Last updated on October 5, 2021
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Growing a YouTube channel is one of the best ways to make money online. It’s up there with ecommerce and software monetization. The barriers and startup costs to launch a channel are low, which makes YouTube an enticing proposition. There are many ways YouTubers earn money, including ad revenue, merch sales, affiliate marketing, and more. YouTube’s global reach of 2 billion users has helped creators to make six, seven, and eight-figure incomes annually.
Achieving success on YouTube is harder than it used to be. In 2015, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that over 400 hours of content is uploaded every minute. I’m confident that figure has increased and will someday be over 1,000. Therefore, creators must compete against hundreds of hours of new content each time they upload videos. Secondly, YouTube released stricter eligibility criteria for its partner program to thwart low-quality content. The updated guidelines also make it tougher to start earning ad revenue via its partner programs.
It takes planning, a robust work ethic, and tools to outshine the competition. There are plenty of videos that go viral on YouTube, but virality is the exception, not the rule. The top creators plan, research, strategize and experiment to produce high-quality videos and increase momentum. Additionally, they treat their YouTube activities as a business by working full-time and improving continuously. In many cases, you’ll notice how much some users have grown over time. Finally, many creators use “tools,” i.e., apps, products, and services to manage their channels and growth. Channel management is a catchall for analytics, keyword research, communication, marketing, monetization, and more.
YouTube Studio (formerly Creator Studio) is a web and mobile app created by Google. It allows you to manage your presence, grow your channel, interact with your audience, and make money all in one place. However, YouTube Studio falls short in many critical areas, including competitor analysis, keyword research, channel and video optimization, and thumbnail generation. That has many aspiring YouTubers asking about alternatives on forums like Reddit and Quora.
Why Do YouTubers Need Third-Party Apps?
YouTubers need third-party apps to compensate for the shortfalls of YouTube Studio. YouTube Studio focuses on a user’s channel and video analytics only. It doesn’t give the user competitor statistics, keyword research, tag management, SEO insights, and other necessary tools to succeed on YouTube. Thankfully, there are two robust tools to fill those gaps.
TubeBuddy Versus VidIQ
TubeBuddy is a powerful browser extension, web, and mobile app that provides features on top of YouTube’s website. It offers channel optimization tools, video SEO, keyword research, tag management, analytics, productivity, bulk processing, marketing, and more.
VidIQ offers AI-driven growth tools to help creators and marketers grow their channels and brand awareness. Its Chrome browser extension features video scoring, video SEO, keyword research, tag management, analytics, and more.
A common question arises regarding which one is better, that is, TubeBuddy or VidIQ. Let’s compare and review them to understand their benefits/drawbacks and pros/cons. (Note: some features are only available on paid plans.)
TubeBuddy and VidIQ are excellent YouTube channel growth and management tools. TubeBuddy has more features and better pricing than VidIQ. TubeBuddy also outshines or ties VidIQ in every major category except for channel/video analytics and demonetization management. After comparing the two apps, I recommend TubeBuddy to outperform your competitors, grow your channel, get views, and increase subscribers.
Analytics & Data
TubeBuddy and VidIQ provide analytics through their browser extensions and web apps. The data comes directly from YouTube Studio and Google.
TubeBuddy gives users advanced analytics for channels and videos. Its Channelytics feature displays live stats, views, and uploads for any channel for the last 30 days. Also, you can compare your channel to others and see what tags a channel is using. Videolytics provides in-depth insights for videos. It highlights total views, comments, performance, search optimization, tags, and social media metrics.
VidIQ’s Scorecard panel gives you a high-level view of how your own and other videos are performing. Overview and channel sections highlight views, subs, and watch time. Its SEO score determines the likelihood that your video will appear in search results and related videos. A separate real-time stats bar shows views for different time intervals. The historical tab gives you a timeline of how a video has performed since the minute it was uploaded.
On the left-hand side of a YouTube webpage, the Channel Audit tool displays your month-over-month views, subs, and watch time percentages. It indicates what videos to “double down on” based on views per hour and subscribers gained. It also highlights top search terms and videos that need work.
TubeBuddy’s web app has four data sections.
- Health Report: view statistics for views, uploads, subs, comments, traffic sources, engagement, and audience.
- Channel Valuation: connect your channel to SocialBluebook.com and have your suggested prices for branded content automatically displayed.
- Retention Analyzer: improve your overall retention rate by identifying trends in audience viewership.
- Usage Stats: monitor your actions, time, and savings with TubeBuddy’s software.
VidIQ’s analytics tab features stats for views, subs, comments, traffic sources, engagement, and audience. Additionally, review your top search queries, embedded URLs, viewer countries, videos, trends, and the best time to post.
TubeBuddy supports Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Opera can be used as well with an additional extension to add support for Chrome extensions. VidIQ supports Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
The more videos you have, the more time-consuming it will become to manage them. That’s where bulk processing and editing tools come in handy.
TubeBuddy facilitates bulk updating, copying, and deleting for cards, end screens, and playlists. Moreover, you can find, replace, append, and make bulk changes to your metadata. Suppose you want to update a social media link that you include in all your descriptions. TubeBuddy will scan all your videos, find the link, and replace it with the new one. That will save you a bunch of time. VidIQ, on the other hand, supports bulk copying and editing to cards and end screens only.
