By now, just about everyone knows how important videos are to any brand—one-third of all online activity is in fact spent watching videos. Something not as many may be privy to though, is that just making a good video isn’t where the journey should end.
To best ensure goals are met, picking a suitable video sharing platform to host these videos are vital. These platforms are how brands share their video content: they play a major role in determining growth, reach, and overall success, in whatever metrics the company uses. Although Youtube is the mainstream option for most, they may not necessarily fit your needs—you may notice that some companies instead host their videos on the smaller, niche platform Vimeo.
If you’re stumped on why and where you should host yours, read on. We’ve compared the pros and cons of both for you ahead to help you decide!
This digital platform mammoth needs no introduction. Not only is it the biggest video sharing site, but is also the second most used social media platform worldwide. Viewers can find almost any kind of video on here, from professional brand videos to hobbyists dabbling in video editing and vlogging. As a free-to-use service, users can create and watch videos, engaging with them through comments, sharing, creating playlists, and subscribing to channels for more content.
Although a much smaller platform, Vimeo is nothing to cough at with 175 million active members worldwide. This platform was launched in 2004 by a group of filmmakers, and differs from Youtube in that the site is geared more towards artists and content creators. Over the years, it has cultivated a reputation for professionally crafted videos, with more than 60 million creators using the site. It further separates itself from Youtube through offering software as a service (SaaS) by providing subscription plans to businesses and content creators.
Now that you’re more familiar with both platforms, let’s get right into it.
Best search optimisation: Youtube
Youtube clearly beats out Vimeo in this aspect, no questions asked. Youtube is beyond just a giant in the online video landscape: it is also the second largest search engine on the internet, behind its parent company Google. It is no surprise then that Google favours videos on Youtube beyond any other platform when it comes to ranking them on their search result pages. If your videos are crafted with a search query in mind, such as how-to videos, Youtube may be your answer. After all, Google’s page 2 is where content goes to die.
Best online community: It depends
If your goal is to reach wider audiences, Youtube would be your go-to. Regardless of your target audience, it’s highly likely that they use the site to whatever ends their interests lie in.
Capitalise on Youtube’s global status for more visibility and reach. One drawback to this platform however, is that videos on the site are more susceptible to unwanted or negative comments given that so many people use the platform and can also do so anonymously. As a worldwide hub for online videos, you’ll also have to face more competition for views.
In comparison, Vimeo brands itself as a tool by professionals, for professionals. The user community appears to be more mature and knowledgeable, making it a fantastic site to get feedback and make industry connections on your videos. This is not the site you’d want to consider otherwise, as audience development here is an uphill battle because people don’t hop from video to video as they do on YouTube.
Best cost: It depends
If money is on the mind, Youtube wins by a long shot. It’s a free to use service, but at a price: ads. Youtube is infamous for having ads plastered all over the site, from banner ads to mid-play ads—some of them unskippable! You can get rid of them through a subscription to Youtube Premium, but there isn’t too much of an incentive to do so considering an ad-free experience appears to be its biggest perk.
The bright side here is that brands can monetise their account through AdSense, although this means bombarding viewers with even more ads. If you can’t beat them, join them, right?
However, if you don’t mind paying for good service, Vimeo will make your money’s worth. This platform monetises itself through offering subscription plans, doing away with the need for ads entirely. Users can still use the platform with their free tier, but much of its appeal lies beneath that paywall. Its paid tiers (Plus, Pro, Premium, and Enterprise) grant users access to different levels of storage, support, analytics, and professional privacy.
Best creator tools: Vimeo
When it comes to creator tools, it’s no competition. More than Youtube’s basic privacy settings (public/private/unlisted), Vimeo offers a whole arsenal of tools at users’ disposal. The biggest win? Users can replace previously published videos without having to lose their analytics, so if you notice a mistake in your video or just need to update it for whatever reason, you can use the same link!
Their privacy settings are also impressively nuanced, with the option of password-protected videos and subscriber-only videos. You can also hide videos from the Vimeo community—something extremely useful if your video is embedded on your website, for example, and you want it to only be viewable on it.
Vimeo also takes aesthetics into account: their video player is customisable with hex colour customisation and the option to include a custom player logo. Default customisation changes will also automatically update all previously embedded videos!
Best quality: Vimeo
Geared towards creatives, the eye for detail here is no surprise. Users can upload high quality videos without fear of compression, something Youtube is known for doing. Overall, Vimeo uses a higher bitrate than YouTube and supports higher sound quality too, supporting 320kbps.
To cut a long story short, Youtube is best for videos poised to hit business goals, especially those that aim to hit broader audiences, search optimisation, and ads. Vimeo is then your best friend when it comes to building a creative, niche community.
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