bonus– whether you’re a subscriber or not, the staff at Vimeo have created Vimeo University for serious and aspiring Vimeographers; here’s an example from their vast collection.


The Wrap Up

By using YouTube and Vimeo in tandem, you’ll have the best features of both platforms. Exploit YouTube for video promotion, and Vimeo to house your quality content. As YouTube is over-saturated and oftentimes a website for killing time, save your longer uploads, full-length features, demo reels and other important uploads for Vimeo. Use YouTube to funnel in the traffic, and people actually interested in your brand, product, message, or artistic uploads will follow the YouTube advertisement over to your Vimeo hosted video. Fused with YouTube for short promos to filter out passive viewers, Vimeo will give you a real-time update on target audience demographics.  Appropriately, no battle exists between these two video hosting providers but your business will be sure to gain the upper hand of this powerful alliance.

 More for Vimeo Fans

 Customize the Vimeo video player for your important uploads, and embed these on your website as opposed to the Youtube promos. It will look far more professional for you to have neatly organized videos, all sharing the same video player, custom logo embedded into each and every one of them giving your site an air of sophistication. Also remember that with Pro account, you are entitled to diligent and friendly customer service. Vimeo guarantees a 4-hour response window for any customer inquiries for Plus, and within 1 hour for Pro, granted it’s on a business day (Eastern time).

With a Pro Vimeo account you reap even more benefits. With 1,000 GB of upload space a year (at 20 GB a week) it is fair to assume you’ll be challenged to max storage. Pro will give you immediate tablet, mobile and connected TV compatibility. Vimeo provides you the option to make money using the Vimeo Creator services, and or to sell views of your content using Vimeo’s “On Demand” feature.

Vimeo Pro also offers hosted portfolio sites, complete with SEO optimization. Plus Vimeo Pro offers HTML 5 support with its universal Vimeo player, as well as third party video player support. And to cap it all off, a pro account comes with online storage for your original video files – keep your computer running efficiently and save some space!

At 50% off an annual Vimeo Plus membership or $17/per month for a Vimeo Pro membership, it is truly a worthy investment to upgrade your Vimeo account. Upgrading will give you more insight into your audience, more customization capabilities, unlimited groups, channels, and albums to organize your uploads, and the professional aesthetic any budding filmmaker needs to start landing those big Hollywood director gigs. 




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