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YouTube vs. Vimeo

There's always that long-standing question what should you use to host your videos. YouTube which is free and one of the world's most popular sites for video content or Vimeo, which can get pricey fast for the larger amount of content and the features you really want. In this article, we'll be exploring the positives and negatives of both platforms along with features and price. So without further ado, let's get started!

 

YouTube

YouTube needs no introduction. In 2016 over 3 billion hours of content was watched every month. The most popular channels have millions of subscribers, including gamer PewDiePie who has over 55 million subscribers to his gaming based channel. But, is YouTube any good for hosting content for your own website? Let's take a look.

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As with most platforms, videos can be set to public, private, or viewable but unlisted. Setting a video as unlisted means it won't show in search results. Though people can still share the video and send links to friends. This is when it becomes important to think about what type of content you want to host.

 

While YouTube is a great platform and there's no doubting that, is it really suitable for hosting business quality videos that are important to collect and gather information and appear professional? Most probably not.

 

For example if you want to host a video about a cool new feature you've just developed for your product, YouTube is most probably a great fit. Users can search and stumble upon your video without even meaning too, you'll get more coverage, and the views will rack up. BUT, If you had a private membership site on the other hand that hosted videos for paying subscribers YouTube most probably isn't the answer. Users could share the video with anyone they want, and you could lose out on revenue as a result.

Luckily that's where Vimeo comes in.

 

Vimeo

Vimeo for Business is the business based arm of Video hosting company, Vimeo. Offering a much wider range of options than YouTube. No branding and more all round professional experience for you and your visitors.

Unlike YouTube, though, Vimeo for business is far from free. Starting at £14/month which is billed annually. Going up to £40/month billed annually which is the option you really want to take. Or of course, there's what feels like the obligatory contact us to get a custom plan plan. What exactly do you get for all this money though? After all, it's hard to beat free.

On the basic plan called Vimeo Pro, to make it seem less basic (trust us it's pretty basic) you get 20GB of Video storage a week, Advanced Embed Options, Engagement graphs and custom calls to actions in the player. Upgrade yourself to the Vimeo Business plan, and you get up to 5TB of weekly storage, interaction cards to engage viewers, email capture, Sync functionality with email marketing software and more. Check out the plans here.

Why you want the Vimeo Business plan and not the Vimeo Pro plan is simple; The email capture.

This functionality allows you to capture viewers emails before, after or even during the video playback, growing your email list, helping leads and improving the bottom line. Pretty neat eh?

 

Don't feel bad though if you just end up with the Vimeo Pro plan though you still get the custom call to actions in the player which allows you to drive viewers to any custom destination. Perhaps add a "buy now" call to action to the end of your product video or redirect them to the landing page. The only limit is what you can think of.

Just like YouTube, though, you still have the same issue with Vimeo on membership sites of users sharing videos without your consent. While you can send secure links and password protect links. There's nothing to stop your users sharing the link and password with their friend. Or even just downloading it using a capturing tool. Ultimately though there isn't much that YouTube or Vimeo can do about this. While you could try and use some encryption software, for the price and hassle involved it most probably isn't worth it.

 

Positives And Negatives
YouTube

Positives

  • Free with no limits
  • Easy to use interface and embed options
  • Option to unlist videos from public search
  • Largest Video Platform in the world

Negatives

  • No Video Sharing Protection
  • Appears less professional for serious business users
  • No Paid support
  • No engagement options for videos
  • Lack of advanced stats
Vimeo

Positives

  • Advanced stats and Google Analytics integration
  • Engagement and CTA tools including email capture
  • Multiple integrations with popular providers
  • Dedicated Customer Support
  • Advanced embed options and video protection

Negatives

  • Need the most expensive plan to get mailing list integration
  • Basic plan is just that quite basic, lacking storage
  • 5TB storage limit which may not be enough for some

 

Verdict

While YouTube is an excellent choice for anyone on a budget, if you are a professional business, Vimeo is the way to go. With more advanced options, built in email capture functionality and much more, you won't regret joining up.

Have you used YouTube over Vimeo before? Perhaps there's a different Video Hosting platform you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

Jack Kitterhing is a WordPress developer from England. His love of WordPress began at age 11 when he set up his first blog. After a stint as WPMU DEV's Project and Quality Assurance Manager, he's now a Software Developer at Themeco.
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