YouTube vs Vimeo. Which Should We Use?

Before I came on staff at the church I am working for, the video director always uploaded our message videos to Vimeo instead of YouTube and I never understood why. What were the benefits of Vimeo over YouTube? I mean YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, second to Google who owns YouTube! Why wouldn’t you want to put videos on YouTube to be found by the millions of people who use it everyday.  Honestly, I don’t think he knew that answer either. It was just something that we did even before he became the video director.

So, what are the differences between Vimeo and YouTube? What are the advantages of them both?  In this article we will explore these questions and hopefully shine a light on what platform will be the best for your church.

According to Wikipedia, Vimeo is a video sharing website that was founded in November 2004, and attracts more than 100 million unique visitors per month and has more than 22 million registered users.

Pros of Vimeo

  • No Ads
  • Favors higher quality videos
  • Customization of video player
  • Detailed analytics
  • Higher control with embedding non-social videos

Cons of Vimeo

  • Smaller audience
  • Higher costs

Wikipedia states that YouTube was created by former Paypal employees in February 2005 and was purchased in November 2006 by Google for 1.65 billion dollars. YouTube attracts more than a billion users and 80% of them are outside of the United States.

Pros of YouTube

  • Free
  • Large audience
    Built in SEO
  • Better Google search Rank

Cons of YouTube

  • Sketchy Ads
  • Content saturation

YouTube is 100% free. You can upload HD videos of any length, stream HD video content, create channels and share with your congregation or audience without spending a dime. The only thing that comes with a cost with YouTube is paid ads.

Since, Vimeo doesn’t allow ads while viewing videos, they earn money by offering a monthly or yearly subscription of Vimeo Pro. Vimeo Pro’s fee increase by how much content you upload and will increase if you upload more than allowed. For this reason many churches have decided to go with YouTube in order to save money.

As mentioned above YouTube has a much larger audience on the internet. Vimeo only has 100 million unique visitors verses YouTube’s billion unique visitors. YouTube is definitely where people are hanging out.

Again, Vimeo falls short in the category of search. YouTube is the second largest way people search on the internet on this planet, and it’s not a typical search engine like Yahoo, or Bing. Since, Google owns YouTube some say that Google prefers YouTube videos over Vimeo and will put the higher on Google searches.

Marketing Potential
Again, the biggest pro for YouTube is the fact that it’s the second largest search engine. However, the downside, is that with so much content already published and more added by the second, it can be a bit of a challenge to get your videos to stand out from others. Since, Vimeo has less users there’s going to be less content to compete with, possibly making it easier to showcase your message. Vimeo also doesn’t allow ads, and YouTube uses the same kind of advertising that Google offers.

Both Vimeo and YouTube can be used not only as a video sharing platform but also as social networks. They both have the ability to create profiles, video commenting systems, and social communities.

As you can see there are pros and cons of both platforms. I have come to the conclusion that Vimeo has an upside that I had previously overlooked. After doing some research we probably will use both platforms for their specific roles inside our ministry. At the end of the day, whichever platform works best for your church and helps you obtain your goals is the one that you should choose.

Do you have any preferences? Share in the comments below!

One thought on “YouTube vs Vimeo. Which Should We Use?

  1. Thanks for posting. I’ve always had a preference for Vimeo – the appearance, organization, content – and I tend to think viewers there are likely to watch our content longer before getting distracted. I know some churches that have a Vimeo library they direct people to, and a YouTube channel with content selected for public searches.


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