YouTube FAQ

Frequently asked questions about using Vimsy with YouTube videos

rowan@vimsy.co profile

Written by Rowan

Updated 2017-07-07

YouTube FAQ

If you've looked around our website you'll have noticed that Vimsy lets you use videos hosted on third party video hosting services YouTube, Vimeo and Wistia, in addition to uploading videos directly to Vimsy, to create a video streaming website. This is called a Vimsy channel. Your channel can be public, you can restrict access to people that you specify, or you can put your video behind a paywall and sell them on a one-off or subscription basis. If you want to know more about how YouTube compares with Vimsy, check out our YouTube comparison.

The most common questions we receive are about using these features with YouTube videos. In this article I hope to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.

Can I add other people's YouTube videos to my channel?

You can use any video that has a "Public" or "Unlisted" privacy setting and has allowed embedding on other websites. The content creator has full control of these settings on YouTube and they can be set when they upload their videos. On YouTube, video privacy settings are in the "Basic Info" panel. The ability to turn off embedding is under "Advanced Settings". Anybody who uses YouTube to host their videos can access these settings and we respect them fully. If a video is private or has embedding disabled you cannot use it on Vimsy. This could also apply to content with syndication restrictions, such as popular music videos or TV show clips.

The long and short of it is that you can only use Vimsy with other people's videos as long as those videos can be embedded on other websites. So there's nothing stopping you from creating a channel that curates your favourite videos of an author or public figure, or creating a fan channel for your favourite band. Just don't take it too far. We won't hold back from removing a channel if we think it's deliberately misleading or passing itself off as something it's not. (We'll send a warning first.)

The same principle applies for Vimeo too.

Are YouTube OK with Vimsy doing this?

Everything we're providing is allowed within the YouTube Terms of Service and we use their public API to integrate with their platform. This does mean that Youtube videos on Vimsy have a link back to Youtube in the video player. For this reason we don't suggest using Youtube as your host for paid or restricted content. Here's a video that explains the optimal privacy settings for selling your videos: https://support.vimsy.co/video...

Fundamentally, all we're doing is embedding YouTube videos onto a website, just like any other website where you may watch embedded YouTube videos. (E.g. on a social media feed or on a news website.)

What if I sell other people's YouTube videos?

There's nothing stopping you from doing this at a technical level, but it would be a very silly thing to do. As stated earlier, we will remove channels if we think they're deliberately misleading or passing themselves off as something they're not. Additionally, payments are made to your Stripe account and you will be responsible for any sales you make. If your customers aren't happy and request a refund you'll find that Stripe will be coming back to you to return those funds to the disgruntled customer. (And both Stripe and Vimsy will be keeping any fees taken.)

The only situation that we can think of where it may make sense to include other people's YouTube videos as part of a paid collection is if you're using them as a reference alongside your own original content, like including a YouTube video as part of a training course for example.

The short answer? Apply common sense.

What about selling my own YouTube videos?

This is perfectly fine, but you should be aware that YouTube videos display a link back to the source video. This is detailed in our support video. We don't recommend YouTube for hosting paid content, and would suggest Vimsy Hosting instead.

There are a few situations where using YouTube videos within a paid collection could make sense, though. For example, you may want your taster, introduction or promotional videos to be hosted on YouTube so that the views and engagement you get on Vimsy contributes to your performance on YouTube. The more engagement your YouTube videos get the more likely they are to surface in YouTube search and the "Related videos" sidebar on other videos. Views on Vimsy will contribute to that.


I hope this answers the main questions about using YouTube with Vimsy. We'll no doubt update this post in the future as we're asked more questions about using YouTube with Vimsy. If you have any questions you can reach out to us at hello@vimsy.co

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