When I was setting up this website I had my first experience with Vimeo. I used it because the embedded player looks much cleaner and Vimeo allows you to choose what frame or image your video displays when first loaded. In whole, it just looks better. Now that I have a little experience with each, here’s the break down.
Vimeo – Is a better looking player and offers more clout in the film community.
YouTube – Does a better job of promoting* your material and offers additional services for free (Video Analytics and Full 1080p HD), also if you get enough people watching, you can get $$.
Bottom Line – If your goal is to have a good looking player imbedded on a webpage then Vimeo. For everything else, YouTube.
Considerations - YouTube offers roughly $5 for ever 1000 views, where Vimeo offers a donation button on your page when you purchase the upgraded account (But they take 15% of each donation for themselves). The only real promotional activity on Vimeo seems to be from “Staff Picks” where your video could make it on the websites front page. YouTube seems to promote through a formula where they serve your videos up to people as recommendations on various parts of YouTube to see if your video can gain momentum. The only real shortfall with YouTube’s promotional strategy is most users appear to choose recommendations based on provocative thumbnail images, which you have very little control of. On Vimeo you can choose any thumbnail you’d like, but promoting it is on you.
Here’s are some of the promotional numbers at work *(Update – The YouTube version was shared on Face Book without my knowledge which caused the initial jump in views and was not YouTube promotion alone).
Uploaded a short video on Vimeo:
All the traffic came from people clicking through a Facebook post and traffic has all by died out in about a week.
Uploaded the same video on my YouTube channel so it would be with other videos I’ve uploaded to the Backpackers Union website. I didn’t promote it at all*.
The video seems to be getting about 40-90 views a day based solely off of YouTube searches and recommendation.
Hope this was helpful!
What they look like embedded: