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YouTube vs Vimeo – Which Video Hosting Platform is Best?

Online video content continues to offer a highly effective and flexible method of communicating the stories of your company, product or service. 

It can be used to achieve many things, from spreading the word about a new product, to generally offering your viewers a straightforward way to familiarise themselves with your company brand and values.

Why video marketing?

The increasing number of evolving, popular social media platforms have fundamentally changed the way parents, children, young adults, students, professionals and consumers access information. 

While initially envisaged purely as a social media tool, big business soon caught onto the power this emerging communications tactic can have when building brands and creating an engaged community of consumers.

What’s more, the science suggests video is social media’s most reliably engaging content-type. This type of content is therefore no longer limited to videos on your website or presented in the boardroom. 

Opportunities exist everywhere for smart and creative video content that will help to build brands and create customer loyalty.

Savvy corporations have long recognised the proven ability of high quality videos to capture and maintain audience attention. 

An increasing number of SMEs and their marketing pros have therefore been playing an enthusiastic game of catch-up, harnessing the power of the moving image to meet organisational goals including growth, reach, profit, reputation and operational success.

The rise and rise of video content has resulted in a number of online video hosting sites quickly establishing themselves as important and effective ways for video production specialists to store and share content within a common space. 

People and organisations using such hosting platforms might include social media managers, marketing and communications executives, key business decision-makers, filmmakers, and many more … particularly if one of the primary objectives is to reach the broadest audience possible.  

Below, we take a look at two of the largest, most well-known online video sharing options. Their names should come as little surprise and are, of course, YouTube and Vimeo.

The people behind these two popular and pretty universally known video platforms recognised early how they could enable sharing of content, but in two unique ways.

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YouTube vs Vimeo – How similar are they?

First up, let’s consider the similarities … both are video sharing platforms that invite users from around the world to upload their original video content. 

Both allow you to measure views and create playlists, as well as enabling users to view content uploaded by others, thus fostering a community with similar interests and passions.

YouTube vs Vimeo – What sets them apart?

The major distinction between these two platforms is that YouTube is a social media site that helps viewers discover user-created videos. Vimeo, meanwhile, is a hosting platform designed to allow serious video creatives to upload content and organise playlists.

A deeper look beyond the surface reveals a number of other differences between the two, with some analysts placing them at opposite ends of the video sharing spectrum. 

Learning the pros and cons of each will help make sure once you have the content you’re happy with, you can make an informed choice of video hosting service that will best serve your business and your brand. 

Access, reach & SEO

The fact ‘YouTubing’ has almost become an adjective should be more than sufficient to demonstrate its status as the reigning King or Queen of online video hosting! Its consequently massive following brings the potential for huge audiences to be exposed to uploaded content. 

People visit YouTube to learn new things, catch up on vintage television clips, check out independent short films, listen to classic and new music, or simply to head down one of those all-too-familiar YouTube video rabbit holes during which you promise yourself, “Just one more video” before bed.

This leads us to the question of reach. When comparing YouTube and Vimeo, there really is no comparison when you look at the numbers. YouTube’s two billion monthly users eclipse Vimeo’s comparatively tiny 240 million viewers, and 90 million registered users. The lesson? If maximum reach is what you’re looking for, YouTube is the obvious choice.

This also goes for search engine optimisation. You only have to look at YouTube’s visitation stats to realise that! YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet, right behind its parent company Google. 

And thanks to Google’s preferencing of YouTube content over videos from elsewhere on the web, a video hosted on YouTube stands a much better chance of being discovered organically. 

As a caveat, however, the smaller audience size found on Vimeo means its content has a much better chance of getting noticed by other Vimeo users, in particular the sorts of niche communities that tend to showcase their achievements on this platform.

As an additional string to its bow, Vimeo is also ad-free, making it the most appropriate platform for storing, hosting and watching feature-length documentaries and movies. 

In terms of access, it’s also worth noting another plus for Vimeo is that its videos do not carry the same risk of being blocked by firewalls as videos originating from YouTube.

Storage capacity and cost of use

YouTube is free to all users, even businesses, and offers unlimited capacity when it comes to storage … understandably a big draw for the budget conscious business.

Vimeo charges are based on a tiered pricing model, ranging from a free basic plan to a $50 per month package. 

The free option includes 500MB of storage per week, and is predominantly aimed at independent filmmakers. With the most costly package (i.e. $50 per month), users can store 5TB total, with no weekly limits. This package is quite clearly designed with businesses in mind. 


The great news is that when it comes to video quality both YouTube and Vimeo are pretty safe bets. After all there’s a reason they’re the two most known and trusted video hosting platforms on the web!

