Vimeo vs. YouTube

vimeo-youtube-1Since YouTube was acquired by Google, it’s become one of the most popular platforms for all kinds of content creators. By most estimates, YouTube is now the #2 largest search engine behind Google itself.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the only option. One alternative is Vimeo, with an estimated 170 million monthly viewers. That’s a fraction of YouTube’s traffic, but Vimeo still has a passionate following.

Both can be helpful for getting your message out, whether you have a B2B or B2C focus. But don’t expect identical results: YouTube and Vimeo are very different, and one may work better than other.

Let’s compare the two platforms:

The Biggest Factor – Different Audiences


YouTube is everywhere – and it attracts a broad cross-section of Internet users. From kids to teens to adults, everyone is at least a little familiar with YouTube. Unfortunately, that means feedback you get on videos will be a mixed bag. YouTube’s attempt to clean up by associating comments with Google Plus profiles have had mixed results, too.

If you’re focused on constructive feedback, Vimeo offers a more consistently mature audience. Vimeo skews older, and its users appreciate high production values. Vimeo’s base is also concentrated more closely within the United States, which could important to your brand outreach. You’ll find relatively few “trolls” on Vimeo.

Membership Tiers, Features, and Support

When it comes to reaching an audience at minimal cost, YouTube has an advantage. Although it offers many tools to monetize your videos, you’ll never have to pay a fee to access or use YouTube itself. It includes unlimited storage and uploads for all users – the $10 paid service, “YouTube Red,” is just for viewing videos without ads.

To fully engage on Vimeo, you’ll probably have to invest in a subscription. Including its free “Basic” membership, it has three plans to choose from. “Basic” membership only allows one high-definition video upload each week, limited to a maximum file size of 500MB – not much if you want video as a cornerstone of your marketing. Vimeo’s high-dollar “Pro” membership also includes VIP support.

Analytics – Bread and Butter of Scientific Marketing

These days, businesses of all sizes are unlocking the potential of analytics for getting the most impact from marketing campaigns. For all but the simplest projects, you need insights from analytics to find out what’s working and focus your efforts. Both YouTube and Vimeo offer their users analytics, but those on YouTube might be easier to use if you’re already familiar with Google’s analytics products.

When all is said and done, Vimeo and YouTube both have a lot to offer. Pick one, dive in, and make video part of your marketing mix this year!