Youtube vs. Vimeo: Choosing a Video Platform

Once you make a video, the next question is where to post it. Each video platform on the web has different advantages, depending on what you’re looking for. Two of the most popular ones are Youtube and Vimeo. Continue reading on to our comparison to decide which of these is a better video platform for your business:




Budget: Low
Clutter: High
Key Benefit: Reach


YouTube is the easiest and most obvious choice for a variety of reasons. With more than 2 billion users visiting the site each month, it has the most traffic and largest reach of any video hosting site. If you want your video to be searchable on Google, it certainly doesn’t hurt that Google owns YouTube. In addition, YouTube is free and you can upload as many videos as your heart desires. You can also customize your channel’s look to reflect your brand. There is even the option to pay to promote your videos to help increase views.


Despite all of this, YouTube is not always the best choice, especially for small and medium sized businesses. The ease, flexibility, and budget-friendliness of YouTube can be a plus, but it also means that anyone can post. The site is cluttered with distractions, both in the form of other videos and advertisements.


Sometimes it is hard to stand out when your high-end, professionally-produced video is competing for views with low-end homemade pieces and all of your competitors’ videos. Also, every video has ads (which is why users can post for free), meaning there’s always the chance a competitor’s advertisement will appear with your video. And although YouTube has a built-in analytics tool (Insight), the interface is still relatively basic in its capabilities.




Additionally, a new feature to Youtube is censorship. According to The Sun, Youtube is now, “putting videos into a ‘limited state’ if they are deemed controversial enough to be considered objectionable, but not hateful, pornographic or violent enough to be banned altogether.” Those who are successful Youtubers for a living won’t be recognized or payed by Youtube if they display controversial or potentially racy material. If you’re someone who doesn’t produce PG videos, then this may no longer be the right platform for you.


All in all, Youtube is a great video platform for SEO (search engine optimization), reach, and familiarity purposes. When you hear of a video going viral – your first instinct is probably that it’s on Youtube.




Budget: Medium
Clutter: Low
Key Benefit: B2B Outreach


If you care more about image than reach, Vimeo might be the site for you. Vimeo has built a reputation as a high quality video platform where users are much more likely to find professionally-produced videos. In addition, Vimeo offers “complete customization,” meaning you can embed your logo and branding into the player itself. The analytics tool Vimeo offers tends to be viewed more favorably than YouTube’s. Paid users can even choose to disable in-video advertising, minimizing distractions to more easily convey a message.


Of course, in comparison to YouTube, Vimeo only has about 13% of the user base, with around 240 million unique users each month. Additionally, budget conscious potential users should be aware that many of Vimeo’s best features are only available to paying users. In fact, if you plan to promote a product or service with your videos, Vimeo requires that you have a paid Vimeo Pro account. There are also Vimeo Business and Vimeo Premium accounts. Each upgrade gets increasingly more expensive (with premium being $75 per month), but the more you pay, the more benefits you receive. Needless to say, costs can grow very quickly.


Overall, Vimeo is successful in engaging a community of users, allowing people to create their own channels, start groups, and organize videos into albums. There is much less clutter and distractions compared to Youtube, so you are much more likely to hold the attention of your viewers. It is a well-respected site for serious videographers and cinematographers who want to share their high-quality videos.

Updated on February 10, 2020.

Jaclyn Rosenberg, Content Creation at Green Buzz Agency. Alanna Goodman and Emily Herman contributed to this post.