Once you create video, you need a place to host it. Two of the most popular video hosting services are YouTube and Vimeo. Both Vimeo and YouTube require creating an account to upload and store video. Both offer free accounts. However, Vimeo offers a “Plus” service for $60 a year with additional features. Both have benefits. Let’s compare.

Video quality

Both Vimeo and YouTube allows for uploaded HD video.

YouTube can accept up to 1080p video with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. It can also accept 720p video (1280 x 720) and the standard 640 x 480 and lower. You can upload up to 10 videos at a time. The restrictions are a maximum file size of 2GB per video and a maximum of 10 minutes in length. The preferred format for the video is H.264 or MPEG-2. Audio can be MP3 or AAC with a sampling rate of 44.1kHz. Audio is two channel stereo.

Vimeo HD video is limited to 720p video. There is no time limit to the video. With the free basic service, a 500MB per week and up to 10 files a day cap is in place. Plus users can upload 5 GB (1 GB per file) per week, and there is no per-day upload limit.

Privacy control

Youtube offer privacy controls that will allow distribution up to 25 people or 25 Youtube user accounts. This is the only options. Vimeo Basic account can limit to contacts in your Vimeo site. It can also allow you to password protect the video. If you upgrade to the Plus account, you have even more controls including hiding the video from Vimeo.com or only making it available on our a website of your choosing.

Sharing / Accessibility

Both services allow for sharing the video. YouTube is more offers all the controls while Vimeo reserves some of the controls for their Plus users. For example, Vimeo only allow HD embedded video with the Plus account. And then there is the iPhone and iPad. Since these devices do not run flash, viewing on Vimeo is not currently available. It is available on YouTube. From what I know, Vimeo is working on adding support for these apple devices but is not yet operational.


Since both companies offer a free service, it is an obvious choice. Choose both. I have experienced situations where one has an advantage over the other. The real question is if you need to subscribe to the Plus service for $60 a year. It depends. If you produce videos longer that 10 minutes or you need special sharing privileges, then the Plus service makes sense. Also, Vimeo seems to be more dedicated to the people more serious about producing quality content. But you can’t discount the mass eyeballs on YouTube. I have posted the same video on both services and had many more viewers on Youtube. So if your video is under 10 minutes and you want to world to see (including iPhone and iPad users), choose YouTube. If privacy and control of who see’s the video as well as any video longer than 10 minutes, choose Vimeo.