YouTube vs. Vimeo: Which Platform is Better to Earn Money Posting Video

Tips & TricksYouTube vs. Vimeo
Table of contents

    Creating and sharing videos can be a hobby or even a full-time job. But one of the first questions that every content creator faces is ‘Where should/can I build my online presence?’. There are many ways to start, but today we will talk about two of the most popular platforms – YouTube and Vimeo. 

    What is YouTube?

    YouTube is the biggest video-based social media platform created by three tech luminaries – Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim in 2005. Within a year, a small startup became a great IT asset and was bought by Google for $1.65 billion in 2006.

    Today, YouTube is the second most visited website in the world right after its ‘owner’ Google. According to the Semrush Traffic Analytics tool, YouTube has 4.11 billion users per month (stats of December 2021). The emergence and development of new formats contribute to users’ growth on the platform. One of the latest is YouTube Shorts which receives 15 billion views daily. In addition to short films, creators can post all kinds of video content there, including vlogs, live streams, music clips, and many others. Besides this, video work will bring you money as a member of Google’s AdSense program. The company reported about $28.8 billion in ad revenue in 2021 which is 47% more than the previous year. As creators make about 55% of YouTube’s ad revenue, last year they earned over $15 billion. 

    What is Vimeo?

    Vimeo is also an American video platform built by Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein a year before YouTube – in 2004. Initially starting out as a spin-off of CollegeHumor, it was a website which gathered fun videos. But after Vimeo was bought by IAC in 2006, its focus turned to high-definition video delivery to stand out from other sharing video sites, including YouTube. Vimeo earns its money by providing subscription plans for content producers and businesses. Its subscribers get access to a full kit for video creation, editing, and further broadcasting. It also has software solutions for corporate clients. Video professionals use Vimeo as a platform in search of projects and clients, and vice versa.  

    In 2021, Vimeo had over 230 million users, 1.6 million of which were paying members. About 60 million of its users are content creators. In May 2021, Vimeo went public, successfully reaching $52.08 per share on the first day of trading. It was a good year for Vimeo in terms of its revenue as well – the company made more than $96 million, demonstrating 42% growth compared to the previous year.  

    Now let’s compare both video platforms in terms of which of them bring more value for individual content creators.

    Where can you reach more people?

    Starting with numbers, YouTube’s audience is much bigger than Vimeo’s. It has over two billion users per month against 230 million respectively.  However, a large community is not always beneficial. YouTube users post a ton of video content every day, though the majority of it is far from being of high quality. It is easier to expand the reach of your content there, on the other hand, there is always a risk of getting lots of hateful and offensive feedback.

    Meanwhile, the smaller Vimeo community offers higher content quality, as well as a more supportive and constructive atmosphere.

    Pricing and data storage limits

    There is no fee for hosting users’ videos on YouTube. The platform’s monetization model is based on video ads, which allows users to enjoy content for free. However, YouTube offers an option to buy a Premium subscription that starts from $11.99 per month to watch videos without annoying ads. Besides that, YouTube Premium allows for the downloading of videos to watch while offline, as well as your favorite music.

    Meanwhile, Vimeo has four membership packages: Plus, PRO, Business, and Premium with different support and storage volumes. The minimum package costs $7 per month and the maximum is $75 per month. There is also a free basic package but it has a limit of 500MB storage per week.  

    Available monetization options

    To earn money by posting videos on YouTube, creators need to meet the platform requirements. To do this you should:

    • post content from a country that is monetization eligible;
    • have a channel with at least 1,000 subscribers;
    • have at least 4,000 watch hours in the previous 12 months. 

    Once the listed parameters are reached, YouTube will share its ad revenue generated by your videos. Depending on the agreement, the revenue split is about 45/55 in a users’ favor. If the requirements are not met, YouTube still has the right to run ads on top of users’ video content. There is also a minimum earning rate that could be cashed out. If you don’t reach this amount, your revenue is kept in the AdSense account.

    If videos are watched by YouTube Premium subscribers, ads won’t be shown but the content creator will still get money. Yet the earnings for YouTube users are reduced over time, thus income is not as stable as it could be. Besides, there is no total control of this for creators – they can only continue creating and posting more and more videos.

    There is one more monetization option known as Channel Membership which allows followers to support their admired creator. It gives subscribers special access to exclusive content which couldn’t be found anywhere else. There a creator can share separate streams and conduct live chats for a set subscription fee.  

    Vimeo offers its users another kind of business model. Unlike YouTube, where video posting is not charged, creators need to pay to use the platform. To earn money on Vimeo, you have several options: rent content, sell it, or buy Vimeo’s Pro plan that allows subscribers on the channel. Alternatively, you can add a paywall on the videos with the possibility to charge viewers on a subscription basis or a one-off fee. Based on the audience and goals, creators choose their monetization strategy there. In addition to that, content producers control ad availability, unlike on YouTube. 

    To cash out money from Vimeo, you will need a PayPal account. The level of earnings depends on the tax rate and currency of the country the creator posts from. Usually, the tax rate is about 10% of gross earnings.  

    Analytics features

    Both video services offer their users complex and deep analytics data sets that can be useful to understand your audience. On YouTube Studio you can find not only basic stats on likes, comments, shares, and views, but also detailed analytics including traffic sources, geolocation, gender, and a wide range of information on audience reach and engagement. All this data is presented in charts and other forms of data visualization and available to every user. To get similar in-depth analytics on Vimeo, a creator needs to have at least a Plus membership package. 

    Privacy settings

    Creators have an option to post a video either in private or public on both video platforms. YouTube has the public status as a default setting, though it offers an option for rescheduling a video that allows a user to change its status from private to public on a set date and time. There is also an option for “unlisted” video, which means that only its creator can have access to it through the account. When sharing a private video on YouTube, users should add the emails that will have access to it. However, you can add only 50 at a time. 

    Vimeo has a wider privacy set up but only in paid packages. Creators can make their work public, private or add a password to protect it. There is also a possibility to set control of content embedding. That means your videos can be embedded on all external websites or only on listed domains. None of this is possible on YouTube. 

    Support options

    The more the Vimeo package costs, the more technical support it offers. Personal tech support could be very helpful if you are only finding your way in video content making. YouTube, on the other hand, has a variety of free documentation to help and offers access to its support community, but doesn’t provide any individual tech help.

    Video quality

    High-quality video is the main focus of Vimeo, it beats YouTube in its clearness, purity, and ease with which it can be watched. Vimeo allows video streaming in up to 8K resolution, which is unavailable on Youtube. 

    So, what to choose?

    As you can see, both video platforms have their strengths and weaknesses. Free use against paid membership, a large community against a select narrow one, deep analytics against strong privacy settings. In the end, your choice as a creator depends on your priorities. It’s better to start by asking the following questions: 

    • Do you want to reach people on the Internet fast and easily?
    • Do you want to build a special community around your content?
    • Are you ready to pay to host the content or not?

    Answering these questions will bring you closer to a final platform choice. 

    It should be mentioned that YouTube and Vimeo are not the only ways to earn money with video. There are other effective methods to monetize your content. One of them is via connected TV. The audience of CTV is growing fast. Currently, about 80% of US households use at least one CTV device. By 2025, this percentage will reach 87%, eMarketer says

    For content creators, it is another great opportunity to enter a new market and increase income. VlogBox can help you create your own CTV channel through the most popular CTV platforms, including Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon Fire. With your own app, you can reach a new audience as well as monetize your content with SVOD (subscription video on demand) and AVOD (advertising-based video on demand) monetization models

    So, there are plenty of choices, both evident and not so obvious, to post your video content right now and start to make money out of your creativity in the near future.