Well, the answer’s easy… but this is an SEO-focused blog so we can’t just jump straight to it. Besides, I’m lying, it’s not easy at all – or is that the SEO talking?
No, no, it’s not easy. There are definite benefits to each platform and, as usual, the answer depends on what your objectives are for your content. We love YouTube for its SEO benefits but adore Vimeo for its ease of use and higher-quality content.
Each tool has pro and cons so we’re going to highlight some below and hopefully help you decide.
THE ALL-IMPORTANT VIDEO QUALITY
Vimeo definitely wins the quality game, there’s simply no competition here. Not only does Vimeo use a higher bitrate than YouTube, it supports higher sound quality too. That said, you’d need a paid plan to unlock all these benefits.
Crucially though, the same video uploaded on both Vimeo and YouTube will be of a higher quality on Vimeo. For YouTube, it’s a quantity over quality argument because the number of uploads the platform receives each day means heavily compressed video, and a loss in video quality.
Verdict: If you’re uploading a cinematic masterpiece, then Vimeo’s the one.
VIDEO EDITING AND CREATION
Vimeo allows you to customise the basics like title, tags, add cards and endscreens. You can also customise time stamps.
On top of this, since acquiring easy-to-use video editor Magisto, you can now utilise the Vimeo Create feature. This is a hugely handy tool for those without much video editing experience.
YouTube’s video editor provides the same options as Vimeo but you can also add customisable links to videos, as well as trim videos, add music and blur out faces or objects.
Today, it’s all about live streaming though and both platforms offer this feature, although Vimeo only allows live streaming on their Premium and Enterprise plans unlike YouTube, who offer it for free.
Verdict: New video editors will love Vimeo’s easy video creation but YouTube wins on video editing and live streaming.
UPDATING AND REUPLOADING VIDEOS
One of our favourite features of Vimeo is that you can edit a video, reupload it and not lose any stats nor do you have to change the video URL. It’s a great benefit to be able to make edits to ensure your content stays evergreen.
It’s a feature not matched by YouTube, sadly. If you want to upload a new video, you’ll lose your stats like view count and your video will have a new URL. You can only perform minor edits like trimming once your video is uploaded into YouTube.
Verdict: Vimeo is the clear winner here.
NUMBER OF USERS
There’s no real comparison here. As one of the world’s biggest website, and the second largest search engine, YouTube boasts more than 2 billion monthly users against Vimeo’s 230 million monthly users.
Verdict: The numbers speak for themselves. If you’re looking for reach, YouTube’s the place to be.
Here at Nifty, we use YouTube video content to great affect in our SEO strategies, so we may be a little biased.
Don’t forget YouTube is owned by Google and as we’ve already mentioned is the world’s second largest search engine behind its parent company.
If you’re looking to boost your SEO with video tailored to a specific search query, then in the battle of YouTube vs Vimeo there can be only one winner – YouTube.
Not only will your SEO-specific video appear in search results directly on YouTube, it will also appear on Google, which seems to favour videos posted onto YouTube over other video-loading platforms.
Verdict: What’s Vimeo?!
Although we use video embedding for our SEO strategies, and often opt for YouTube videos in this scenario given its juicy SEO credentials, Vimeo is a great tool for embedding content too.
Vimeo simply offers more control when it comes to embedding. You can choose where videos can be embedded and even restrict embedding to your own website. You can also customise the web player with your own branding.
Meanwhile, YouTube is more restrictive. You can turn off embedding of your videos, for instance, but this will also apply to your own website and you have no control over branding.
Verdict: If SEO isn’t your end goal, Vimeo is probably best.
YouTube is free because the platform makes money by running ads, although users do have the option of switching ads off by subscribing to YouTube Red, which also allows users to access YouTube original shows.
As a content creator, you can upload as many videos as you like for free on YouTube while Vimeo’s business model is different. Vimeo makes its money by selling a video-hosting service, meaning content creators can offer their viewers an ad-free experience.
Vimeo does start with a free plan, which is limited to 500MB of storage per week and 25GB per year. That’s not a huge amount of space for regular content creators but is better than a kick in the face, obviously. From there you can join either Vimeo Plus, Pro or Business plans, ranging from $7 a month up to $50, with the entry option offering 5GB of storage a week.
Verdict: YouTube may have ads but is the best option for regular content creators.
Thanks to its paid packages, Vimeo offers tiers of technical support that can be crucial for businesses with little video expertise.
Meanwhile, YouTube offers plenty of free help documentation and access to a (crowded) support community but the experience isn’t really comparable to Vimeo’s higher-touch approach.
Verdict: If you want personalised support on-demand, Vimeo’s the one.
Well, there you have it. YouTube vs Vimeo is a close battle but the crown, on this occasion, goes to Vimeo – pipping YouTube at the post with their support offerings.
It was a close call though – 5-4 on the verdicts – and some of the outcomes could have gone either way. For us, YouTube is still the go to for reach and optimisation opportunities and for the power the world’s second largest search engine once videos are optimised for suggested content.
That said, the verdicts speak for themselves, Vimeo’s the winner of the YouTube vs Vimeo battle… just.