Vimeo, YouTube or Both?

A continuing series of questions from an ‘Net acquaintance on whether to post on YouTube or Vimeo. 

Question: Incidentally, I heard that Vimeo encoded 720p at higher bitrates than YouTube (or that it had more bandwidth to serve it, or both… can’t remember!).  Do you prefer to use YouTube @ 720p for other reasons?

Answer: I test with YouTube because it’s a popular subject on my blog and gets more eyeballs than any site in the world. The quality is also quite good for the grandparents and they’re familiar with the site.  I use Vimeo for many of the videos on my own site site ( because it does well with screencams.

UGC sites can play two roles – one for marketing (getting eyeballs) and one for content distribution. If you’re posting a marketing video to get eyeballs, there’s no reason not to post the video on both sites. If you’re embedding the video in your own site, and/or using Vimeo/YouTube for content distribution – you’re right – use the one that delivers the best quality.

Response: Great, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this, Jan.  Much appreciated.  I’ll use Vimeo for quality and YouTube for Eyeballs.

About Jan Ozer

I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks, and evaluate new encoders and codecs.

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