Vimeo Live vs YouTube Live: Which one is the best?

vimeo vs youtube live streaming

You will likely find many options when choosing the platform for live streaming your videos. A certain platform could be the most used and acclaimed social site for live streaming, but it might not provide the needed features. As witnessed, YouTube has the largest user base, but there has been an increase in people shifting towards Vimeo, which raises the debate if Vimeo is better than YouTube. This guide will help you understand the difference between YouTube and Vimeo and assist you in selecting the best social platform for your business.

In this Article:

📛 What is Vimeo Live?

Vimeo introduced Vimeo Live in 2017 for broadcasters, businesses, and brands to live stream high-quality videos and create engagement with audiences in real-time. With its Starter, Standard, and Advanced plans, streamers can access diverse features to create appealing and engaging events. In addition, to live streaming, the Advanced plan includes video hosting and collaboration tools. Vimeo Live offers four unique options:

Stream with Vimeo (Recurring events):

     A built-in browser broadcasting tool to produce virtual recurring events.

Stream via RTMP (Recurring or one-time events):

     Live stream the recurring or one-time event via third-party tools.

Stream with webcam (one-time events):

     Go live directly using your camera and live stream a one-time event.

Stream via Live stream Studio:

     It is a live production switcher with a professional live multi-camera production element into one desktop software.

Read: How to Live stream on Vimeo using OneStream Live?

📛 What is YouTube Live?

YouTube Live is YouTube’s live streaming feature, which enables content creators to interact with the audience in real time via video and chat. It was introduced in 2011 and is now available for all desktop users and mobile accounts with 1,000 subscribers or more.

The only trick is that before you start live streaming on YouTube, you must enable live streaming on your YouTube channel. Apart from live streaming, it offers multiple tools for customization, and with the help of YouTube’s search engine optimization and algorithm, every content creator gets a chance to be recognized.

Creators can live stream on YouTube via webcam, mobile, and encoder. Earlier this year, YouTube announced five new features for live streams, some of which are currently in testing and will roll out soon. They include:

  • Go Live Together
  • Live rings
  • Cross-channel live redirects
  • Uninterrupted split-screen viewing
  • Live Q&A

Using YouTube Live, users can live stream through the following three methods:

Stream Now

     Connect your YouTube channel with an encoder using RTMP and begin live streaming.


     Create and customize your live stream on YouTube. You can set privacy and security alternatives, set up a backup stream for redundancy, fix a start time, make different live events, and stream them all at the same time.


Go live on YouTube directly using your smartphone if you have 1000 subscribers or more.

Read: YouTube Live Streaming – Do’s & Don’ts

🎯 Vimeo vs. YouTube: A Comparison

Here is a detailed comparison that may help you select the best live streaming platform for your live streams:

1️⃣ Pricing

YouTube is free for individuals and businesses for live streaming, sharing content, engaging with the community, etc. You can live stream unlimited videos without paying a penny on this social site.

Vimeo does have a free plan, but that does not allow users to live stream. You must have a paid plan to live stream on Vimeo. It offers a Starter, Standard, and Advanced plan to choose from as per the requirements. Each plan provides different upload limits and features. You can take a 30-day trial for business plans to see whether or not the plan is correct for you.

2️⃣ Active Users

As per the statistics, YouTube bears 2.6 billion monthly users and provides maximum reach. But, with 500 hours of content uploaded every minute on YouTube, it can become challenging to get noticed by your target audience.

In contrast with YouTube, Vimeo has fewer users and over 260 million monthly users. It has a more specialized community, so videos have better chances of getting discovered by more people.

3️⃣ Storage

YouTube allows you to store unlimited videos without any charges.

With the Free plan, Vimeo allows you to store up to 500MB, and you can purchase the subscription plans to get more storage.

4️⃣ SEO

YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet. Your videos appear in search results directly on YouTube upon searching, and Google also seems to favor videos from YouTube over those posted on other platforms.

You should also optimize your videos on Vimeo, but YouTube has an edge in SEO. With the correct optimization, your videos might show up in search results. However, it’s difficult to get the type of reach that you’d get on YouTube.

5️⃣ Video Quality

On YouTube, you can live stream videos in 4k for free.

Vimeo supports 1080p for live streaming, but you must have a paid plan for live streaming.

6️⃣ Support

YouTube does not offer live support, but you can get help from the free troubleshooting tips and access its help community to get your issues resolved.

Vimeo’s paid plan offers technical support with an online chat facility that could be quite helpful for technical assistance.

7️⃣ Monetization

When it comes to monetization, both platforms have different options. YouTube relies on advertisements to make money. The YouTube Partner Program allows creators to earn from pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads. Streamers can also earn from the Affiliate Program, Channel Memberships, Sponsorships, Donations, and Super Chat.

