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YouTube vs. Vimeo: Which Video Hosting Platform Is Best for You

Christopher Nguyen
Christopher Nguyen
Posted in Zoom Sep 7 · 8 Sep, 2022
YouTube vs. Vimeo: Which Video Hosting Platform Is Best for You

According to a 2021 report from Zenith, the average internet user spends around 100 minutes each day watching online videos. If you want to increase your online business, you better invest in video marketing.

For any digital marketer, using online videos is a great way to promote products or new apps. However, creating compelling videos is just a tiny piece of a complex puzzle. You also need to know the best video hosting platform to market your content.

So, in this post, we’re going to discuss two of the best video hosting sites – YouTube and Vimeo.

YouTube and Vimeo Explained

youtube vs. vimeo

To any regular internet user, YouTube and Vimeo are just the same. Well, they are similar in the sense that they both offer video hosting services. Moreover, as long as a user has access to the sites, they can post their videos or watch content on these platforms no matter where they are. Besides, YouTube and Vimeo let users engage in their online communities.

However, once you go deeper into the features of these sites, you will discover several differences. Let’s break down the details:


YouTube and Vimeo have different pricing plans, especially if you’re using the platforms for uploading videos. The latter has a more expensive pricing scheme that allows content creators and businesses to enjoy an ad-free viewing experience.

Vimeo Pricing Plans

Vimeo’s Plus plan, which costs $7 a month, comes with 250GB of storage per year. Other options include Pro, Business, and Premium – all of which offer higher upload limits. You can also access extra features like Google Analytics, lead generation, and webinar support, among others. 

Vimeo’s Pricing Plans:

  • Plus – $7 per month with a 5GB weekly upload limit and 250GB of annual storage
  • Pro – $20 per month with a 20GB weekly upload limit and 1TB of annual storage
  • Business – $50 per month with 5TB of total storage and no weekly upload limit
  • Premium – $75 per month with 7TB of total storage and unlimited live streaming

YouTube’s Pricing Plans

Now, if you’re going to upload and view videos on YouTube, you don’t need to pay for a subscription plan. After all, the platform earns revenue primarily through ads. On the other hand, if you want an ad-free and uninterrupted viewing experience, you can pay for a YouTube Premium subscription. Even though the videos under this pricing scheme don’t run ads, content creators can still earn from the number of views.

YouTube Pricing Plans:

  • Individual – $11.99 per month
  • Family – $17.99 per month (add up to 5 family members ages 13+)
  • Student – $6.99 per month

Online Community Size

Content creators and marketers naturally want their videos to get thousands of views. So, let’s see how Vimeo and YouTube rack up in terms of online community size.

Research published on Statista revealed that as of 2021, YouTube had an estimate of 2.24 billion users worldwide. What’s more, a 2019 Datareportal study found that 79% of internet users claim to have a YouTube account.

Meanwhile, according to a study published on Statista, Vimeo had a total of 1.5 million subscribers during the end of the first quarter of 2021. Indeed, the community size of this platform is smaller compared to what YouTube has. However, it offers better chances of getting discovered by niche markets. 

Because Vimeo runs ad-free, it is perfect for people looking for uninterrupted streaming of feature-length films and documentaries. It is the platform where producers, filmmakers, and creatives can share, watch, and critique each other’s work. Non-paying users can upload a limited amount of content. As such, the materials on Vimeo remain more focused on a smaller niche market.


Vimeo and YouTube take different approaches to generating revenue. With the latter, you get to choose between four premium subscription plans, with fees ranging from $7 to $75 a month. Moreover, you get to choose from various levels of privacy, data storage, and analytical capabilities. 

You can opt for the free plan, but the features are quite limited. It’s also not the ideal option for business-related use. Since Vimeo does not depend on ads, it primarily generates its revenue from membership fees.

Meanwhile, YouTube users also know that they’re on an ad-heavy platform. They know that there are ads before, during, and after any content posted on this site. As a result, advertisers have the opportunity to promote almost anything to the viewers. From this scheme, YouTube itself generates a sizable revenue. 

