At TechSmith, our goal is to help content creators take advantage of the power of video in their daily jobs.
But, making the video is just half of the equation.
Choosing where you host your video content is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the planning process.
Today, we pit YouTube vs. Vimeo!
What is the difference between YouTube and Vimeo?
Two of the most popular hosting platforms today are YouTube and Vimeo. They’re both great options for hosting. We offer YouTube outputs from Snagit and Camtasia, and Vimeo from Camtasia (Windows only). TechSmith Screencast is also a great hosting option, and has outputs from Snagit and Camtasia as well. These outputs make it simple to host your videos in the location of your preference.
There are some big differences when it comes to YouTube vs Vimeo and understanding those differences will help you select the right option for you.
The first question I always ask myself before I ever push record on my camera: who is my audience? You should ask yourself the same question because YouTube and Vimeo have different communities of users.
YouTube’s community is large, with over 1 billion users that watch hundreds of millions of hours of content – each day! With that many people comes risks. You may run into some questionable, highly offensive users that are not afraid to tell you exactly how they feel about your video.
YouTube’s larger audience produces more content, but keep in mind that quantity doesn’t always equal quality.
Vimeo has a much smaller community. Of its 170 million viewers, about 42 million are in the United States.
Vimeo’s community is generally very supportive, and has many users that offer more constructive feedback than you may find on YouTube.
Another notable distinction between the two is that with a smaller community, you will often find higher production values.
Vimeo offers four membership options: Plus, PRO, and Business, Premium. They each have different levels of storage and support as you can see in the chart below.
Vimeo does offer a basic, free membership, but it limits you to 500MB maximum storage per week.
Alternately, YouTube is completely free with unlimited storage when it comes to hosting. YouTube focuses on making money with their advertising, not monthly or yearly payment plans like Vimeo.
That said, YouTube offers a $9.99/month subscription service called YouTube Red, which allows you to view videos without ads.
In addition to being able to watch videos ad-free, you will also have access to a slate of original programming, the ability to download videos so you can watch offline later, as well as a music app.
Updating your videos
Have you ever uploaded a video, then realized you needed to make a change to it? Vimeo allows you to replace a video after it has been uploaded without losing that video’s stats. This can be very helpful if you realize you made a mistake in your video, or something like a name needs to be updated.
On the flip-side, when you upload your video to YouTube, it cannot be changed without completely deleting the file and re-uploading. This means that you will lose all of your views and stats in the process.
If you use YouTube, double and triple check spelling and content, because once you post it, you can’t fix it! I have been hoping for a long time that YouTube will activate this feature, but so far, it hasn’t happened.
YouTube will detect copyrighted music and images almost immediately upon upload, automatically disabling these elements if you don’t have permission to use them. This can help make sure you’re not infringing on a copyright unintentionally.
Vimeo on the other hand, isn’t as strict and won’t disable your content. If you choose Vimeo, be aware that it technically is stealing if you don’t own the rights to any media in your video. It is imperative to use good judgement when sharing your work.
You may notice that YouTube has ads all over the place both on the website and within the video player. As a marketer, you have tons of options to reach your specific audiences with highly targeted ads on YouTube, but as a viewer it can be overwhelming.
Vimeo takes pride in keeping their site free from ads and you won’t see one playing before, during, or after your content. This is because, as I said before, they make their money on memberships.
On the plus side, both sites offer a wide array of analytics for your video that can be extremely helpful when determining who is watching your video and how they are viewing it.
The downside is that you will have to be a Plus Vimeo member to receive the advanced analytic access (you can see a breakdown of stats available in Vimeo plans here.)
Both platforms offer stats on views, comments, likes, shares, total plays, and geographical data, but YouTube offers a little more.
YouTube also offers insight into traffic sources, gender, what devices your viewers are using, and audience retention. Another feature of YouTube is the ability to add annotations or “clickable hotspots” on top of your video that allows viewers to interact.
Vimeo offers password protected content. This can be great if you are reviewing content with clients and want to keep it hidden. Vimeo offers a variety of other privacy options as well.
So…. Where Should I Host?
In the end, it really depends on the audience you are trying to reach because both platforms offer great resources for businesses who are expanding into the world of digital video. There are also a lot of other online video platforms to choose from now, and finding the right one depends on the features and functionality you need for your videos.
Here is a reference chart comparing the features and functionality of Vimeo, YouTube and Screencast to summarize, and you can read a more in-depth comparison of these platforms here as well.
Where do you host your videos? Which features are most important to you? Let us know in the comments!
Note: This is an update of a post originally published November 2015. It has been updated to reflect changes to the hosting platforms.
*Sharing to YouTube from Snagit is only supported for video, not image files.
Vimeo is TM + © 2018 Vimeo, Inc. All rights reserved.
YouTube is © 2018 YouTube, LLC