Of course you’re automatically drawn to YouTube - EVERYONE knows YouTube. But is it the best fit for your video hosting needs? Here's what you need to know about three most popular video hosting platforms so you can easily decide for yourself!
Note: Earlier in 2017, Dailymotion announced a complete redesign, rebuild, and rebrand of its site, app, and advertising strategy. It is set to re-launch in coming weeks. Information below is always subject to change as these platforms evolve!
YouTube is the largest of these three platforms, boasting over 1 BILLION monthly users worldwide, who watch 1 billion hours of YouTube every single day. It’s the second largest search engine in the world, behind only its parent company Google.
Sometimes labelled the European YouTube, Dailymotion claims to be the world’s second-largest video sharing website, with 300 million users from around the world, who watch 3.5 billion videos on this platform every month.
Vimeo is the smallest of these video-hosting platforms, however its 260 million monthly viewers, who bring 715 monthly video views, are nothing to scoff at.
YouTube’s free hosting comes with unlimited storage, making it an incredibly enticing option for online video hosting. The downside? Ads. Lots and lots of ads. YouTube does offer a $9.99/month subscription called YouTube Red, should users want to upgrade. YouTube Red not only allows subscribers to watch videos ad-free, but it also provides access to original programming, the ability to download videos for offline viewing, and access to a music app.
An additional note: by default, videos uploaded to YouTube need to be capped at 15 minutes in length. However, this time limit is lifted once you verify your channel.
Like YouTube, Dailymotion’s business model focuses on monetization through ads, and as such it’s free. However, users are limited to 96 video uploads per day, capped at a total of 2 hours of video per day. Dailymotion also restricts video length to be no longer than 60 minutes.
Vimeo offers four different membership tiers that range from free to paid. Unlike YouTube’s ad-focused business model, Vimeo chooses to make money by selling their hosting services, which results in an ad-free experience. Vimeo’s membership tiers offer a variety of upload limits and features.
YouTube offers three privacy settings for videos you upload: Public, Private, and Unlisted. Public videos are publicly accessible to all; unlisted videos are only accessible to those who have the URL; private videos are only visible to the uploader and specific users they want to share it with. You can learn more about these different privacy settings and how to choose the one that suits your video content - and purpose - best. YouTube also allows uploaders to disable comments on their videos, and disallow embedding of their videos on any other website (although this also restricts the uploader from embedding the video on their personal site).
Dailymotion has a similar set of options. Their three privacy settings include Public, Private, and Password Protected videos. Like on YouTube, Public videos are viewable by all. Private videos on Dailymotion are only visible to the uploader, where password protected videos allow the uploader to create a password and share it with a select few.
Vimeo offers the broadest range of privacy options among these three platforms, however different paid tiers have access to differing options:
- Anyone - This is identical to YouTube and Dailymotion’s public setting. Available with all Vimeo plans.
- Only Me - This video is only visible to the uploader. Available with all Vimeo plans.
- Only People I Follow - Videos will only be visible to people the uploader follows in Vimeo, and will show up in their feeds. Available with all Vimeo plans.
- Only People I Choose - The uploader will select which people they want to share their video with, however this setting only works for sharing with other Vimeo members. Available with all Vimeo plans.
- Only People With A Password - Similar to Dailymotion’s password protected option, the video will only be accessible by password. The uploader can share this password with non-Vimeo members as well. Available with all Vimeo plans.
- Only People With The Private Link - Like YouTube’s unlisted option, this video will only be viewable to those with the link. Only available with Vimeo Plus, Vimeo PRO, and Vimeo Business.
- Hide This Video From Vimeo.com - After uploading to Vimeo, the video can be embedded on other websites, but won’t be viewable on vimeo.com. Note: While the video won’t appear in Channels or Groups, it can still be added to Portfolios and Albums. Only available with Vimeo Plus, Vimeo PRO, and Vimeo Business.
When it comes to video embedding and commenting Vimeo also offers a myriad of options.
- Anywhere - People can embed the uploader’s video on any website. Available with all Vimeo plans.