TubeBuddy has six tools to help you manage viewer comments.
- Canned responses allow you to create prewritten messages to use frequently, for example, “Great comment!” I will look into this.”
- Comment filters enable you to manage large amounts of comments with advanced filtering options.
- Comment spotlight helps you to identify comments from your Patreon supporters and recent subscribers.
- Notification commenting allows you to reply to comments directly from the YouTube notification window.
- The comment word cloud gives you a visual representation of what people are saying about your videos.
- Export video comments to a CSV file to manage.
VidIQ’s comment templates are equivalent to TubeBuddy’s canned responses. That is the only comment feature it has.
Analytical data for both tools carry over to competitor insights. TubeBuddy’s Videolytics and VidIQ’s Scorecard provide much of the same data points for other channels. Their Chrome extensions provide channel/video data and graphical comparisons. Their web apps support direct channel-to-channel comparisons by entering a channel URL or ID. You can assess total and weekly averages for views, subs, and uploads.
TubeBuddy will notify you whenever a competitor uploads a new video. Notification options include email, app notification, and text message. VidIQ displays your competitors trending videos for different time intervals.
TubeBuddy automatically audits and checks to ensure you’re following YouTube’s recommendations. Its demonetization audit finds words that could penalize your videos. Users can also discover demonetized videos on their channels and submit them for manual reviews via its demonetization double-check tool.
VidIQ’s controversial keywords feature identifies words and phrases in your metadata that might be inappropriate for advertisers. For example, the title, “How to Shoot Great Pics with Your Smartphone,” would be identified as potentially troublesome because the term “shoot” could refer to tragedy and conflict.
Arguably one of the most critical activities for creators is keyword research and tag management. TubeBuddy and VidIQ offer robust capabilities in those areas.
TubeBuddy’s Search Explorer side panel showcases several data points for a search query. Suppose you search for the term “passive income.” The Keyword Score tab indicates search volume, searches per month, competition, and overall competitive score. The Keyword Stats tab specifies the top videos’ most and least views and the number of keywords in titles, descriptions, and tags. Related searches and frequently used tags are also visible.
On the Videolytics side panel, the Search Rankings tool lets you see where a video ranks for all its tags on a YouTube search.
The Keyword Explorer is available in the web app. It provides similar data to Search Explorer. Users also get rising related queries, trending, and historical interest and map figures via Google Trends.
The Keyword Ranking Tracker is another neat feature. It enables you to track your videos’ (and your competitors’) ranking across YouTube and Google search results. Performance reports can be set to generate automatically.
The SEO Studio tool can help you craft the perfect title, description, and tags to get your video seen.
VidIQ’s Scorecard side panel highlights average and highest views, the top creator, and the number of keywords in titles and descriptions. Its keyword score helps gauge how difficult it would be to rank among the top videos. Related and top queries, interest over time, and trending video stats are also available.
Trend Alerts enable you to monitor keywords, categories, and competitors. It’s a great tool to keep tabs on trending and breakout videos. Set up notifications by views per hour and email frequency.
The Keyword Inspector displays related keywords and trending videos, scores, and reports. Click on highlighted terms to get more insights.
TubeBuddy and VidIQ allow you to download all your video metadata for safekeeping and manage it in Excel and Google Docs.
TubeBuddy’s mobile app is free to download and use. Some features may be limited unless you have access to TubeBuddy Mobile Unlimited. You can pay a monthly fee of $2.99 to get Mobile Unlimited or get it for free with any paid plan. Most of the features focus on tag and comment management.
VidIQ’s mobile app is free to download and use. Most of the features focus on SEO, keywords, and tags.
Social Media Marketing
Both companies enable you to cross-promote and share your videos on Facebook. TubeBuddy also supports social sharing on Twitter. TubeBuddy and VidIQ monitor engagement stats on Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit.
When you upload a video, TubeBuddy will recommend and rank tags for you to use. Videolytics shows the tags used for every video, and those terms can be copied to use for your videos. For efficiency, create lists for quick access to frequently used tags. Its tag sorter offers the ability to drag, auto-sort by rank, and reorder terms.
When you upload a video, VidIQ will recommend and rank tags for you to use. It shows the tags used for every video, and users can copy the terms to use for their videos. Bulk SEO and channel-wide tags target high-ranking terms to implement across your videos. Finally, you can create a keyword template for commonly used terms to save time.
Both apps enable creators to make thumbnails and save templates for future use. With TubeBuddy, create professional-grade thumbnails using still frames from your videos. Choose a background, add text/designs, preview, and publish. Alternatively, VidIQ offers much of the same, i.e., a custom thumbnail editor that allows you to add text, shapes, and images.
Tips & Insights
Both companies have robust YouTube channels and blogs that offer hundreds of videos featuring tips, ideas, tutorials, strategies, interviews, live streams, Q&A, YouTube news, and promotions. VidIQ offers online courses through its academy.
