Let me spoil the article for you: Vimeo. Continue reading if you want to know why.
Most of us are stuck at home for the moment. Facing more time on our hands than usually since we don't have to leave the house to arrive at work or we can't go out afterwards. Besides new YouTube channels and video tutorials popping up left and right most people take the time to work on their personal projects and portfolio. It's like a switch was flipped and now everyone has time to look at their current (work) life and think about the future. Some of us even lost their (safe) jobs and are now on the hunt for a new paid position.
"I should update my showreel!"
Maybe you just finished your (first) showreel and are wondering:
"Where should I upload it actually?"
Your first instinct is probably YouTube. I would argue that Vimeo is the better platform for your perfect Showreel. Let me explain why:
Our first point is about what each platform represents. Each of them attracts different people and specializes for a different audience.
YouTube was once a personal, creative outlet with mixed content. Today it is a more professional environment with shows, companies and celebrities filling more and more the recommendation page while the single creator is slowly left in the dust (e.g. PewDiePie vs T-Series). The platform is focusing on being advertiser friendly while appealing to as many people as possible. YouTube plans to replace the watching habits of the television.
Vimeo is a community driven platform with a more specialized audience. It is mostly famous for artistic films, commercials, 2D/3D animations and more experimental content. It is more of a platform to find something than to search for it.
YouTube is in its core an unlimited platform. You can create as many channels as you want and upload as many videos as you can produce with up to 11 hours of playtime. Especially after lifting the upload length the platform became interesting for live events, video podcasts, lets plays, films and documentaries.
Vimeo is a hosting service whose free package is limited to 5 GB in total and an upload cap to 500 MB/week. This is not a lot but more than enough for uploading a Full HD showreel. Additionally there are premium memberships options starting at 6,-€/month.
Vimeo allows you to reupload your video and replace it if necessary. Maybe you want to add some new cool projects, you've received valuable feedback or found mistakes in your upload. Looking at the following points this is without a doubt one of the strongest reasons for this platform:
broken video (glitches, missing audio)
editing issues (transitions, timing)
update subtitles, title card, contact
YouTube doesn't have this feature. A new upload is automatically a new link which especially for a showreel is just bad. Imagine creating a new website URL every time you update your website. This is similar.
Full HD is not always Full HD on YouTube.
YouTube allows you to upload up to 4K in 60 fps but an open secret is that Full HD is not always Full HD on YouTube. YouTubes algorithm has to handle millions of videos while adapting to the data stream of each user. For that it compresses the data to stream it easily and effectively. This can lead to a full resolution but not the full quality (less bits). Maybe it doesn't affect your typical YouTube blogger but it makes a significant difference if you want to show your work in the best quality possible.
Vimeos video quality is crisp and also goes up to 4K.
Vimeo has an interesting feature where it allows you to create a custom URL link for your videos. This is especially interesting for your showreel since the link has a clear tag now instead of being an encrypted salad of letters and numbers. It looks more professional and safe to click on it.
For example my custom Showreel URL is: https://vimeo.com/alexanderrichtertd/showreel
My normal URL is:
YouTube doesn't have this feature. Every upload creates a unique link.
YouTube has ads. Shocker, I know, especially for the people who use an AdBlocker but for most this is normal. Even if your showreel doesn't have ads (which would be weird) there can be ad banners surrounding the video.
Heard from Squarespace, NordVPN or RAID - Shadow Legend recently? I am sure you have!
Vimeo is (mostly) ad-free.
Vimeo has one bigger flaw: Stuttering streaming. It can happen from time to time that the streams stutters. When watching a video this is annoying but really bad when you are showing your work - especially in an interview. It is not constant but it happens noticeable from time to time. Related to that is that Vimeo mostly tries to commit to a higher quality longer (good) which can lead to the stuttering (not good).
YouTube is generally solid as a rock in terms of the streaming process. Noticeable is that it loves to harshly trigger a lower quality for your video if it even smells a connection slowdown.
Note: Thx to the user comment bringing up this point.
Look & Feel
Vimeo looks professional and focused. You mostly visit this page to look at specific videos and not to browse. Your video is mostly surrounded by high quality films and projects.
YouTube is a commercial platform with a practical look and a variety of content. Most people use YouTube as a search engine (2nd biggest in the world) to search for specific topics or to watch their favorite YouTubers. Your professional work ends up being sandwiched in between Vlogs, Toy reviews and recipes.
In summary there is currently only one option that serves all your needs regarding presenting and maintaining your showreel and that is Vimeo. Even with having a YouTube channel myself my showreel is still on Vimeo after encountering multiple issues regarding updates and reuploads. If you don't want to upload your new reel, delete the old one, re-edit every post you've ever done (if possible) and write every recruiter of the past that they should only use the new link in the future then this is the better solution. Rather have your Vimeo link ready and shared, update it whenever you want (even during the application phase) while using other platforms like YouTube and ArtStation as your work galleries.
Writing these articles always opens me to new topics and details I didn't know before. Sometimes even changing my opinion on them. Hopefully this was as enlightening for you as it was for me. Thank you for reading!