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Vimeo vs YouTube: How to Pick 2023's Best Hosting Site

Aarushi from InVideo
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15 min

When it comes to choosing the right hosting site for your business, there’s no shortage of options. YouTube is obviously one of the most common and largest hosting sites for businesses, but depending on your needs, it might not be the best choice for you. Especially with more people leaning towards Vimeo, there’s an intense debate around Vimeo vs YouTube and who should use which platform. 

In this article, we will help you understand the similarities and differences between them based on different factors that will impact your business. We’ll also highlight where both the hosting sites excel and which one will be best suited for your business. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

- Vimeo vs YouTube: The similarities
- Vimeo vs YouTube: Key differences
- Community
- Type of content
- Monetization/ Revenue model
- Ease of use
- Cost of use
- Search optimization
- Support
- Upload and storage limits
- Ads
- Privacy options
- Customizability of the player
- Video and audio quality
- Analytics
- Live Streaming
- Vimeo vs YouTube: Which one should you pick?

Pro tip: No matter which platform you choose to upload on, you need to ensure your videos are high quality and convey your message effectively. You can take the help of a tool like InVideo to create these videos quickly and easily. 

Let’s get started! 

Vimeo vs YouTube: The similarities 

Both YouTube and Vimeo are video sharing platforms that allow users to upload videos, engage with other people’s content, and build a community. They offer an easy-to-navigate interface, so whether you are a seasoned video creator or someone who is just starting out with their video creation journey, both platforms are pretty straightforward to use. While the basic feature set of YouTube and Vimeo might look the same, the differences can be found in the details. 

Vimeo vs YouTube: Key differences 

To help you evaluate which video hosting platform is better for your business, let’s compare the two:

1. Community 

YouTube boasts a rate of over two billion monthly users worldwide. In comparison, Vimeo has over 240 million active monthly users. However, the number of users doesn't tell the entire story. 

YouTube is a convenient way for anyone to host and share videos of everything — from product videos and podcasts to dance performances and home videos — at zero cost. With such a massive audience and potential exposure, it makes sense that most creators choose YouTube to host their video content. 

But, with 500 hours of content uploaded every minute on YouTube, it can become quite challenging to get noticed by your target audience. 

On the other hand, Vimeo has a smaller, more specialized community, so videos have better chances of getting discovered by more people and most importantly the right kind of people. 

Hence, no wonder that businesses, filmmakers, videographers, visual artists, art directors, and other professional video creators are increasingly choosing this platform. Not only can they get peer feedback from professionals in their field but also engage with them. 

In a nutshell, Vimeo has a smaller community than YouTube, but it is stronger, more focused, and more relevant.

2. Type of content 

Many people have this misconception that YouTube is only for watching entertainment and viral videos. But, this isn’t the case anymore. YouTube has changed dramatically over the past couple of years with more informative, educational, and valuable content. 

For instance, creators like Ali Abdaal, Matt D’Avella, and Peter McKinnon are widely popular for creating engaging content that genuinely delivers value to their viewers. And the best part is that since YouTube has such a massive viewership, you can easily build your own community if you create solid videos

Example of YT video by Matt D’Avella


Be it productivity, mental health, freelancing, home workouts, baking, or gardening—YouTube offers you the space and flexibility to experiment and grow. On the other hand, it’s a great platform for businesses looking to build a community in a specific niche. 

Many companies use YouTube to share videos of product updates, testimonials, podcasts, customer success stories, and more. In fact, InVideo has a YouTube channel with over 23.8K subscribers where we create videos about video creation, editing, marketing, and how to leverage InVideo to its fullest potential. 

Pro tip: You can also create videos for different use cases for your YouTube channel using InVideo’s YouTube video editor which gives you access to thousands of templates, an extensive stock media library, and a host of effects and customizations. 

Vimeo significantly differs when it comes to the content on the platform. It is mainly used by creators looking to tap into the creative community where they can network with other video creators and gain credibility in a specific niche. 

Unlike YouTube which offers a wide collection of videos without any segmentation, Vimeo’s library is divided into different categories such as Ads and commercials, animation, branded content, documentary, music, etc. 

Vimeo’s library


It also allows you to add a custom contact form to your Vimeo player to collect your viewer’s email addresses. As a creator, this makes it incredibly easy for you to gather more information about your subscribers, and then deliver the right type of content to them. Vimeo also works great for brands that want to share exclusive video content with clients or customers. 

3. Monetization/ Revenue model

If you’re creating video content to earn some extra bucks, views alone won’t pay your bills. You need a monetization plan that suits your business and content. When it comes to generating revenue, both platforms have different approaches. 

