So your company has produced a promotional video that now needs to get viewed by its key audience groups. But which video platform will help boost views – Vimeo or YouTube?


First of all, it’s important to consider these things: you target groups, whether you are working with a budget or not, whether you use the video for live client demonstrations, and which platform is better in terms of SEO?


First, lets look at YouTube and its benefits.


  • It has a huge and growing audience. YouTube has more than 1 billion users, that’s almost one-third of all people on the internet.
  • Since 2015 the number of people watching YouTube videos per day climbed 40% and the number of hours they watched soared 60%.
  • YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. Millions of people search YouTube every day for instructional videos, new music, movie trailers and news clips. The only website with more search traffic than YouTube is Google, which of course owns the former.
  • Google favours YouTube videos in search, and if your site features a YouTube video then it has the potential to rank higher.
  • YouTube is popular for mobile users. More than half of all YouTube views are on a phone or tablet and the average viewing session is over 40 minutes long. However Vimeo hasn’t released any data about it’s mobile audience, so it’s hard to directly compare.
  • YouTube is free to use, even for business. And accounts have unlimited storage capacity, which means you can upload as many hours of footage you want, whenever you want. In comparison, Vimeo costs money for businesses to use and there is a limit on the number of hours of video you can upload and store.
  • YouTube ads! Commercialising your video content is very easy through YouTube, and works on a Pay Per View model similar to Google’s Pay Per Click ads. Select the video you want to use, set your budget, target the right audience, enter your billing information, and off you go!


In terms of downsides to YouTube – there really aren’t that many. However this does depend on your business, its needs, and what you need out of a video sharing platform. One major downside to YouTube (besides the ads your viewers might have to sit through) is that the platform itself looks rather messier and less professional than Vimeo.


Which brings us to…


The benefits of Vimeo.


  • There are no pre-roll ad options on Vimeo, so your target audience won’t be tempted to click away from your video before it even begins.
  • Vimeo has the reputation for high-quality content. Vimeo refers to its users as “creators” and it’s a community of indie filmmakers, documentarians and videographers. Where the YouTube homepage shows you what’s popular, Vimeo promotes only “Staff Picks” — content curated for its high production value.
  • Vimeo, as a platform, is tidier than YouTube and looks more professional. This helps when it comes to demonstrations or presentations.
  • There is a supportive community. Because Vimeo is quite niche, the comment sections below videos are generally constructive, in comparison to YouTube comments which attract trolls and unhelpful feedback.


But what about the downsides of Vimeo?


  • It has a smaller, niche audience. It may be a more supportive community, but Vimeo’s 170 million monthly viewers amount to less than 20% of YouTube’s 1 billion-plus monthly viewership. If you’re looking to get your video in front of as many people as possible, you’ll have to do more legwork with Vimeo—more social media sharing or blog integration, for example.
  • Vimeo videos rank lower than YouTube videos in Google search as Google’s algorithms favour YouTube.
  • There is a restriction on the number of uploads and storage capacity. Even with a Vimeo Pro subscription (for around £120) you can upload no more than 20GB of video per week.


So there you have it – a few plus and minus points for each. Now it’s up to you to decide what you would prefer. Remember to keep in mind your business goals, values and branding, and the style of video to be uploaded to the platform.


If you’d like to learn more about this, then get in touch.

Jo Jan 18th, 2017

About Jo Haywood

Jo is the Managing Director at Skylark Media. Before starting Skylark in 2005, Jo ran the BBC Lifestyle website and prior to that directed science documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4. To switch off she can be found on the tennis court, at yoga, or planting trees in the forest garden.