TubeBuddy integrates with several apps, including Patreon, Social Bluebook, MagicLinks, Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon Alexa. VidIQ connects to Facebook only.
Paying TubeBuddy customers can access over ten deals and discounts from video, audio, and graphics companies. For example, you’ll get one month free plus a 30 percent discount on Filmora‘s video editing software. VidIQ Rewards has deals for audio, graphics, videos, and other apps. Discounts and offers depend on the customer’s plan, i.e., Basic, Pro, or Boost.
TubeBuddy offers support through different options, including virtual assistant, knowledge base, and support/helpdesk tickets. The support link on VidIQ leads to a help center/knowledge base. Virtual assistance is available through a chat prompt. Clicking on “Contact” activates the same chat prompt for one-on-one support.
Ease of Use
TubeBuddy and VidIQ are easy to use and foolproof. After you install their plugins, it’s only a matter of reviewing analytics and using the features you want. Both companies have robust resources to support their apps, including how-to videos, tutorials, blogs, and more. Many YouTubers and bloggers have similar content about how to use and get the most from both extensions.
Other Cool Features
- Schedule videos to be hidden and removed from playlists.
- Use card and end screen templates.
- Create multiple default upload profiles for each type of video you make.
- Manage and get ideas for future video topics.
- Add professionally transcribed captions to your videos.
- Split and A/B test titles, thumbnails, tags, and descriptions to find what works best.
- For a contest or giveaway, randomly select a user who has commented.
- Promote one of your videos in the descriptions of all your other videos.
- Get a breakdown of languages spoken by your channel’s audience.
- Get suggestions for channel growth based on video performance and analytics (Opportunity Finder).
- Translate titles, descriptions, and tags into other languages to increase your global viewership.
- Celebrate, download a certificate, and share your channel milestones and achievements on social media.
- Track and share your milestones for subscribers, views, uploads, likes, hours watched, and comments.
- Promote one of your videos in the descriptions of all your other videos via “description campaigns.”
- Daily Ideas uses artificial intelligence to recommend the most relevant creative opportunities for your channel. Suggestions are refreshed daily.
Plans & Pricing
TubeBuddy has five plans, including Free, Pro, Star, Legend, and Enterprise. Coupons and discounts are available for channels with less than 1,000 subscribers, annual billing, multiple channels, and nonprofit entities. For example, the pro plan costs $9 monthly but can cost as little as $3.60 for a 60 percent discount.
- Pro: $9/monthly
- Star: $19/monthly
- Legend: $49/monthly
- Enterprise: request information
VidIQ has four plans, including Basic, Pro, Boost, and Enterprise. Discounts are available for annual billing and multiple channels.
- Basic (free)
- Pro: $7.50/monthly
- Boost: $39/monthly
- Enterprise: request a demo
TubeBuddy and VidIQ have high-paying affiliate programs that pay affiliates for referring new customers and sales. Both companies pay recurring commission rates of up to 50 percent for the life of the customer. TubeBuddy’s commission tiers are based on app installs, whereas VidIQ uses sales, making it easier to earn more with TubeBuddy. They run their programs with in-house affiliate marketing software and send commissions via PayPal. TubeBuddy supports affiliates with monthly newsletters, training videos, and workshops, whereas VidIQ offers less in that regard.
- Analytics and data: VidIQ
- Backup: tie
- Browser support: TubeBuddy
- Bulk updates: TubeBuddy
- Comment management: TubeBuddy
- Competitor research: tie
- Demonetization prevention: VidIQ
- Keyword research: tie
- Mobile app: VidIQ
- Social media: tie
- Tag management: tie
- Thumbnail generation: tie
- Integrations: TubeBuddy
- Member Perks: TubeBuddy
- Customer support: TubeBuddy
- Ease of use: tie
- Other cool features: TubeBuddy
- Plans and pricing: TubeBuddy
- Affiliate program: TubeBuddy
Reasons to Choose Tubebuddy Over VidIQ
TubeBuddy offers more features, supported browsers, excellent customer support, and better pricing compared to VidIQ.
Reasons to Choose VidIQ Over TubeBuddy
VidIQ provides slightly better analytics, a user-friendly dashboard, a better mobile app, and more insightful blogs and demonetization tips compared to TubeBuddy.
Alternatives to TubeBuddy & VidIQ
TubeBuddy and VidIQ dominate the YouTube channel management app market with very little competition. It’s very much an oligopoly. Tubics offers competitor insights, keyword/tag suggestions, reporting, and thumbnail split testing. However, Tubics targets global brands and agencies with a pricey monthly fee of $790 monthly and no free plan or trial. Social Blade is a public database showcasing user statistics for a range of social media sites, including YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and more. It’s an excellent site for competitor insights but not much else. Another alternative is single-feature apps that support one activity or function, for example, YouTube tag generators.
TubeBuddy and VidIQ are excellent tools, and users can use them at the same time. TubeBuddy is more feature-rich and affordable than VidIQ. TubeBuddy also outshines or ties VidIQ in every major category except for analytics and demonetization prevention. Overall, I recommend TubeBuddy over VidIQ to grow your channel, get views, increase subscribers, and dominate YouTube.