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Vimeo vs. YouTube?

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Nick Griffin
Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Dec 15, 2014 at 5:04:44 pm

I know this has been discussed here before, but possibly not from this viewpoint. When embedding in client websites, what's the consensus on paying the Pro price for Vimeo versus using YouTube postings for free? Aside from the stigma of being so... well you know, YouTubie, does Vimeo offer any higher quality? How about the ability to auto-detect and serve videos based on the user's connection speed? Any and all thoughts on this will be appreciated.

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walter biscardi
Re: Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Dec 15, 2014 at 5:34:28 pm

Video quality is generally better on Vimeo.

When the video finishes playing, you don't have a grid full of other videos to go watch all over YouTube.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Biscardi Creative Media

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Todd Terry
Re: Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Dec 15, 2014 at 5:45:55 pm

I personally wish there was a hybrid.

YouTube videos are outstanding, quality wise, seem to play flawlessly anytime and anywhere (unlike Vimeo, which can be a little clunky depending on your computer/connection/location), give you multiple resolution choices, etc. YouTube will even host 4K videos. Embedding works flawlessly. And everyone knows and uses YouTube.

Vimeo looks slick and professional, but it's operationally a bit problematic at times. I've personally found that often it takes multiple clicks to get a video started, sometimes there are loading issues, and things like that. I'm not the only one, I have heard this from numerous people. Although you can certainly make your Vimeo site look beautiful.

But you're right, YouTube looks like...well... YouTube. You have little or no control over things like poster frames (unless you are one of the rare users that YouTube has invited to play) or what garbage you see at the end of a video (which might even be a competitor's video). While Vimeo can appear very slick and professional (especially the paid accounts), YouTube just always looks like what it is... an avenue for 14 year old girls to gush about boys and for people to upload cat videos. I've yet to see a YouTube channel that didn't look lowest-of-the-low end, at least compared to what I'd like for it to look like.

YouTube sure does work well though.

I guess it depends on what's most important to you. As I said, I wish there was a hybrid.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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Joe Knapp
Re: Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Dec 18, 2014 at 10:27:20 am

I second the wish for a hybrid.

We use both, but relegate YouTube to social media efforts. We're using Vimeo as our stopgap solution (until we get a digital management system in place). Vimeo is our video review medium, and also acts as our video server, for videos that we embed on the company website.

Vimeo Pro's video review feature is great; very customizable, and strips off the extraneous stuff that peppers YouTube. Vimeo has always been very reliable, and the video "seems" better quality. Add in the password protect features, and it was the best, most secure, most affordable option.

However, I wish Vimeo had a private (unlisted) playlist ability like YouTube has, but with the customizable Vimeo interface. Instead, they have either a password-protected option, or a general video album. No ability to have a simply unlisted album, and no 'playlist' feature that automatically cue's up the next video.

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Richard Herd
Re: Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Dec 15, 2014 at 7:21:15 pm
Last Edited By Richard Herd on Dec 15, 2014 at 7:24:50 pm

[walter biscardi] "When the video finishes playing, you don't have a grid full of other videos to go watch all over YouTube"

This is exactly why we avoid YouTube for client review (customer complaint about "inappropriate youtube suggestions"), and also the opt-out script never seems to work, but that could be our-bad, and not necessarily youtube's.

Some clients have requested YouTube deliverable because it drives traffic for their SEO (or at least that's what I've been told).

Google Analytics seems to drive everything "digital advertising" and it's necessary for those applications that the video be on YouTube, not a big deal, because Vimeo let's the end user/client download their video (or not if you block it) or you can upload another one to YouTube. Seamless and easy.

Another cool feature of Vimeo is the pro service offers a client review page that can be branded to our liking and also a really cool portfolio system. Portfolios can be made and then access to the portfolio through a single link. Very very efficient and easy to use. YouTube Channels have playlists but the difference for me is Vimeo's feels more personal to the client, so when I send a vimeo portfolio, the videos are nicely arranged as thumbnails and the client can easily see what to do. YouTube Playlists seem to have too much YouTube-is-first design, and it's cluttered, with what I consider "the wrong content for my client." Hope that makes sense..

Over the last, 6 months, Vimeo has done a great job of rolling out the Vimeo Organizer, before that it was a nightmare to delete content. And I have noticed an improvement in their quality of playback. It appears to me that vimeo and youtube are starting to rollout 2k and 4k also.

Last: it seems Vimeo's design is "professional content creators need their clients to look at content in a particular way and then leave the site and make decisions and discuss." Whereas, youtube is "browse ad infinitum, under no circumstances does youtube want an end user to leave youtube."

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John Davidson
Re: Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Dec 15, 2014 at 7:27:52 pm

For what it's worth, there's an ability to remove the related videos if you're embedding a youtube on a wordpress site:

We use Vimeo Pro for our work clients, always embedded in a wp page so clients don't know who is hosting the video.

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.

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Nick Griffin
Re: Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Dec 15, 2014 at 10:14:58 pm

[John Davidson] "For what it's worth, there's an ability to remove the related videos if you're embedding a youtube on a wordpress site:"

My VP tells me that it's not just Word Press, but any website. The iframe code line is REL="0". He did it for our own website and it works quite well, just ending the YouTube clips with a black frame.

And yes, not having more control over the thumbnail is irritating.

The one thought in this whole thread that potentially has me spooked enough to stay with the embedded links to YouTube is that they're almost always for client sites. Todd's comments about it being not completely reliable, sometimes requiring more than one click has me seeing visions of clients blaming us and thinking it must be something we did or did not do.

For client previews we've been using Media Batch for a number of years and find its ability for clients to leave notes, markers and even draw on the videos quite unique and helpful. (For those clients adept enough to use them, which not everyone seems to be.)

Thanks, guys! If anyone else has any more input I'd love to hear it.

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Rich Rubasch
Re: Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Dec 15, 2014 at 11:01:39 pm

The number one search engine is Google and the number two is YouTube. If a client is looking for analytics then you can't beat YouTube.

Look at the big corporations like Honda....on YouTube. And, yes, after every single one you get a random selection of thumbnails. They'll take the analytics.

We put all our samples on both YouTube (these link off our website's portfolio page too so we get the wraparound) and a Vimeo link if we want to just send one single link as a sample to a client as a push email. Best of both worlds.

Plus we encode the exact same settings for both sites, but we do have to go thru the upload process for both.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage

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Jason Jenkins
Re: Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Dec 16, 2014 at 3:45:37 pm

[Nick Griffin] "And yes, not having more control over the thumbnail is irritating."

Youtube does allow you to upload custom thumbnails. You can export any frame from your video and use it as the thumbnail; or any other image you care to use.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my profile.

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grinner hester
Re: Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Dec 20, 2014 at 2:41:02 am

vimeo. due to ads.

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travis heberling
Re: Vimeo vs. YouTube?
on Jan 9, 2015 at 11:33:33 pm

You can't go wrong with Vimeo!

There are some benefits to Youtube of course.....but at the end of the day I favor Vimeo, because of how much more professional it looks. =D

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