Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson
What Is Vimeo: An Alternative to YouTube?
5 (100%) 1 vote

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the first thing we think about when we want to watch a video online is YouTube. It is the most popular video-sharing platform in the world and the second largest search engine after Google.
But what about the alternatives? Vimeo has been around since 2004, but for specific reasons, it hasn’t become such a household name among video makers and content consumers. Nevertheless, the platform attracts 240 million monthly viewers worldwide, which is in itself something to reckon with.
If your content marketing strategy involves video (and it better should), the first thing you need to figure out is what platform you’re going to share your video content on. As said before, YouTube would be the obvious choice. But don’t jump to conclusions. What’s good for one brand isn’t necessarily good for another. Therefore, let’s take a closer look at Vimeo, its advantages, disadvantages, and opportunities it offers.

What is Vimeo

Just like YouTube, Vimeo is a video-sharing platform where content creators upload their videos and expose them to the public eye. Viewers come to Vimeo to enjoy high-quality video content without ads. Yes, you read it right, no ads at all.
Another distinctive feature that makes Vimeo unique and sets it apart from its more famous counterpart is a focus on artistry and creativity. Unlike YouTube which hosts literally all kinds of video content, good or bad, Vimeo puts emphasis on quality videos made by professional artists and content creators striving to get exposure and promote their art.
Therefore, the audience that regularly comes to Vimeo is considerably smaller. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad thing. Vimeo positions itself as a service for creative art pieces rather than mediocre video clips of questionable substance. As a result, the audience on Vimeo is more likely to appreciate the value of your video content. This is not to say that the YouTube audience is unsophisticated by any means, the platform is full of top-notch content as well, but Vimeo is noticeably more consistent in its gravitation toward the aesthetics and artistry. Its attitude is quality over quantity.
Considering all this, we can conclude that creating a channel on YouTube is a right decision for all kinds of brands as it is an opportunity to get the ultimate audience coverage. However, if you are a content creator in need of an impressive addition to your online portfolio, Vimeo will help you reach the more targeted audience and get feedback from like-minded people.

Vimeo advantages

Although being a less populated video-sharing platform than YouTube, Vimeo has many advantages you may want to explore. Let’s see why Vimeo may be worth your while.

1. Focus on high-quality content

If you visit Vimeo and spend a couple of hours browsing its content, you will notice that utterly trash videos are almost impossible to find on the platform. Why? Because uploading a video on Vimeo is not an end in itself: there’s no views count to begin with so authors rather strive to show the world truly original and interesting videos than hitting a desired number of views.
Therefore, Vimeo boasts a very high concentration of genuinely engaging and well-made videos. While YouTube can offer much more variety and just greater amount of content all around, the overall quality of videos seems more diluted than on Vimeo due to the influx of not particularly skilled video makers having free access to the platform.
With Vimeo, it’s a bit more complicated because you need a paid subscription to be able to appreciate all its advantages as a content creator. Thus, the platform is used predominantly by people who are confident in their content and are ready to pay for its exposure. As a reward, they get access to their target audiences with less competition.
What is more, one of Vimeo’s distinguishing features is video quality itself. The service uses the best decoding techniques and supports high-definition videos (4K included) with a high bit rate. Due to this, content looks richer and classier.

2. Positive community

Although the Vimeo community is not as huge as that of YouTube, its general attitude is often more positive and friendly, while comments are more constructive. Since Vimeo attracts mostly targeted niche audiences, encountering random criticism or aggressive reaction toward your content is a rare occurrence on the platform.
Generally, Vimeo users make an impression of a mature audience. There are much more positive comments than negative and almost no trolling. The authors are usually responsive and open for constructive critique.

3. No ads

Most people find ads irritating because they are disruptive and prevent you from enjoying videos. Moreover, advertising can have a detrimental effect on creativity. Therefore, one of the most remarkable advantages of Vimeo is a total absence of advertisements. Nowadays, this is a big luxury if you think about it!
Obviously, this feature makes the user-experience more satisfying, both for viewers and content creators. After all, people are more likely to watch your video to the end when no ads interrupt the playback.

4. Flexible privacy

On Vimeo, content creators can specify websites on which their videos can be shared and played. You can even hide your video from search so nobody will see it.
Another nice feature is the possibility to restrict access to selected videos with a password. Thus, if you decide that your video is too valuable to share with just everybody, you can set a password and email it to your subscribers or specific users only. In the same vein, you can post your premium content and sell access keys. This gives content creators more opportunities to earn and cultivate their own fan base.

5. Additional monetization tools

Unless Vimeo offered the possibility to make money from content, it would hardly have so many engaging videos.
Since there is no advertising on the site, users can pay content creators directly. The feature Vimeo on Demand offers several opportunities to sell video content. And the best news is that creators get 90% of all the income. It’s almost as good of a deal as monetizing content on NING.

In addition to the already mentioned points, Vimeo can also delight you with other great features including:

  • The possibility of uploading up to 5GB of video content per week (on the paid subscription);
  • Convenient search through categories and groups;
  • Curated content picks;
  • High upload speed on the server;
  • No restrictions on the number of channels, groups, and albums you can create;
  • Extended statistics on video views;
  • The ability to store original video files on Vimeo;
  • Video player customization.

Vimeo drawbacks

Despite many benefits Vimeo has to offer, the platform is not perfect, especially when it comes to free usage:

  • The free subscription offers very limited possibilities; that said, you can upload only 500MB worth of videos per week;
  • Publishing a video on the website may take as long as 1-1.5 hours;
  • The paid plans are relatively expensive: $9/month for Vimeo Plus (5GB of video storage per week) and $24 for Vimeo Pro (20GB of video storage per week);
  • If you embed a video in your blog, it will not show in HD quality;
  • Low SEO potential in comparison to YouTube which can help your content rank higher on Google.

Apparently, most of the drawbacks originate from the fact that Vimeo is a paid service unlike its counterpart, YouTube. Since most of the great features offered by Vimeo are available only to paying subscribers, it appeals mostly to people who are really serious about making videos and don’t mind paying for the benefits. Meanwhile, YouTube is totally free, even for businesses, has a more extensive audience coverage, and offers unique SEO possibilities allowing brands to get visibility on the internet. No wonder that most users eventually choose YouTube.


Vimeo is an excellent video hosting service oriented toward professional content creators and artists. So if you think your content (brand or product) fits well into the niche, perhaps it is worth exploring the platform and maybe even subscribing for a paid plan.
Consider, however, that for the ultimate exposure and effective promotion, it is best to use both platforms, Vimeo and YouTube, rather than limit your possibilities with only one.

Brenda Peterson

Brenda is Technical Specialist at Ning