YouTube and Vimeo are two of the most popular video hosting platforms. Both of them are very good for embedding videos in your WordPress website. However, there are some differences between the two platforms.
Of course, you can also upload your videos directly to the WordPress media library instead of hosting them on an external platform. However, WordPress is not designed to stream videos. In addition, your hosting provider may not offer enough storage space or bandwidth to support the uploading and streaming of videos. Therefore, to be able to serve fast and high quality videos to your visitors, it is best to use (external) services like YouTube or Vimeo. Needless to say, these platforms are designed and optimized to serve videos and therefore offer a far superior experience. But which one is better, YouTube or Vimeo?
In this article I’ll compare the pros and cons of both video platforms.
YouTube vs. Vimeo: Pricing
YouTube is free to use for you, but they make money off your videos by showing advertisements to their visitors. These advertisements are shown in the video player and inside YouTube’s mobile applications. You cannot upload videos longer than 15 minutes on YouTube unless you verify your account. Luckily, it is very easy to verify your YouTube account by linking your phone number to your account. You can do this via YouTube Verify. If your videos are doing very well, YouTube will share some of the advertising revenue with you, the content creator. To read more about this, I recommend to read the article How Youtube Ad Revenue Works on Investopedia.
Vimeo has a very different revenue model than YouTube. Vimeo sells video hosting, meaning that you will have to pay for a subscription in order to upload videos. In return, viewers are offered an ad-free experience while watching your videos. Vimeo also offers a free plan, which has a limit of 500 MB of storage per week or 25 GB per year. If you need more space, there are various paid plans ranging from 5 to 70 euros per month. In terms of storage and features, Vimeo’s free plan is very limited. Vimeo Plus will give you 5GB of storage (per week) and will set you back 5 euros (or 7 US dollars) per month.
YouTube and Vimeo have different limits as to how much you can upload. On YouTube, by default, you can upload an unlimited amount of videos for free. However, the videos should be under 15 minutes in length. After verifying your account this is increased to 12 hours (or 128GB). For most purposes, this limit will be more than enough.
Vimeo has different plans with their own respective upload limits. The free plan offers 500MB per week or 25GB per year. When you upgrade to the Vimeo Plus subscription, the limit will be increased to 5GB per week or 250GB per year. The Pro plan offers you 20GB per week or 1TB per year. The Business plan has no weekly limits, but does have a total storage limit of 5TB.
YouTube and Vimeo have very different audiences. YouTube has by far the larger community. That may sound good at first, but it also has some downsides. The YouTube community consists of a lot of different people, and some of them are more than willing to tell you how they feel about your content. The audience on YouTube can be offensive at times, even though Google has worked very hard in the last few years to step up against so called “trollers” on their platform. On the other hand, the large audience will give you a lot of opportunities to increase your own audience. YouTube is the largest video hosting platform in the world and YouTube videos usually rank well in Google.
Vimeo is much smaller in terms of audience. However, the Vimeo community does consist of users that generally offer more constructive comments than found on YouTube. Vimeo is often used by production agencies that want to showcase their work without any advertisements. Therefore, you will find a lot of high quality content on Vimeo that may be harder to find on YouTube.
Monetizing your content
YouTube and Vimeo both enable users to make money from their videos. YouTube allows users to join the YouTube partner program. You will need to sign up for Google Adsense. YouTube will then pay you a cut of the ad revenue that they have made off your videos. To be eligible for the YouTube partner program, your channel needs to have at least 10,000 views.
There are also other options for monetizing your YouTube videos. For instance, you can sell products in your videos or ask for donations.
Vimeo has always been very proud of the fact that they are an ad-free platform. They do however offer a platform where you can sell your content. This is called Vimeo on Demand, for which you will need to have at least a Vimeo Pro subscription. Vimeo also supports mentioning sponsors in your videos or add links in the description below your videos.
Both platforms offer excellent video analytics. YouTube offers very advanced statistics for your videos, including but not limited to watch time, traffic sources and even demographics. It can also be interesting to analyze the devices your viewers are using while watching your videos. This way you will get a very detailed insight into your audience.
Every Vimeo user has access to the Vimeo Analytics dashboard. This dashboard will give you a quick overview of your impressions, plays, likes, comments and much more. You’ll also be able to see your viewers’ geographical location and how they’re finding your videos. Vimeo allows you to create and export custom reports.
Both Vimeo and YouTube are great platforms for hosting your videos. They both offer the tools to embed those videos on your own (WordPress) website. Which one to choose really depends on what you want to achieve with your videos.
YouTube will be a perfect fit for small business owners or bloggers that want to build a new audience. Vimeo on the other hand is a better choice for those who want to sell their video content or offer subscriptions. Vimeo also offers a far superior viewing experience, because it is 100% ad-free.