The decision to launch my video channel on Vimeo was simple for me. Both Vimeo and YouTube have some unique advantages, I’d explained to a client whose needs are slightly different than my own.
Based on your business or personal goals, your best choice might also be different than mine, and there are many options to consider. (You can even use Vimeo’s video maker to create a video that you share directly to your social properties, including your YouTube channel. I build my videos using Animoto, a decision I’ll explain in a future post.)
I chose Vimeo to host my video channel for several reasons.
1. Control: Privacy settings.
At $7 a month (at the time of this post), even Vimeo’s cheapest paid plan offers “private link sharing.” What this means: I can create a video and select “only people with the private link” as my audience. The link will still work after it’s forwarded to another user. For example, if one of my newsletter subscribers forwards the newsletter or a private link, the recipient can watch a video regular visitors wouldn’t find on my Vimeo channel.
Vimeo also gives me the option of password-protecting a video.
YouTube offers an “unlisted” video privacy option, but if someone who receives the link to your unlisted YouTube video adds it to a public playlist, your video could surface in a search.
Note: Both YouTube and Vimeo offer a setting that permits only specific people you choose to see the video, and both are compatible with popular email marketing tools such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact.
2. Commercials: NONE.
Banner ads may appear below videos on Vimeo under limited conditions: for viewers who aren’t logged in and on videos hosted through a “Basic” (free, at the time of this post) membership.
Monetization options are part of a larger conversation I offer clients, including subscription-based options or asking their web designer to create a “paywall.” While I provide some quick DIY links below related only to video content and the two channels we’re already discussing, content monetization is a huge topic, beyond the scope of this post.
Vimeo has its own approach to monetization, outlined on the Vimeo blog in “How to Make Money with Videos.”
Commercials may appear before, after or “mid-roll” (in the middle of) YouTube videos. If one of your goals for building a channel is to monetize it through third-party, commercial-style ads automatically placed with your video, YouTube has a program for that. Google outlines eligibility requirements in its article, How to earn money on YouTube. According to Google, this monetization program offers you some control over when commercial breaks appear.
Those commercials are paid only if someone “watches” the commercial or engages with it, instead of clicking the Skip Ads option which sometimes appears. (If you’re a viewer who wants to avoid commercials, check out a paid membership in YouTube Premium. According to YouTube, you’ll still be supporting your favorite partner-creators even without viewing ads on their videos.)
YouTube is a business like any other social media site, including Vimeo, with its own rules, offerings and algorithms, which are subject to change. That’s another part of my conversations with clients about social media and PR: Your website is an important component in your communication strategy because you own it and fully control it. But, I digress.
3. Customizations: Video Player (and more).
Options delight me, and Vimeo lets me customize the video player. One reason I joined Vimeo was the way I could customize the color of the text and play bar. I keep forgetting to take advantage of this, but I’ve noticed I can create a preset to apply my customization for all future videos.
Other resources: Decide for yourself.
As a new member, I’m just beginning to learn about Vimeo’s full capabilities and potential. I was charmed by the sense of creative community, including “human-curated Staff Picks,” and the beauty of the interface (AKA”user experience”).
Vimeo has more than 200 million members at the time of this post.
And yet, YouTube is still the largest by far, with more than 2 billion users as I’m typing these words. Google owns it, so you can expect top billing on its Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) for YouTube videos vs. videos located elsewhere.
Vimeo and YouTube are the best sources for information about their own platforms, but I also appreciated several articles that curated key facts and comparisons for me. WPBeginner has a 2017 post, YouTube vs. Vimeo – Which One is Better? (Pros and Cons), which is both thorough and easy-to-read. I love the bullet points on the pros and cons of YouTube commercials in this 2016 post from Hootsuite.
Whatever you want to do with video – whatever your personal or professional dreams may be – I hope you’ll do one thing.
START. Take a step. Silence the comparisons and other objections in your head, and open to the joy of your own creativity. If you want to think about numbers, don’t look at the number of subscribers your favorite influencer has. Imagine just one person appreciating what you do. Just one human being. And try it, the way a kid knows how to play without attachment to result. May your creativity take flight.