As a video creator, it’s paramount that your content is hosted somewhere that it will be appreciated and thrive. Luckily for you, video hosts are bountiful and you’re not stuck with only one or two options, though it can sometimes seem like it. The two most popular video hosts, YouTube and Vimeo, have many similarities, but their differences allow them to stand out from one another – notable are the audiences and ways you make money on the platforms.
On top of creating your own video website, finding the right video host is incredibly important, as it’s where your audience will primarily find you. It may be easy to just assume that YouTube’s popularity will be the ultimate answer due to its larger user base, but there are more than a few factors that you should take into consideration before choosing between YouTube and Vimeo. Here are the major differences between the two popular video hosts.
Vimeo can be seen are a more professional, curated version of YouTube. That of which has fewer videos and users. Its audience leans towards the more creative crowd vs the general mainstream one, which can be quite useful depending on your niche. One of the easiest ways to see the differences between the two video platforms is to look at the comments. If you’ve uploaded a video to YouTube, there’s a chance you’ve been genuinely offended by some of the comments left on it, and that’s because the comments can be absolute garbage. With Vimeo, comments have a significantly more tame and constructive vibe to them. You can (loosely) look at it this way: If Vimeo is where you upload the final cut of your film, YouTube is where you upload your blooper reel.
As long as your video isn’t too “extra” — Not too: graphic, gruesome, or sexy, it’s pretty much a shoe-in. Though it doesn’t condone welcome snuff films or explicit content, Vimeo is more lenient. As long as the “extra” is in the sake of art and that is its primary purpose, it’s technically fair game. This is a smart stance for the platform. With its audience generally more mature than YouTube’s, it’s policy is equally mature and relies on trust.
Unless you opt for YouTube Premium, there’s a good chance you’ve grown accustomed to the barrage of ads with the platform. From banner ads to pre-roll ads, it’s just a part of the platform. This is also the only way for YouTubers to officially make money on the platform. For Vimeo, things are vastly different. In order to start making money off your videos, you will first need to be on a specific paid plan or higher. Once you’ve accomplished that, you can choose how you’d like to offer your videos: rent, buy, or subscription.
Out of the gate, Vimeo offers up a few more privacy options for your videos than what you’ll find on YouTube. For starters, it gives you the ability to password protect a video. The closest thing YouTube has to offer is an unlisted video that simply does not show up in search results and can only be viewed if you are given the link to it. Password protection adds a sense of privacy that many would prefer. Another nifty option Vimeo offers is the ability to share your video with your followers only.
Free vs paid accounts
Vimeo offers both free and paid accounts, with the primary differences between all of them being the storage capacities. Plans are broken down to the following: Free, Plus, Pro, Business, and Premium. The further you go up, the more advanced features and capabilities you can get. For example, a free Vimeo account allows a user to upload 500MB of video per week with a total storage cap of 5GB and contains banner ads where the plan above it, Video Pro, kills the ads and the 5GB total storage cap, and allows 5GB of video to be uploaded per week. You can find a further breakdown of all Vimeo’s paid plans right here, written by yours truly.
YouTube doesn’t offer a paid version that benefits creators, meaning that all features are available for all accounts (as long as the account is in good standing, etc.), including unlimited storage, which is hard to compete with.
There isn’t much to be said here. Both platforms offer relatively powerful analytics options so you can see how your videos are performing, but YouTube offers these for free and you have to pay to take advantage of Vimeo’s full analytics suite. Just something to keep in mind.
Side note: With Vimeo, you can completely replace an old video with a new one without affecting it’s URL or any stats, which is very very cool.
Embedding videos on your website
At some point, you’ll probably want to put your video on your website. With Wix Video, you can easily add and live stream your YouTube or Vimeo videos to your website and completely customize the player experience. For whatever reason, you can also choose to embed the video through HTML given to you by each of the video hosts if you prefer. This is, after all, what this section is about: embedding videos via HTML.
YouTube offers you a no frills way to add the video to a website, with only a handful of things to change. It remains to be seen if the lack of customization options are simply a frustrating way to get the end user to click the title link and view the directly from YouTube itself, but to say that it’s player settings are minimal would be an understatement. Vimeo apparently noticed this and offers the exact opposite. For a price, of course. Vimeo allows you to change colors, add your logo, opt for domain-level privacy, add playback speed controls, and capture email addresses on the video player if you’re on it’s Business or Pro plans.
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