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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. However, virality is the exception rather than the rule. The top creators plan, research, strategize and experiment to produce high-quality videos and build 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,” which are apps, products, and services to manage their channels and growth. Channel management is a catchall for activities involving 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. Thankfully, there are tools to fill those gaps.
TubeBuddy Versus VidIQ
TubeBuddy is a powerful browser extension (Chrome and Firefox), web, and a mobile app that provides features on top of YouTube’s website. It offers tools for channel optimization, video SEO, keyword research, tag management, analytics, productivity, bulk processing, marketing, and more. TubeBuddy is a YouTube certified app.
VidIQ offers a suite of 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. VidIQ is a YouTube certified app.
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 reflect paid plans.)
Analytics & Data
TubeBuddy and VidIQ provide analytics through their browser extensions and web apps. The data comes directly from YouTube Studio and Google, hence the reason a user must permit them to access his or her data.
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.
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. By contrast, VidIQ 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 discover demonetized videos on their channels and submit them for manual reviews.
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 most and least views for the top videos and the number of keywords in titles, descriptions, and tags. Related searches and frequently used tags are also visible. Separately, Search Rankings lets you see where your video ranks for all its tags in YouTube search.
The Keyword Explorer is available in the web app. It provides similar data to Search Explorer. Users also get rising related queries, what’s 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.
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, peace of mind, and to manage in Excel and Google Docs.
TubeBuddy has a mobile app, whereas VidIQ does not. Its mobile app has many capabilities for work on the go.
Social Media Marketing
Both companies enable you to cross-promote and share your videos on Facebook. TubeBuddy also supports social sharing to 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. Lastly, translate tags into other languages to increase your global viewership.
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. With TubeBuddy, create professional-grade thumbnails using still frames from your videos. Choose a background, add text/designs, preview, and publish.
The VidIQ custom thumbnail editor allows you to add text, shapes, images, and create templates.
TubeBuddy integrates with several other apps, including Patreon, Social Bluebook, MagicLinks, Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon Alexa. VidIQ connects to Facebook only.
Paid TubeBuddy users get access to over ten deals and discounts from video, audio, and graphics companies. For example, you’ll get one month free plus a 30 percent discount off Filmora‘s video editing software. VidIQ doesn’t offer perks or deals.
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.
- 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.”
Plans & Pricing
TubeBuddy has four plans, including Free, Pro, Star, and Legend. 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 be as low as $3.60 for a 60 percent discount.
- Pro: $9/monthly
- Star: $19/monthly
- Legend: $49/monthly
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
Better App Summary
- Analytics and data: VidIQ
- Backup: tie
- Bulk updates: TubeBuddy
- Comment management: TubeBuddy
- Competitor research: tie
- Demonetization prevention: VidIQ
- Keyword research: tie
- Mobile app: TubeBuddy
- Social media: tie
- Tag management: tie
- Thumbnail generation: tie
- Integrations: TubeBuddy
- Member Perks: TubeBuddy
- Other cool features: TubeBuddy
- Plans and pricing: TubeBuddy
TubeBuddy and VidIQ are excellent tools, and users can use them at the same time. However, TubeBuddy is more feature-rich and affordable than VidIQ. TubeBuddy 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 subs, and dominate YouTube.