One of the interesting subplots in the war for digital video content is YouTube vs Vimeo. While YouTube is the absolute king of video content, Vimeo has a pretty nice niche it continues to build from.

If you’re a content creator, having options is always great - and in truth, both sites offer different benefits and have different drawbacks. While most casual users will find YouTube more than enough, for anyone business focused, Vimeo may be the right choice. It does come down to what features appeal to you most. So, let’s run through the features in the battle of YouTube vs Vimeo.

The Benefits of YouTube

YouTube is by far the biggest video platform online. Over one billion users use YouTube, and is the 2nd largest website in the world (second only to Google). That traffic comes directly from the site being such a great place for creators and for viewers. The benefits of YouTube include:

  • Massive user group searching for the content you’re creating. That makes it easier to get eyes on your content, with people that want to consume it.
  • The ability to monetize your account through AdSense revenue share.
  • The ability to disable ads through a paid service called YouTube Red. For $10USD a month, you get several benefits including an ad-free experience.
  • Access to incredible analytics. Every little bit of information about how people consume your content can be found in the analytics section.
  • Robust content management system. It’s very easy to control your content from the backend. You can delete, hide, schedule or delay content to your own desires.

The Drawbacks of YouTube

YouTube does have some significant downsides. While the benefits outweigh the negatives, the drawbacks are things to consider. It’s also important to know as a creator before you decide which platform is for you.

  • To keep the service free, YouTube is plastered with ads. You will see banner ads, pre-roll ads and mid-play ads. Some video ads are skippable.
  • The comments section on YouTube can often devolve into a hate fest. That can sour an experience on the platform, especially for new or younger creators.
  • Despite the incredible analytics - the way it’s presented would need a full time staff to disseminate.
  • Significant competition on site. While YouTubers don’t tend to see each other as competition, the reality is everyone wants to grab more viewers. As such, the sheer volume of content and major creators makes it difficult to grow and gets eyes on your videos.

The Benefits of Vimeo

Vimeo is by no means a digital slouch. It’s the 130th most popular website in the world meaning not only does it have a massive audience, but it’s widely known. Vimeo also has some definite advantages. The benefits of Vimeo include:

  • Vimeo’s platform for uploads offers high quality video - but, with a paid “Pro” account, your video quality will be even better. It’s something they call “Priority”.
  • Vimeo’s Pro account analytics are some of the best around. It’s easy to understand and learn from viewer behavior.
  • As the site generally has a more ‘business’ feel to it, the comments section are kinder than YouTube.
  • Vimeo allows you to sub-in a video. If you upload a video, and then want to make a small edit to it, you can re upload the video in place of the current one. You keep your stats/view counts etc.
  • No ‘ContentID’ system. Vimeo has a somewhat lax policy on copyright content. Instead, it relies on requests from copyright holders to remove content.

The Drawbacks of Vimeo

Vimeo hasn’t had the massive success that YouTube has had. That’s because Vimeo has positioned itself more as a business video host, rather than a social video host. If you’re a creator wanting an audience, that’s going to be the biggest drawback of Vimeo.

  • While Vimeo does have the free version, to get the most of the site you need to pay for a Pro account.
  • Vimeo has a bandwidth cap on how much video you can upload annually (even on the paid account). Free accounts offer 25GB/year (max 500mb/week), while the Vimeo Pro account is 1TB/year (max 20GB/week).
  • Audience development is very difficult on Vimeo. The fact that people don’t congregate around the site, going from video to video is a major downside. Besides that, it doesn’t have the same search functionality that YouTube has - making discoverability more difficult.
  • The lack of monetization on Vimeo makes it a hard sell if you’re wanting to make it your business. But on the bright side, your viewers won’t see ads?

The battle between YouTube vs Vimeo comes down to how you want to use it. For businesses, the clear winner for high quality content is Vimeo. For creatives, the answer might not be so clear. While finding an audience on YouTube is easier, Vimeo does offer some interesting features. You should try both sites before you decide which one is for you. Best case scenario - upload to both and give your content two possibilities to get found!