Vimeo is YouTube’s closest competitor, but it’s not a YouTube clone. Because there are very real differences between the two, you might find that Vimeo is sometimes the better choice for your videos.
Prestige – When someone says, “YouTube video,” what do you think of?
And when someone else says, “Vimeo video,” what do you think of now?
Anything and everything is on YouTube. There are no quality filters to speak of which is why anything and everything is uploaded there, including junk.
But Vimeo is strict about what it allows to be posted.
This is good and bad for you. While you can’t post just anything on Vimeo, what you can post will automatically be considered higher quality and more prestigious than if you posted it on YouTube.
Staff Pick Potential – Vimeo loves high-quality and one of the ways they show it is to select certain videos to receive the Staff Pick badge of honor. Entire video careers have been launched after being discovered by curators on Vimeo.
Technical Quality – YouTube processes 500 hours of footage every single minute. Is it any wonder why they have to prioritize compression speed over compression quality?
But because Vimeo has stricter guidelines for acceptable videos, its processing load is far lighter which means the quality is far better.
Try uploading the same video to both YouTube and Vimeo at the same resolution, and then see which version looks better.
Better Audiences – because Vimeo is picky about what can be uploaded to their site, it attracts a more sophisticated and engaged audience than YouTube.
Youtubers are notorious for short attention spans, whereas Vimeo viewers will watch entire films of slower, more thoughtful content.
Even the comments are better on Vimeo, with more mature, insightful thoughts being left for the video creator.
Features – Vimeo has some practical advantages over YouTube as well. For example:
Replace video but keep URL: If you update a video on YouTube, you lose all of your likes, comments and stats. But on Vimeo, you can upload a new video while keeping the same URL, the same comments, stats and likes, and without breaking any embeds on third-party sites.
Passwords – Vimeo lets you set passwords on any video, so that only people with the password can view it. YouTube does not have this feature.
Membership videos – You can set which domain(s) are allowed to embed your videos on a per-video basis. This way you can hide your videos from the public and only allow access on a particular site, such as a membership site.
Branding the web player – Embedded Youtube videos always look the same and they always end with a myriad of suggestions you did not choose. But Vimeo lets you alter the appearance of the web player with your own logo and branding, making it look fantastic on your website.
Pay-per-view – with Vimeo on Demand, viewers pay to watch your videos. You keep 90% of the revenue and there are no ads.
You pay for no ads – While YouTube is funded by ads, Vimeo has several video plans to choose from, starting at free and going up to $75 a month.
Between YouTube and Vimeo, which is the right choice for you? That depends on your goals. If you want to crank out videos quickly to reach as many people as possible, YouTube is likely your choice.
If you want to embed to a membership site, charge for quality content, restrict who sees your videos or focus on short films, documentaries and interviews, then Vimeo might be your answer.
With YouTube you can get more views, and with Vimeo you can get more engagement. You decide which one works for you, or better still, use both as needed.