Vimeo vs. YouTube: Will a Winner Emerge in 2014? [Infographic]

Recently, I wrote about the rise of video marketing and the perceived threat of video taking over nearly every other form of media. As the top two contenders in this fight, YouTube and Vimeo have been vying for the world’s top video platform for nearly a decade. With marketers everywhere focused on producing quality video content, the choice between Vimeo and YouTube has been a difficult one. But, when it comes down to it, which option wins? Coming to an informed decision involves a comparison between nine factors. Courtesy of Wpromote, a related infographic accurately illustrates the details of the two top contenders. Let’s check it out!

YouTube-Vimeo Infographic


Some say age is just a number while others believe real age is determined by experience. Trailing a year behind Vimeo in age, YouTube was founded in 2005. Since that time, YouTube grew by leaps and bounds, quickly surpassing Vimeo’s modest user base. Currently, Vimeo’s decade-long history has earned it a user base of 100 million, a mere 10% of YouTube’s total user population. Though a year older than YouTube, Vimeo earns more than 90% less revenue annually.


YouTube, the undeniable winner of the video popularity contest, soars past Vimeo in total hours of video content hosted and average monthly visitors. Largely due to having an audience 10 times larger than Vimeo’s, YouTube earns more than a billion monthly visits. From the business side of the equation, YouTube’s popularity may be due in part to its high accessibility, as it is available in over 60 countries. Unlike Vimeo’s free plan, YouTube videos can be used to distribute and promote business content.

Global Reach

When it comes to global brands, YouTube remains the leader in total reach. Unfortunately, Vimeo is banned in India and its overall presence in countries outside of the US is minimal. Comparatively, YouTube is most popular in the United States, but also has a significant fan base in Brazil, Indonesia, Spain and the UK. Thus far, a major factor in YouTube’s widespread global reach is its availability in 61 languages. If Vimeo plans to seriously go toe-to-toe with YouTube, making the platform available in multiple languages is a priority.

Social Signals

With the ability to share content faster than ever before, social media has become the highway on which shareable information travels. One of the best platforms for real-time engagement, Twitter leads the viral video revolution and is a significant contributor to the popularity of online video. Though Twitter does not disclose its total number of users, nearly 325 million tweets referenced YouTube since 2006 compared to Vimeo’s 7.5 million.

User Experience

The unexpected winner in this category, Vimeo’s user experience has a competitive edge against YouTube’s. Featuring a large video player, simple navigation and minimal ads, Vimeo content accentuates the creativity behind video production by concentrating the viewer’s attention on content. For many marketers, user experience is at the top of the priority list. Providing visitors with an uncluttered interface, Vimeo rises above YouTube in quality of user experience.

Video Quality

YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world, definitely reigns in the quantity department. However, Vimeo’s platform is best known for its quality. Featuring built-in video editing tools, Vimeo’s video quality is believed to be superior to YouTube. With definite benefits over other video-heavy platforms, like Flickr and Instagram, Vimeo has earned a loyal community of customers.


When it comes to content, Vimeo and YouTube are tied. Both feature a wide variety of video content, from funny and adventurous to artistic and compelling. On the viral video front, YouTube has a decided edge on Vimeo, as the majority of viral videos make their way to the Google-owned video superpower. A priority resource for those seeking the latest trending video, YouTube is the preferred platform for the latest content.

SEO and Advertising

In what seems like an unfair advantage, YouTube emerges as the best option for advertising and SEO. Though smart SEOs can go far with Vimeo, YouTube’s videos earn more shares, views and internet-wide attention than their Vimeo-hosted counterparts. In terms of video advertising and position in SERPs, YouTube remains victorious. Thanks to being owned by the largest search engine in the world, YouTube receives preferential treatment when it comes to online visibility.


As one of the most striking differences between the two platforms, the ability to monetize videos is approached traditionally by YouTube, while Vimeo remains focused on quality with its Tip Jar function. Unlike YouTube, Vimeo makes it possible to “tip” video content creators in appreciation for remarkable work. Filmmakers who choose Vimeo also benefit from Video On Demand, an aspect of Vimeo that allows the sale of video content. In partnership with Getty Images, Vimeo simplifies the process of licensing video content as stock footage.

And the Winner Is…

Clearly, YouTube knocks online video out of the park in many categories including popularity, accessibility and social signals. With approximately 99% of total voice in the video platform industry, YouTube is the definite overall winner. Between reach, social signals and unrivaled SEO benefits, YouTube offers irresistible benefits for brands seeking increased exposure, site traffic and conversions.

Will You Follow the Crowd?

Although YouTube is winning the numbers game, your brand doesn’t have to follow suit. Vimeo definitely wins in the quality and user experience departments. YouTube’s elder competitor boasts a highly engaged community interested in quality filmmaking – an ideal choice for businesses in niche markets. When getting to the heart of the matter, the real question is, “Which platform is right for my business’ audience?” After evaluating the differences between Vimeo and YouTube, you be the judge.

If you were betting on a match between Vimeo and YouTube, on which platform would you put money?

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Victoria Schleicher is a graduate of the University of South Florida and holds a BA in Psychology. Although Victoria was successful in the mental health field, she chose to instead pursue her passion for writing and art, and is happy to be a part of the Content Equals Money team. When not writing, Victoria likes to create art, play with her cat, read, and go running.

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