YouTube relies on advertisements to make money. YouTube Partner Programme (YPP) lets creators earn revenue from ads shown before, during, and after their videos. This also provides a great opportunity for the advertisers to promote products and services to the viewers. 

The video creators get over half (55%) of the money, however, it takes 4000 hours of watch time on a channel to turn on monetization. This can mean you might have to create hundreds of videos before you can think of earning money through the YPP. Plus, the earnings differ by a huge margin based on your country.

Apart from YPP, video creators can also join affiliate programs, ask for donations, and create sponsored content. Further, YouTube also offers a premium subscription service which lets premium subscribers watch all YouTube content without ads and you can get paid from their subscription. 

Channel memberships are another monetization option that allows viewers to join your channel through monthly payments and get access to members-only exclusive content and features like live chats, streams, custom emojis, and more.

If you’re just starting out with your YouTube channel, here’s a video about how to make money on YouTube by Marissa Romero

Vimeo, on the other hand, is an advert-less platform so you cannot earn revenue from ads. However, it offers a range of monetization options including: 

- Vimeo on Demand: Exclusively for Vimeo pro members, this option allows you to sell or rent your video content directly to the viewers. You’ll keep 90% of the revenue after transaction costs. However, this method is suitable for creators with a huge following and high-value content. 

- Vimeo OTT: If you have an existing and growing library of video content, consider Vimeo OTT. Vimeo OTT allows creators to launch an OTT platform instantly and earn revenue via on-demand video and live stream monetization, monthly or annually. 

In a nutshell, YouTube creators earn revenue from ads, whereas Vimeo creators make money through channel subscription fees or one-off payments. Hence, the monetization strategy you choose must depend on your audience, content, and your future business plans.

4. Ease of use 

YouTube is a popular content hosting platform that offers creators a place to easily upload and share videos with their audience. The video uploading process is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require much effort.

Make sure you’re logged in to your YouTube account and select the upload button. Then, select the file you want to upload and enter the title, tags, descriptions, and privacy information while your video is uploading and processing. 

Once uploaded and shared with your audience, you can quickly access your video analytics through a dashboard, such as the number of views, subscriber count, watch time, and more.

Example of YT video Title and Description

Talking about Vimeo, the video uploading process on this platform is almost the same as that of YouTube — sign in to your Vimeo account, select the video to upload, add the video title, tags, and the description, update the privacy settings, and wait until the video is uploaded. However, the upload guidelines are stricter than YouTube’s as it prioritizes the quality of videos over the quantity.

Vimeo dashboard for video upload

5. Cost of use 

YouTube is a free service — for both individuals and businesses. Anyone can upload and share as many videos as they want on this platform without having to pay anything. Plus, you can have unlimited storage for free on YouTube. Hence, for content creators with budget constraints, YouTube is the best choice.

But, is Vimeo free to use as well?

Vimeo’s pricing model is different from YouTube. Vimeo does have a free basic plan, but it comes with limited features such as 500 MB maximum upload space per week and up to 5 GB storage in total. Besides, it offers four plans for businesses — plus, pro, business, and premium. Each plan provides different upload limits and features. What’s more, you can take a 30-day trial for business plans to see whether or not the plan is correct for you.

Vimeo’s pricing


6. Search optimization 

When you compare YouTube vs Vimeo, the former has a huge advantage when it comes to search engine optimization as it is the second-largest search engine on the internet, right after its parent company Google. Not only that but Google is also known to favor videos that appear on YouTube over those posted on other platforms.

Let’s say, for example, you’re looking for the best video editing software. After doing a quick Google search, you’ll realize that most of the top results are from YouTube. 

Search results for best video editing software


So, if your video content is tailored to a specific search query (e.g., how to remove background from images), then YouTube is your go-to platform. Not only will it appear in search results on both YouTube and Google but also boost organic traffic to your videos.

Vimeo videos, on the other hand, do appear in Google searches, but significantly less than YouTube. You can add a description and alt tags to your videos at any time to boost the SEO, however, it’s difficult to get the type of reach that you’d get on YouTube.

Pro tip: To ensure that your YouTube videos rank on search engines, you need to ensure they’re relevant and high in quality. InVideo can help you create high-quality YouTube videos in minutes even if you’ve never edited a video before. 

7. Support

With its paid business plans, Vimeo offers technical support with an online chat facility that can be extremely helpful for businesses and creators with little video expertise. 

In contrast, YouTube offers free support via tons of troubleshooting tips and access to a (crowded) help community. So, if you’re looking for personalized, on-demand support, Vimeo is the better choice. Sure, you will have to pay for the privilege, but it’s worth every penny.

