YouTube vs Vimeo

For a creative agency there are many ways of getting you work out there on the web and viewed by as many people as possible. The two major players in the video sharing market are currently Vimeo and YouTube. They each have their own features as well as a number of drawbacks.

YouTube is the daddy of video sharing sites. It revolutionised the way people share videos on the web. It has created unlikely stars and spawned many viral videos. Being the first of its kind unfortunately also meant that everyone flocked to use the service, regardless of the quality of their work. The ease of use is, ironically, its weak point: it can be hard to find quality between the thousands of videos about cup kittens and dancing babies. The site has the feeling of a social network site for teenagers although in a bid to entice the ‘serious’ video makers back,YouTube has started to offer HD uploads.

Vimeo, on the other hand, has a very good reputation in the video community. This is due to the high quality compressions of the videos. It was the first to offer high quality HD uploads and the site has a much cleaner design, making the main video the focus of the site. It has gained a good reputation amongst small studios as well as independent video producers, directors and cinematographers. On the downside, audiences on Vimeo are far smaller than YouTube.

YouTube’s major drawback for embedding is probably that it is not easy to have it play your videos in HD automatically. So sharing your beautiful HD project on other websites can be problematic. You have to tweak the embed code whereas Vimeo just plays HD when possible.

Your prospective clients are much more likely to come across your work on YouTube than they are on Vimeo. Put your work on Vimeo and your audience is most likely to be video lovers and professionals. Do you want maximum exposure to the world, no matter who it is or are you looking for respect from your peers in the industry in a clean, professional looking environment?

As far as Engine Creative is concerned, the answer is: use both! We use YouTube for maximum exposure of our projects, linking to YouTube when discussing our work on the web and getting our work shared around as much as possible, but when showcasing our work to (prospective) clients we prefer the more professional, cleaner look of Vimeo. They’re both evolving all of the time and until there is a clear winner for our requirements, we’ll have the best of both worlds.

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