However, if we had to back one of the two for audio and visual quality, Vimeo would take the prize for both. Visual quality is crisp and clear, while YouTube footage can sometimes appear slightly blurry. 

Audio quality is also superior on the lesser-known Vimeo platform, which is equipped to support sound up to 320Kbps.

The drawback with Vimeo, however, is that to take advantage of its highest-quality video and audio options, users must subscribe to one of the platform’s paid plans.


This all brings us neatly to the point of community! There is no doubt that YouTube offers video content creators a simple and convenient way to upload a video and share it with the world. The content is not limited to anything in particular, making this site the internet’s “hub” for all things video-related. 

More than 2 billion users visit YouTube every single month, with in excess of one billion hours worth of content watched by video-hungry users daily.

***Fun fact! Following Google, YouTube is the most visited place on the net!!!***

However, as alluded to above, high exposure levels in a space as cluttered and eclectic as YouTube isn’t necessarily a positive thing for all business users. 

We’ve already touched on the fight for attention amongst such a high volume of content, but an additional concern might be around exposing your business to greater scrutiny and unwelcome negative comments in response to your video. 

The more modest Vimeo community comprises 90 per cent of users actively paying for a subscription plan, meaning they tend to look upon it as a tool created by professionals and enthusiasts, in support of fellow professionals and enthusiasts. 

Vimeo’s niche audience base comprises filmmakers who tend to want a place to come together and share, discuss and critique one another’s work. 

Privacy and control

Vimeo and YouTube offer various privacy settings to determine and potentially restrict who can view your content. 

Both platforms offer options to set videos to private or public, but Vimeo is widely accepted as offering more nuanced and specific privacy options. 

Vimeo users select from options such as “Anyone”, “Only me”, “Only people I follow” and “Only people I choose”. What’s more, premium plan Vimeo users can create password-protected videos or private links. This option is ideal for professionals who need to share videos privately.

Essentially, how your video content can be discovered on Vimeo and by who is entirely in your hands. 

YouTube, meanwhile, offers three basic privacy settings – public, unlisted and private. Unlisted videos can only be accessed with the correct URL, while private videos can only be viewed by the uploader and their specified users. 

Mobile devices

It may surprise you to learn that a whopping 70 per cent of all YouTube views come from some kind of mobile device. 

The official YouTube app probably has a lot to do with this, due to its own dominance in the mobile streaming space. It performs even more successfully than big streaming players like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+.

Even though videos uploaded to Vimeo are fully optimised for mobile viewing, YouTube still comes out on top, meaning if your audience enjoys absorbing information on-the-go, YouTube could be the option for you.

Support and moderation

When it comes to support, there is no doubt for businesses that Vimeo is the clear front runner. 

The business model of the platform is designed to generate revenue directly from creators, as opposed to the advertising model used by YouTube and other competitors in the online video hosting space. 

To achieve this, Vimeo’s clear point-of-difference is its commitment to offering various levels of high-quality technical business support, including a combination of phone calls and online chat. This support helps to swiftly resolve any issues and ensures businesses get the best out of the platform.

It is Vimeo’s willingness to share its own expertise with companies that don’t necessarily have the same experience in-house and helps transform what could be a confusing space into something more user-friendly and less overwhelming.

On the other hand, while YouTube does offer written resources and access to a crowded support community, it certainly is not the place for timely support, tailored to particular needs or specific issues.


Both platforms have user-friendly analytics dashboards, which can provide useful insights to inform decisions around future video productions.

YouTube has an indisputable advantage here, with all analytics offered for free. Vimeo, meanwhile, offers useful and compelling data, but anything over and above the basics carries an extra cost.

Paying Vimeo users receive an overview of metrics like impressions, plays and likes. Diving deeper, analytics can determine viewer location, aspects of each video they may have skipped or stopped watching altogether, and other datasets such as traffic source and device type. 

It can even offer insights into your video’s performance on social media channels, recording every like and share. All of the above can be extracted in the form of useful, customisable reports.

Even though it’s all free, YouTube goes one step further by offering the same features, alongside more advanced options such as number of views and subscribers, age, gender, and audience retention, as well as the number of videos shared, dwell time, traffic sources, click through rates, and much more. It also breaks stats down by video and channel.

So, how do I know which video sharing platform is right for my business and content?

The two platforms analysed above by experts in video production in Melbourne have varying advantages and disadvantages, meaning what’s right for telling the stories of one business might not be right for another. 

Your ultimate decision will depend on many things, for instance purpose, audience, the potential for interaction, and budget, amongst other considerations.

By taking the time to learn about the pros and cons of each, as well as considering exactly what you’re hoping to achieve through your video content strategy, you will equip yourself with knowledge that will help make sure you make an informed choice about which platform will best serve you, your business, and your brand.

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