What is the difference between YouTube and Vimeo?

There are many different video solutions to choose from when it comes to delivering your virtual sessions. While some may offer similar experiences, there are some differences that you will need to consider when it comes to selecting the option that will work best for your event. 

YouTube and Vimeo are two popular video solutions that can help in delivering pre-recorded content for your virtual sessions. Choosing the solution that is best suited to your event will depend on the level of privacy and security that is required for your session content. 

Using YouTube for your Virtual Sessions

YouTube is a widely recognized video platform that can support hosted and live streamed video content. With this platform being known for reliability and ease of use, it is often one of the first options that can come to mind. YouTube, however, is a platform that is strongly focused on offering a means to host and share content to an open audience - because of this, you will notice some functionality built into the platform that offers the means to easily share content with others - some older accounts may not be subject to this (if they were activated prior to the policy change). To find out go to https://www.youtube.com/features and check if 'Embed Live Streams' is set to Enabled

While YouTube hosted videos can be embedded and displayed directly from your virtual session, it will still offer a means of accessing the video content external to the Virtual Event Space. Selecting the video title will result in opening a new browser page that the viewer can use to watch the content, and to share with others. Even if the video has been set to 'Unlisted' it will still be available to view using this video URL, as the setting will only prevent people without it from viewing. Sessions that are intended to be shared with a specific audience, for example paid content, are not best supported by the sharing functionality built into YouTube's platform and should therefore be offered using alternative options. 

If you are planning to offer a livestream through YouTube, then it is important to know that this option is only offered to accounts that are eligible for monetization/Partnership program. To become eligible, an account must have a minimum of 4 000 public watch hours within the last 12 months, and at least 1000 subscribers. Accounts that do not meet these eligibility requirements will not be permitted to embed live stream video. 

Additionally, YouTube's incorporation of ads and suggested videos can offer less control on the overall experience that you are delivering to attendees due to the lack of settings and customization options that are available. 

Using Vimeo for your Virtual Sessions

Vimeo, like YouTube, allows you to share pre-recorded content that can be embedded directly into the sessions of your Event Space. Vimeo, however, will offer some additional options and settings that can help you in managing who can see the content. 

Sharing links is also a feature available with your Vimeo hosted content, however, paid accounts do offer the option of disabling the sharing link on a video. Additionally, you can set the video so that only people who have access a private link will be permitted to watch your Vimeo hosted video (you will want to remove the sharing option in this case).

When it comes to restricting access, Vimeo can also help with password protection. This means that even when the video URL itself is accessed, that the content cannot be watched until the correct password has been entered.

Unlike YouTube, any videos that you are hosting on Vimeo will not include ads or suggested videos, unless you have incorporated these within the video itself (i.e. a sponsored break). 

Vimeo, for these reasons, can be a good fit for events or sessions that require limitations to be set on who can access the content.