YouTube and Vimeo are the two most popular online video platforms. But, which is the superior platform? If you could only use one platform to distribute your video, which should it be — YouTube or Vimeo?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of each platform to help you make an informed decision.



Huge User Base: The biggest attraction of YouTube is certainly its huge user base. Currently, the platform boasts more than 1.3 billion users, which are nearly a third of all internet users. In fact, YouTube reaches more 18-49 year-olds than cable TV. No marketer can ignore that.

It has a powerful search engine: According to Alexa, the YouTube search engine is only second to Google in power rankings. Hundreds of millions use the search function to find instructional videos, movie trailers, new music, funny videos, and so on.

It’s free to use, even for businesses: It doesn’t matter if you’re a personal user or a business entity; YouTube is free to use for all. Moreover, you get unlimited storage space.

Targeted advertising is now supported: There are three main targeting options; competitor channel targeting, custom affinity audience targeting, and customer match targeting. SEMRush has a detailed blog post on the three.


Pre-roll ads take a toll on ROI potential: Most YouTube users have openly stated that they detest the pre-roll ads. But since the ads are the platform’s biggest revenue earner, they’re not going away any soon.

Competition is very high on YouTube: More than 300 hours of videos are uploaded to the platform every minute and at least 5 billion different videos watched every day. Competing in such an environment isn’t very easy.



No pre-roll ads: Unlike YouTube where users have to sit through at least five minutes of pre-roll ads before watching your videos, on Vimeo, videos start right away; no pre-roll ads.

Quality at its best: Vimeo has gone to great lengths to make the platform professional in every sense. Packed with powerful filters, the platform makes even ordinary videos appear business-class and professional.

Community support: Support on Vimeo is exemplary. If you have an issue, just contact the support staff and you’ll get the necessary assistance. What’s more, Vitriol, trolling, and spamming are prohibited on the platform.

Business channel branding: The biggest perk for businesses, however, is channel branding! Among other things, business users are allowed to add their logo to the player and even create customized outros.


Limited reach: Vimeo, though likable, has a rather small user base. At the close of 2018, the platform had only about 170 million users, which is less than 20 percent of YouTube’s user base.

Business users must pay: Professional users are required to pay to use the platform. Pro plans start at $170/month.

Poor ranking in Google searches: This goes without saying, but given that Google owns and thus favors YouTube, your Vimeo videos are likely to rank poorly in Google searches.

Limited storage space: Even paying subscribers on Vimeo are restricted to a limited upload volume and storage capacity. Currently, pro subscribers can upload a maximum of 20GB a week and no more than 1TB of videos a year. You can upgrade to a 3GB/year plan, but at an additional cost of around $400/year.


Ideally, Vimeo is recommended when you’re looking to leverage the expertise of a dedicated community and connect with other creative minds in your niche. YouTube, meanwhile, works best when you’re looking to leverage search volume and SEO to drive traffic and revenue.

Mike Gingerich is president of Digital Hill Multimedia (, a Goshen web design and marketing agency. He is also a co-founder of and, leading software tools for contests and lead capture, and author of the book Game Plan for Social Media Lead Generation. Find out more at

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