- Nowhere - No one can embed the video. Available with all Vimeo plans.
- Only On Sites I Choose - The uploader can specify the sites on which they will allow people to embed their video. This option is only available with Vimeo Plus, Vimeo PRO, and Vimeo Business.
- Anyone - Anyone can leave comments on the video.
- No One - Comments are disabled for the video.
- Only People I Follow - Only people the uploader follows will have the ability to leave comments.
Additionally, Vimeo Pro and Business members have the option of creating “video review pages”. These are semi-private, unlisted video pages that they can share with clients, collaborators, or others.
Owned by analytics royalty, Google, it only makes sense that YouTube offers a large array of free analytics data for uploaders to monitor the performance of their channel and videos with up-to-date metrics and reports. Everything from watch time, to traffic sources and locations, audience demographics and retention rates, social shares, subscription rates, and more are available in YouTube Analytics. Uploaders can also link their Google Analytics ID to their YouTube account to access an even deeper treasure trove of data.
Dailymotion only offers analytics for their users who engage in video monetization and advertising. You can read more about this in the next section.
All Vimeo plans offer access to a basic analytics dashboard that provides an overview of impressions, plays, likes/comments, finishes and more. However, in order to access more in-depth analytics, users must purchase a paid plan. A Google Analytics integration is only an option on their costliest plan, which could be a drawback for data fiends. Here is a look at what’s included on the analytics front in Vimeo’s different paid tiers:
- Vimeo Plus - Stats display on video page, advanced stats dashboard, reports & graphs, CSV exports, and ability to view source by device type and URL.
- Vimeo Pro - Stats display on video page, advanced stats dashboard, reports & graphs, CSV exports, ability to view source by device type/app/OS/browser/URL, powerful filters & breakdowns, stats breakdown country/region/state/city, and engagement/duration graphs.
- Vimeo Business - Stats display on video page, advanced stats dashboard, reports & graphs, CSV exports, ability to view source by device type/app/OS/browser/URL, powerful filters & breakdowns, stats breakdown country/region/state/city, engagement/duration graphs, and Google Analytics integration.
ADVERTISING AND MONETIZATION
Let’s be honest, we’ve all dealt with annoyance of having to wait for one of those non-skippable ads to finish before we can watch that hilarious cat video on YouTube. But they work!
YouTube ads have proven to be a highly successful platform for marketers across industries, and a variety of ad formats are available for YouTube through the Google Adwords. Overlay banner ads, skippable and non-skippable video ads, and sponsored cards are but a few of the options available to marketers. Content creators can monetize their videos by joining the YouTube Partner Program and signing up for Google Adsense. However YouTube won’t serve ads to any account that has accumulated less than 10,000 total views.
Dailymotion offers several advertising options for marketers including instream, display, and rich media formats. They also offer their OpenVOD program as a means of “monetization” for content creators. This video-on-demand programs allows content creators to sell their videos; they get to choose the price, format, and player, can broadcast on Dailymotion itself (as well as anywhere else that they choose), and receive access to statistics for these videos. Dailymotion takes 10% of the profit from the video as commission.
As mentioned earlier, Vimeo makes money through hosting fees rather than advertisements. They’ve chosen to make their platform an ad-free experience and thus don’t offer an advertising program. They do, however, offer the Vimeo on Demand program for users with a Vimeo Pro account or higher, allowing them to sell videos directly to their viewers.
Exciting things are ahead for Dailymotion! With their soon-to-launch redesign, they’re hoping to attract viewers through partnerships with media and entertainment brands like Universal Music, Disney, GQ, The New Yorker, Vogue and more. They’re promising a less intrusive advertising format for a more fluid user experience, and will be dividing their video content into four themes with an emphasis on premium content: news, sports, music, and entertainment. While user-generated videos will still be welcome, Dailymotion will be focusing on a slightly older demographic. We can’t wait to see how this changes the video hosting game!
Choosing the right platform for your video content is going to depend largely on your needs for things like audience reach, pricing, monetization, advertising and which kind of analytics you need most to help you best scale your business or online presence.
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