On the other hand, content creators can monetize their videos and earn money from the advertisements played with their content. Roughly 55% of the revenue goes to the content creator. However, before you can get anything substantial from ads, you’ll need hundreds of thousands of views.

Privacy Options

With YouTube and Vimeo, you can select from different privacy options to determine who has access to your content. For the latter, you can choose between three basic privacy settings – private, unlisted, and public. If the video is published as “private,” only specified users can view it. Meanwhile, “unlisted” videos are only accessible by those who have the right URL. Of course, “public” videos can be viewed by anyone on YouTube.

Now, with Vimeo, you can select between four privacy options – anyone, only me, only people I follow, and only people I choose. If you use one of the premium plans, you can also generate private links or password-protected videos. This feature is ideal for individuals who want to share videos privately with their team or clients.

Types of Content

Because YouTube has a massive user base, it naturally attracts content creators from all over the world. Consequently, you will find virtually all types of videos on the platform. You can watch personal vlogs, how-to guides, movie trailers, and more. 

Over the past decade, content creator figures have grown exponentially, and most of them began their careers on YouTube. Some of the best examples are Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Michelle Phan, Dylan O’Brien, and more. Just by looking at these names, we can conclude that YouTube is the most influential and significant video hosting platform on the web.

Meanwhile, the types of content you’ll find on Vimeo are not as diverse as what you’ll see on YouTube. As we’ve mentioned, professionals primarily use this platform to upload and share high-quality content within a specific online community. It’s unlikely that a teenage vlogger with millions of subscribers will post their content on Vimeo.


Whether you’re on YouTube or Vimeo, you’ll have access to an analytics dashboard. As a premium Vimeo user, you get insights into video likes, impressions, playbacks, and other metrics. You will also see user demographics while identifying parts that have been skipped. What’s more, you can customize and export reports.

You can expect the same features on YouTube, but you get access to more advanced analytics options. The dashboard shows you the age, gender, and retention rates of the viewers. What’s more, you will see the revenue sources, the number of video shares, and traffic sources, among other reports.

Captioning Options

Content creators can add English captions and subtitles in other languages to their videos. Hard-of-hearing and deaf people find this feature useful. Thankfully, services like GoTranscript offer YouTube video transcription, subtitling, and captioning. The transcripts are accurate, especially since they are 100% generated by humans.

Video Editing Features

Both Vimeo and YouTube offer excellent video editing options. You can access custom video templates on Vimeo and create high-quality content. You can even customize the fonts, layouts, and colors to create a polished look. What’s more, you can add descriptions and tags to ensure that your content will be found online.

On YouTube Creator Studio, you can trim videos and even access audio tracks. Even the basic editing features can let you have professional-grade results.

Technical Advantages and Disadvantages

When you’re comparing the technical features of the platforms, Vimeo clearly has an advantage over YouTube. For instance, the latter has the ability to embed and host videos without sacrificing their quality. Professionals won’t have to worry about content compression which affects the overall appeal of their videos. On the other hand, YouTube is notoriously known for compressing videos to save data and space.

Vimeo allows content creators to customize their profiles to match their brand identity. Meanwhile, you can’t expect the same level of personalization with YouTube’s video embedding. What’s more, there are random recommended videos on the site, which can be unappealing for some.

Vimeo vs. YouTube: Which Is the Better Video Hosting Platform

YouTube has a greater audience, but Vimeo caters to smaller niche markets. So, when choosing which platform to host your content, you need to determine the purpose and nature of your videos. Indeed, you get to access a bigger online community on YouTube, but your videos can easily get drowned by an ocean of materials. On the other hand, if you want better control over your target audience Vimeo is the better option for you.

Professionals who have the budget can opt for Vimeo to maximize the quality of their work. Moreover, if you’re not after bigger and quick exposure online, then you should post videos on Vimeo’s high-quality hosting platform.

Meanwhile, YouTube is perfect for anyone who wants to share any type of content with the world. There are thousands of success stories on this platform. So, with the right marketing formula, this simple but effective platform can give you the opportunity to be known across the globe.