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BUZZBATTLE: YouTube vs. Vimeo — Which Platform is Best for Business?

youtube vs vimeo

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur who can’t decide if YouTube or Vimeo is the best platform for hosting your online videos? You’re not alone; the debate over which is platform rules is fierce.

And if you’re like the majority of small business owners you don’t have the time to thoroughly investigate the pros and cons of each service, so you do nothing and miss out on the powerful marketing opportunity online videos offer.

We’re here to change that. We’ve put the two video hosting sites side-by-side to give you the information you need to decide which one is best for your small business.

We invite you to learn more about the video giants, and vote for the platform you think is best. Then, start using online video as a tool to establish yourself as an expert in your field, promote your products and connect with customers. Let the battle begin!

Round One: The Contenders

YouTubeyoutube vs vimeo

Founded: 2005
HQ: San Bruno, California
Founders: Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, Jawed Karim
CEO: Salar Kamangar

Although there is still debate among the founders as to how the idea of video sharing was born, YouTube was founded in February 2005 by three former PayPal employees, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. The company started as a venture-funded technology startup, and its headquarters were located above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California.

YouTube’s beta made its debut in May 2005. Just one year later, more than 65,000 new videos were uploaded daily and the site had 100 million video views per day. In November of 2006, YouTube was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion. It’s now a Google subsidiary.
Vimeoyoutube vs vimeo

Founded: 2011
HQ: New York City, New York
Founders: Zach Klein, Jake Lodwick
CEO: Kerry Trainor

Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein founded Vimeo in November 2004, and both left the company within four years. Lodwick is credited with coming up with the company’s creative name, which is a play on the words “video” and “me” and also an anagram of “movie.”

Less than two years after it was created, Vimeo was purchased by IAC/InterActiveCorp. Since its inception, Vimeo has hosted several high-profile videos such as those from the White House, and several viral videos like Noah Kalina’s “everyday” video.

Round Two: Costs and Caps

youtube vs vimeoYouTube doesn’t charge you to view or upload videos, and there is no cap as how many you can watch or upload. Video length is limited to 15 minutes, but if you’re using YouTube for marketing purposes, your video probably won’t run longer than a few minutes anyway (or you’ll lose your audience).
youtube vs vimeoVimeo offers a four tiered plan that consists of Vimeo Basic (free), Vimeo Plus ($9.95/month), Vimeo PRO ($199/year) and Vimeo for Business ($199/year). Unlike YouTube, Vimeo does not limit video length, but it does limit HD video uploads to just one per week unless you upgrade to a Plus, Pro or Business account. Then HD uploads are unlimited. Standard video uploads are limited to 10 per day.

Round Three: Official Apps

youtube vs vimeoAs you’d expect from a company owned by Google, YouTube has an official Android app. But iPhone lovers will be glad to know it also offers an iOS app.  

Basic features of YouTube’s app include mobile access to its video catalog, including HD and live videos. The app also lets the user find videos and channels via voice search and search suggestions. Plus the app makes it easy to share your favorite finds through Google+, email, Facebook and Twitter.
youtube vs vimeoLike YouTube, Vimeo has an official iOS and Android app so your mobile loving audience has access to all of your online videos while they’re on the go.

The basic features of Vimeo’s app include the ability to manage and watch all of your videos, search the complete Vimeo video inventory and easily upload your video from your camera roll or shoot video from the app. You can continue using the app while your video uploads, and share through Facebook, Twitter, imessage or email.

Round Four: Advertisement

youtube vs vimeoOn YouTube, ads appear throughout the viewing process- before, during and after the video. Plus, thumbnails for videos similar to yours (like those of your competitors) may appear next to your video. In addition to the ads being a distraction, with just one click you could lose your viewer to the competition.

On the other hand, YouTube’s advertisements offer business owners the chance to market their business through display ads, in video ads and promoted videos. You can also create a targeted advertising campaign through YouTube’s TrueView. Simply select a target (by topic, keywords or demographics) and pay only when your target elects to watch your video.

YouTube integrates with AdWords for video to make buying TrueView ads and reaching your target even easier. Plus, YouTube helps you learn how to promote your business through a comprehensive guide titled “Advertiser Playbook.”
youtube vs vimeoAccording to the Vimeo’s website, if you want to use Vimeo to upload commercial videos that promote a product, service, or brand or contain any advertising (for example pre-roll ads, post-roll ads, overlay ads, or links) you must be a Vimeo PRO subscriber. This includes infomercials and product tutorials.

Round Five: Visitors

youtube vs vimeoYouTube enjoys more than 1 billion unique users every month, and every minute more than 100 hours of video is added to YouTube’s inventory. YouTube offers massive exposure, but unfortunately that also means your video has an incredible amount of competition.
youtube vs vimeoAlthough it hasn’t reach YouTube status, Vimeo has over 18 million members, gets over 100 million visitors per month, and there are approximately 250,000 websites using video sharing platform. The Vimeo audience is not as vast as YouTube’s, so getting lots of video exposure isn’t as easy. However that also means there isn’t as much competition and the chance of losing a viewer to a competitor could be less.

Final Round: Quality

youtube vs vimeoWhen compared to Vimeo, YouTube’s videos have a reputation for poor quality. One reason is that although YouTube lets you upload HD video, it plays back in standard definition by default. The viewer won’t get the benefit of HD quality unless they manually switch to HD- and chances are most won’t bother doing that.
youtube vs vimeoVimeo gets major kudos for its HD quality video. That’s one reason why many professional videographers and filmmakers choose Vimeo over YouTube. And, you can set your videos to playback in HD as a default option so viewers are sure to get the highest viewing quality.


There’s no doubt that both video platforms offer you an amazing opportunity to market your small business. But we want to know which one you think rules. Vote now!


Alexia Chianis

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