8. Upload and storage limits

YouTube allows users to upload videos up to 15 minutes long. For those with a verified YouTube account, you can upload videos longer than 15 minutes and up to 12 hours in length. The maximum upload file size is 128 GB. Plus, there’s no limit on the number of videos you can upload on YouTube for free. You can easily create videos up to 15 minutes in length using InVideo’s YouTube video editor

Talking about storage, YouTube offers unlimited, free storage for all accounts. This is an extremely reasonable deal for content creators with budget constraints. 

Vimeo, on the other hand, has different upload and storage limits depending on its business packages. 

Vimeo business packages


Both video hosting platforms have different guidelines regarding how much content you can upload and store. YouTube is entirely free — so it’s tough for Vimeo to compete with it. However, if your content upload and storage requirements are high, Vimeo is the better option. 

9. Ads

Since YouTube is a free service, it makes money through advertisements shown before, during, and after videos. While this makes YouTube an appealing platform for advertisers or brands looking to promote their content, product, and services, it can be pretty annoying for viewers. 

Whenever you open a YouTube video, you’re forced to watch 5-6 seconds of the ad before skipping it — resulting in a distracting viewing experience. However, YouTube does allow users to opt for an ad-free premium subscription.

Vimeo is a strictly ad-free platform that makes money through paid subscriptions. It is free of banner ads and annoying in-video popup ads, which provides a less distracting experience for the viewer. And that’s the reason why businesses and video creators prefer Vimeo over YouTube. 

Further, since only PRO plan users are allowed to upload commercial content, Vimeo’s library of video content contains very few commercial videos that promote a product, service, or brand.

10. Privacy options 

Being able to control who can view your content is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a hosting platform. Not all businesses want their content to be visible to everyone. For example, if you’re selling an online course, you want only the paying subscribers to access your course videos. 

Both YouTube and Vimeo allow publishers to control the privacy of their video content. 

YouTube provides three privacy settings: 

- Public: These videos are publicly accessible by all and appear in YouTube search results.
- Unlisted: These videos are accessible by those with the URL. However, they will not show in YouTube search results, related videos, or on your channel.
- Private: These videos are only visible to you and to specific users via a private link. 

privacy policy


Apart from these, you can also disable comments on your YouTube videos. Further, there’s an option that allows you to turn off the embedding of your videos on any website. But, it will also disable you from embedding your videos on your own WordPress website. 

Coming to Vimeo, it offers a slightly more specific and nuanced control over your content’s privacy. You can choose from five privacy settings: private, password-protected, public, only me, or hide from Vimeo (you can embed the video on other websites but it won’t be visible on 

Here’s a sneak peek into Vimeo’s privacy settings. 

Vimeo’s privacy settings


Another useful setting Vimeo provides is the ability to share a video with people who follow your account. 

In a nutshell, a little bit of privacy is crucial, making Vimeo a better choice.

11. Customizability of the player 

Is the way your video is presented to your audience an important factor for you? Then, it’s crucial to consider the customizability of the player of both platforms.

Vimeo has a sleek embedded player that offers a plethora of customization options that let you customize your player to match your branding. You can change the color of the play bar, include a custom player logo (on PRO and business accounts), and customize buttons, screens, and more. 

Vimeo sleek embedded player


Plus, when you change the default customization options on your account, the new settings apply to all of your previous videos automatically. This saves you from tinkering with the customization options of each video individually.

YouTube, on the other hand, offers a limited amount of customization, such as customizing the layout of your channel homepage, creating a channel trailer for the new viewers, and highlighting featured videos for the subscribers. 

While some of the customizable options provided by Vimeo exist on YouTube too, they are code-based. You need HTML knowledge to get the same experience as Vimeo.

12. Video and audio quality 

When it comes to audio and video quality, Vimeo comes out as a clear winner.

Like YouTube, Vimeo allows the upload and playback of 8K Ultra High Definition (UHD) videos – the highest video resolution. Plus, both platforms allow compressing videos to a certain amount to make them smaller for easy storage. Not only that, YouTube and Vimeo both will play a video in the most relevant resolution depending on the viewer’s internet bandwidth.

However, there are plenty of tests and comparisons that claim Vimeo’s video quality is crisp and clean and that of YouTube is blurry and harder to read.

Coming to the audio quality, Vimeo has a better sound quality as it supports 320 Kbps – the highest quality MP3 bitrate possible. However, you need to invest in a paid plan to enjoy such higher-quality audio. YouTube videos, on the other hand, stream in 128 Kbps as standard or 256 Kbps with a premium subscription.