Vimeo is an ad-free space, which means you cannot earn from Ads. But it offers various other opportunities like Video on demand, Vimeo OTT, and channel subscriptions.

8️⃣ Player Embedding

You can get the embed code from YouTube, but it offers fewer options to customize the embed player, and you need HTML knowledge to get the same experience as Vimeo.

Vimeo offers multiple options to customize the embed player, like hex color customization, a custom player logo, customized buttons, screens, and much more. When you change the default customization options on your account, the new settings apply to all of your previous videos automatically, which saves the time to customize them one by one.

9️⃣ Analytics

YouTube provides in-depth analytics, from basic statistics like views, click-through rate, unique views, traffic source types, and more advanced options, completely free.

Vimeo also offers detailed analytics, but you need a paid plan to access the analytics.

1️⃣0️⃣ Copyright Protection

YouTube has strict copyright protection guidelines. Its Content ID system lets owners know if someone has used their content in the videos. YouTube can easily disable videos that include copyrighted content.

Vimeo does not offer copyright protection.

1️⃣1️⃣ Privacy

YouTube offers three privacy options. The default Public setting, private videos that can only be watched with an invite, and Unlisted videos which can only be watched with a link and don’t show up in searches or on your channel. You can turn off the comments and disable embedding your videos on websites.

Vimeo offers better privacy options. It has five privacy settings. Private, Password-protected, public, only me, hide from Vimeo (through this, you can embed the videos on the website, and it will not appear on Vimeo).

1️⃣2️⃣ Ads

YouTube makes money through Ads. So, you’re likely to find a lot of ads. It is an appealing platform for advertisers and brands to promote their products.

Vimeo is an ad-free space that doesn’t allow ads and provides a completely ad-free experience to its users.

1️⃣3️⃣ Ease of Use

Users easily create their own profiles, upload videos, live stream, watch videos, and like and comment on other videos. The process is simple and does not require you to be tech-savvy to live stream on YouTube.

Vimeo offers almost the same process as YouTube. You can easily live stream on Vimeo, just like YouTube.

1️⃣4️⃣ Community

YouTube Live offers diverse content such as music performances, vlogs, cooking classes, makeup tutorials, instructional videos, and more. You will find every type of community on YouTube, and you’ll likely find your community on this platform if you’ve got an idea.

Vimeo, on the contrary, deals with a specialized and sophisticated community. It has a significantly small user base, and most users have purchased one of the subscription plans. The free users are very few, which keeps the content on Vimeo more focused.

🏆 Vimeo vs YouTube: Which One Should you Pick?

The decision is based on the audience you are trying to reach, as both platforms offer awesome tools for businesses to grow in the live streaming industry. If you want to reach a wider audience and can make do with ads, YouTube is a good choice, but if you want to live stream without any interruption of ads, access enhanced tools, and reach a specific niche, Vimeo is the way to go.

👉 Multistreaming on Vimeo and YouTube

Suppose you wish to tap on a large audience across multiple platforms and build a community on both. In that case, you can use any live streaming product, such as OneStream Live to multistream on YouTube and Vimeo.

Read: Simulcasting: The Ultimate Guide to Multistreaming

OneStream Live is a cloud-based live streaming solution that allows businesses and brands to schedule pre-recorded videos for live streaming, go live in real-time using any External RTMP source, or go live from a browser through OneStream Studio.

Read: Create & Multistream your Broadcasts with OneStream Studio

🚀 Wrap Up

Businesses and brands are taking every opportunity to boost their marketing efforts, build a community, and deliver value to their customers. This makes it important for them to select a suitable social platform for sharing their content online.

If you’re looking for a high-impact, free-of-cost social platform that allows you to reach a massive audience, then YouTube is your best option. Its search engine optimization makes it the perfect choice for businesses that want to grow their online presence through videos such as product how-to’s, podcasts, webinars, tutorials, etc. Vimeo was built for creators looking to tap into niche audiences, making it a better choice for artists and brands interested in creating a highly engaged community. So if you are looking to connect with professionals in a specific niche, with better control over the privacy of your videos and enhanced tools for customizing and creating your video, Vimeo is a better place to start live streaming your content.

However, you can reach both communities and build a wider audience by multistreaming on Vimeo and YouTube simultaneously using OneStream Live.

Download OneStream Mobile App.

OneStream Live Image Gallery

OneStream Live is a cloud-based live streaming solution to create, schedule, and multistream professional-looking live streams across 45+ social media platforms and the web simultaneously. For content-related queries and feedback, write to us at [email protected]. You’re also welcome to Write for Us!

Picture of Sehar Altaf
Sehar Altaf
Sehar is an SEO and content marketing specialist and a writer who covers topics ranging from tech and SaaS to life and everything in between.


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