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Recently we had a bit of a discussion behind the scenes at MakeUseOf and a few staff decided that when it comes to hosting and watching video on the web, it doesn’t get much better than YouTube. Whether you’re looking at it from a content creator or viewer’s perspective, YouTube offers a lot for free including unlimited hosting space, embedding, HTML5 video How To Resolve Problems With Flash On YouTube How To Resolve Problems With Flash On YouTube Are YouTube videos displaying a green screen? Is your browser crashing when you try to watch them? Or do they just not play properly? Issues with Flash, which YouTube uses to play videos,  may cause... Read More , royalty-free music, a video editor and the Web’s most ferocious commenters.

However, one thing that has always annoyed me about YouTube is a lack of proper channels. A typical “YouTube channel” is merely one user’s collection of videos. Not so on Vimeo Watch The Best Short Films From Around The World On Vimeo Watch The Best Short Films From Around The World On Vimeo Vimeo is one of these YouTube alternatives. It's a different beast from the Google-owned property, extolling the virtues of quality over quantity. Vimeo is the place where the cool cats -- the innovative musicians, interesting... Read More ; a channel is a user-created collection of videos from any of the service’s content producers. Channels revolve around themes and interests, rather than the work of an individual and can be subscribed to separately.

For this reason, Vimeo channels better resemble “proper” television channels and offer a diverse range of content. Settle down and we’ll take a look at some examples.

The Other Video Site

It’s no secret that Vimeo isn’t quite as approachable as YouTube for many people. To start with, free accounts are limited to 500MB of weekly upload space with no 1080p streaming (though 720p is sufficient for most). If you want to seriously make use of Vimeo, you’ll need to cough up at least $60 yearly for a Plus account or $200 yearly for a Pro account. The many benefits (a custom player, hosted portfolio, the ability to sell your content for a starter) are worth it for most content producers drawn to the service, and the fact remains that as a viewer there’s a lot available on Vimeo for free.

The website provides more of a TV-like channel experience than that provided by YouTube. You would need to use playlists in order to get similar functionality from Google’s service and playlists just don’t have the same functionality or user-friendliness. Channels on Vimeo get an identity, a logo, a colour scheme and space to breath. More importantly they provide some more advanced features including multiple-moderators for group video selection, a shout-box for reaching out to these micro-communities (and submitting your own videos) and an opportunity to follow a genre, movement or interest rather than just a personality.

Vimeo has also worked on the discovery side of things considerably, and heading to makes it easy to discover interests by popularity or category. You’ll need to be a Plus subscriber ($60 annually) in order to create or curate, but this moderate pricing scheme and the overall stellar design of the Vimeo website encourages one of the web’s most vibrant video communities.

Oh, and did I mention there are no adverts on Vimeo? While opinions on YouTube are divided between annoying, intrusive video adverts and the need to support content creators; Vimeo is looking at different forms of revenue streams. These include video on demand sales, a “tip jar” for viewers’ donations and the ability to licence video using Getty Images. Head to to find out more.

Stuff to Watch

No Stuff to Watch article would be complete without some actual stuff to watch, so here are a few of my favourite active Vimeo channels. I’ve previously curated a list of beautiful motion graphic and typography channels Beautiful Motion Graphics & Typography Comes To Life On Vimeo [Stuff to Watch] Beautiful Motion Graphics & Typography Comes To Life On Vimeo [Stuff to Watch] Tight typography and swish motion graphics can't be learned overnight; it's a skill that takes years to master. Sophisticated software and video editing techniques are not the instant talent that many mistakenly believe they are,... Read More in a past article, too.

Vimeo Staff Picks

This is must-watch stuff, curated by the folks who run Vimeo. It’s essentially a community spotlight, where the best of the best videos from every category 6 Top Picks From the 2012 Vimeo Awards [Stuff to Watch] 6 Top Picks From the 2012 Vimeo Awards [Stuff to Watch] There are a seemingly endless number of websites to choose from when it comes to sharing video, each with its own audience and style. If YouTube is the everyman’s stomping ground then Vimeo is arguably... Read More are proudly displayed on the proverbial fridge. It also happens to be the most-subscribed-to channel on the service. The video below, titled Captain T and T, is a beautifully shot coming-of-age story about a boy searching for super-powers. It was selected as a Staff Pick, and it’s not surprising considering the cinematography, narrative, gorgeous tropical setting and gripping story.

Everything Animated

If you love animation in its various, sporadic forms then the Everything Animation channel is for you. The channel features the best animation found on Vimeo from all kinds of artists, backgrounds and countries. The best thing about this channel is the diversity of the content – it’s all animated, but no two animation styles are the same. From the naive and hand-drawn masterpieces to technical marvels that use every computer-enhancement in the book; you’ll find it here. Below is a film titled Another by Sean Buckelew which turns the “my father was eaten by a bear” concept on its head in one surreal and poignant animation.

Documentary Film

What can only be described as the jackpot for documentary lovers, the Documentary Film channel brings together the best non-fiction films on Vimeo. From personal tales of accomplishment to hard hitting political commentary, this channel is virtually genre-less when it comes to content. That means you’re bound to find something that interests you, like the video below called Enchanted Way that tells the story of a family-owned theme park in Oregon known as Enchanted Forest.

Slowmotion & Timelapse Theatre

What could also be known as the “eye candy” channel, Slowmotion & Timelapse Theatre collates the best of the best when it comes to artsy shots of urban and natural environments. There’s little more to say beyond that, but rest assured if you’re fond of this kind of thing there’s a huge amount of material to just sit and watch. The featured video below is called SUR by Jeremias Thomas and shows off some of Argentina’s most beautiful scenes.

Cities in Minutes

In a similar spirit to the collection of timelapse videos above, Cities in Minutes is a Vimeo channel dedicated to urban environments and those who take it upon themselves to document them in video form. Comprising mostly of time-lapse and hyper-lapse videos Hyper-Lapse Photography is Like Time-Lapse Photography On Speed [Stuff to Watch] Hyper-Lapse Photography is Like Time-Lapse Photography On Speed [Stuff to Watch] Time-lapse photography is a method of showing the passing of time from what is usually a fixed viewpoint, sometimes incorporating a pan, zoom or sweep. The technique uses still photos shot at regular intervals which... Read More , Cities in Motion is a celebration of the modern city and urban environment. One of the most impressive videos I found in the collection is this action-packed look at Tokyo by night, embedded below.

Find and subscribe to more Vimeo channels at

Do you love Vimeo? Let us know why you love this vibrant community in the comments, below.

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