Pro tip: To create videos with superior audio and video quality, you need to ensure that your editor is robust enough. This is where InVideo’s online video editor comes into the picture. With a robust timeline, thousands of customizable templates, and access to stock media from the best stock media libraries across the globe, you can create exceptional videos in minutes. 

13. Analytics 

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. And when it comes to videos, it’s crucial to understand who is watching your video, how they are viewing it, and which videos are performing best—figure out how to optimize your video creation strategy. 

YouTube Studio provides in-depth analytics that you can dive into, explore, and understand exactly how well your videos are performing. You can find data for each individual video as well as your entire channel. 

With metrics like click-through rate, views, unique views, traffic source types, and more, YouTube does an outstanding job at offering a closer look into your audience. 

YouTube Studio Analytics


Vimeo offers fewer insights than YouTube, but since it offers native publishing to social media platforms, you get an aggregated view of your likes and comments as well. 

Some of the metrics that Vimeo offers include: 

- How is your audience finding your site? 
- The type of device they’re using to watch your videos. 
- The total number of videos that have been watched to the end. 

If you want to access advanced analytics, you can upgrade to be a Plus Vimeo member. 

14. Live Streaming 

Both YouTube and Vimeo offer live streaming options, however, YouTube is clearly a better choice here because it’s free. Vimeo only offers a live streaming option with its paid plan. 

With all of those differences highlighted, how do you go about choosing the platform? Vimeo vs YouTube, which one is the better choice? Let’s understand below.

Vimeo vs YouTube: Which one should you pick? 

When you’re looking for a content hosting site, you really need to consider what are your long-term goals and then look for a reliable platform that fits your needs. 

Here are a few questions to ask while choosing a video hosting platform: 

- Who is your target audience and where does it actively engage with videos? 
- What are the different types of videos you want to create?
- Do you have a specific niche? 
- Can you white-label your video player?
- Do you want to optimize your videos for SEO? 
- Do you have a team to manage your content?
- Do you plan to monetize your videos? 
- Which tool offers the best video analytics? 
- Do you need dedicated support for large video uploads?
- What’s your budget for a video hosting platform?

Regardless of how terrific your videos are, you need a reliable video hosting platform to reach your audience and make it easy for them to engage with your content. It’s important to figure out the must-have and the nice-to-have features you need in your content hosting platform— it’ll help you cut down unnecessary requirements and technical functionalities, and help you choose a platform that’s best suited for your specific business use case. 

Wrapping up

Brands are increasingly focusing on video content creation and distribution to boost their organic marketing efforts, build a community, and deliver value to their customers. This article covers the main similarities and differences between Vimeo vs YouTube so you can choose the best hosting site for your video content. 

If you’re looking for a low-friction, high-impact video hosting platform that allows you to build a massive community, YouTube is a strong option. Also, it’s great for search engine optimization efforts making it the perfect choice for businesses that want to grow their online presence through videos such as product how-to’s, podcasts, webinars, tutorials, etc. 

But Vimeo was built for creators looking to tap into niche audiences, making it a better choice for artists and brands that are interested in getting feedback and creating a highly engaged community. So if you are looking to connect with seasoned professionals in a specific niche, Vimeo is a better place to start hosting your content. 

To know more about how you can market your brand better using video, check out this comprehensive guide. And if you prefer learning via videos, consider checking out our YouTube channel where we share daily video creation tips and tricks. 


1. Is Vimeo better than YouTube?

Depending on your needs, Vimeo is better than YouTube if you’re a creator such as a filmmaker, director, artist, singer, or comedian looking to build a niche community and gather information about your audience. Otherwise, YouTube is a great video sharing platform. 

2. What are the disadvantages of Vimeo?

Vimeo offers limited features in its Free version. So, if you want to access advanced analytics, generate leads, showcase SEO, connect Google analytics, and live stream to multiple destinations, you’ll need to upgrade to their paid version. 

3. What are the two main differences between YouTube and Vimeo?

1. YouTube has a much larger audience than Vimeo with over two billion monthly active users compared to Vimeo’s 240 million active monthly users. 
2. YouTube helps improve your brand’s search engine optimization efforts as it’s the second-largest search engine in the world. With Vimeo, you need to manually make efforts to distribute your video content and garner attention from your audience. 

4. Is Vimeo more private than YouTube?

Yes, Vimeo is more private than YouTube since it gives you a lot more control over how your content is being viewed and prevents it from being shared when necessary. If you use a monetization option, you can also add a paywall to your content so you can charge a subscription or one-off fee from people to view your videos. 


This post was written by Aarushi and edited by Adete from Team InVideo

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