Passion verses Fame: The Vimeo v YouTube debate

It’s often perceived that Vimeo is for people with a passion and YouTube is for people who want fame and popularity (cough, cough Mr Bieber), but lately the conversation has come up time and again both from a business point a view, a personal preference and just use as a technical platform.

Vimeo for me personally has always been slicker, cleaner and more professional, but then I work in digital marketing so I also see the benefits to clients of the traffic YouTube receives.

Going back a little to the earlier days, I remember YouTube storming the ranks but never really succeeding in impressing. 2008 saw YouTube really start to make improvements to its offering but it seemed they were always that one step behind on quality. For example; when they launched the 1GB upload they had a few thumbs up but hard-core users were still after more in the way of HD support and optional download links, again resolutions that Vimeo already offered. When they randomised the thumbnail options (eventually not leaving us stuck with the 25/50/75 rule) Vimeo were already offering at least 15 thumbnail options and if you weren’t happy with those you could choose and upload your own.

But then in YouTube’s defence they did improve and they offered more for free than other platforms. You could have a Vimeo plus membership and not really get more than you would with a free YouTube account.

Now, when you research YouTube you learn that 35 hours of video are uploaded every minute, YouTube is localised in 25 countries across 43 languages with a broad demographic of 18-54 year olds and in 2010 YouTube reached over 700 billion playbacks. YouTube partners with Disney, Turner, Univision, Channel 4 and Channel 5, it monetises over 2 billion video views per week globally and the number of advertisers using display ads on YouTube increased 10 fold in the last year.

If we consider a more social angle with YouTube we’d mention things like: over 4 million people are connected and auto-sharing to at least one social network, YouTube mobile gets over 100 million views a day and across the channel more than 50% of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community. Sounds a bit like a corporate giant doesn’t it? Well I guess that’s because it is.

Vimeo on the other hand haven’t ever really lost their personal touch, which I like; by fans, for the fans. They introduce their team and their background and have nice rules to adhere to so you don’t upset people whilst you’re on there like; be nice, keep on topic, don’t Spam and respect the Staff… by doing this they become approachable yet still remain professional. It works for me.

So in summary I guess I’d personally continue to use Vimeo, it’s still cooler (sorry YouTube), but if a client wanted heaps of traffic, something that could be on brand and be managed by an office intern, I’d go with YouTube.

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