It seems Vimeo (anagram of movie) has gained a reputation as the high class alternative to YouTube.
Not entirely the case, but Vimeo is an impressive service attracting some of the best pure movie making people.
YouTube retains the advantage of volume. As of 2012 YouTube reports about 4 billion (yes that's billion with a B) video views per day.
Wikipedia reports as of December 2011, Vimeo attracted 65 million unique visitors per month and more than 8 million registered users. 15% of Vimeo’s traffic comes from mobile users.
Note that Vimeo offers a basic free service which is great for most of us. Standard Vimeo offers 500MB video upload limit per week and one HD video per week for free.
Vimeo Plus for $60 per year supports 5GB per week uploads, no banner ads, HD embedding, and some other features. There's also a Vimeo Pro service for high volume usage commercial applications.
Since August 2010, all videos are encoded into H.264 for HTML5 support.
All videos uploaded before August 2010 were re-encoded. Non-HD videos re-encode at a maximum of 30 frame/s and they also have significantly higher bitrates than other competing video sharing sites.
Standard Vimeo users can upload up to 500 MB of videos per week, and up to one HD video per week (additional HD videos uploaded within the same week are encoded to SD).
As of July 22nd, 2010, the site offers unlimited HD embeds. As of January 4, 2011, Vimeo Plus users can upload videos that are up to five gigabytes of footage, roughly equivalent to 2.5 hours of HD video. This makes it possible for full length, high-definition feature films to be uploaded to Vimeo by Vimeo Plus users.
Vimeo Awards in New York City
Vimeo's first annual Vimeo Awards took place October 8-9, 2010 in New York City, dedicated towards showcasing and awarding creative video content hosted on the site.
Festival judges included David Lynch, Morgan Spurlock, Rian Johnson, M.I.A., and Charlie White. The competition received over 6500 entries. Winners were chosen for each category, with the documentary finalist "Last Minutes with Oden" taking home the $25,000 grand prize. Ben Briand's short narrative "Apricot" won the Community Choice Award.
The two-day festival included video screenings and workshops from the likes of Philip Bloom, Lawrence Lessig, and DJ Spooky, and an award show hosted by Ze Frank. A 3D projection-mapping displayed on the Vimeo HQ/IAC building concluded the festival.
Pop world stars who have posted their stuff to Vimeo.
M.I.A., Kanye West, Tom Delonge, Nine Inch Nails, Moby, Beck, Placebo, Lykke Li, Röyksopp, Devin the Dude, Björk and Britney Spears, who premiered her new music video Radar there. Comedians Kristen Schaal, Reggie Watts, and "Weird Al" Yankovic use Vimeo as well.
Founders and Operators of Vimeo
It was founded by Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein in November 2004, who left the company in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Barry Dillar's IAC (InterActiveCorp) purchased Vimeo in August 2006 as part of its acquisition of Connected Ventures.
Dae Mellencamp is the Chief Executive Officer of Vimeo. In January 2009, Dae Mellencamp joined IAC as General Manager of Vimeo.
In summary, Vimeo offers the video/movie maker or commercial factor a professional quality streaming video platform that can offer noticably higher quality images than competing services. Such an edge in quality is attractive to those who make use of online streaming video in their businesses. Vimeo has a much smaller audience reach than YouTube. The Vimeo audience is only about one-half percent of YouTube's total audience.