If you want your YouTube channel to grow as quickly as possible, you need the right tools as well as a viable marketing strategy.
Tubebuddy and Vidiq are two of the most popular and feature-rich applications to help you get more out of your videos.
Like Pepsi and Coca-Cola, they are always fighting each other for attention.
But which one is actually better?
Let’s compare Tubebuddy and Vidiq and see which is the better choice for taking your video marketing to the next level.
I’ll start with a summary of each service (for more details, see my reviews of each) and then see how they compare.
Main Differences TubeBuddy vs VidIQ
Both these tools have a free version and multiple paid plans that unlock better and more advanced features. Here are the most important differences:
|Monthly Plans||Pro: $7.50|
|Pro: $7.20 ($3.60 if less than 1,000 subscribers)|
|Keyword Research||No Free features|
Unlocked at Pro level
|Free: top 3 results visible, 25 free searches per day|
Fully unlocked at Pro level
|Tags||No Free features|
Boost: tag recommendations
|Free: up to 3 tag lists to insert on any video, tag ranking tracking, and tag sorter|
Star: Unlimited tag lists
|Competitor Analysis||Free: track up to 3 competitors|
Pro: track up to 6 competitors
Boost: track up to 20 competitors
|No Free Features|
Pro: Stats comparisons and upload alerts
|Strongest Point||More focused on channel audit for growth||More focused on making everything more automated, easier, and faster|
Reasons to Choose TubeBuddy
- Better at making your job as a YouTuber easier and faster by giving you ability to save templates to use constantly for multiple videos (reusable tags and end screens, easy thumbnail creation, and more).
- More free features.
- Offers a special price for small YouTubers.
- More focused on the individual YouTuber to make their life easier.
Reasons to Choose VidIQ
- Focuses more on competition analysis and finding opportunities for growth (best time to publish, trending videos, keyword optimization, competitor comparisons, etc).
- Offers more channel audit tools from Boost level and up.
- Better for teams looking to grow in highly competitive niches.
- The most expensive plan includes a monthly coaching call.
An Introduction to TubeBuddy
TubeBuddy is a web-based suite of tools that help you manage and optimize your YouTube videos and channels.
One of the features I like best about it is that you can add is for free as a Chrome extension (this is the case for VidIQ as well).
Of course, if you want to enjoy the full range of features you’ll need to upgrade to one of the paid plans.
However, even the free version is quite handy for getting more views and engagements to your videos.
For example, you can consult the upload checklist to make sure you’ve optimized your video as much as possible.
The extension also gives you advanced video embed, social monitor, channel valuation, emoji picker, share tracker and more.
If you upgrade, you have even more capabilities, depending on which plan you choose (there are 3: Pro, Star, and Legend).
- Advanced scheduling options: Schedule edits to your videos such as changes to tags, titles, private/public status, and more.
- Card & End Screen Templates: Make it simple to leverage YouTube cards and motivate your viewers to take action such as clicking on links at the end of videos and answering polls.
- Keyword tracking: Get reports on keyword rankings.
- Video A/B tests: With the Legend plan, you can test thumbnails, title tags, and descriptions.
- Access to the TubeBuddy Community: Many experienced video marketers offer helpful advice on the forums. You can also learn a lot from podcasts and the free chat channel on Discord.
An Introduction to VidIQ
VidIQ, like TubeBuddy, is a video marketing tool that focuses on SEO for YouTube.
As with TubeBuddy, you can install the Chrome extension and access some free features such as basic analytics for one channel, track 3 competitors, and trend alerts.
VidIQ also has several paid plans: Pro, Boost, and Enterprise.
The costlier plans are useful if you operate more than one YouTube channel. Some of the helpful features of VidIQ include:
- Track keywords: Keywords are just as critical for YouTube as for Google (not surprising when you recall that Google owns YouTube). The Keyword Engine provides insights into keywords for your video titles, tags, and descriptions to help you rank better. Depending on your plan, you can get information on 40, 100, or 200 videos.
- Track competitors: It’s important to know how your competition is ranking so you can alter your strategy when appropriate. You can find, for example, which topics and keywords are getting lots of views for another channel.
- Trend alerts: Find out which topics are trending for clues on what kind of videos to create in the future.
- Historical analysis: Track how your videos, or those of competitors, have performed over time.
- Dedicated SEO analysis: (with Boost). Get analytics tailored to the needs of your video channel.
Both TubeBuddy and VidIQ have similar functions and offer comparable features. To compare them, we have to look closely at some of the particular tools each offers as well as their pricing plans.
TubeBuddy vs. VidIQ: Comparing Plans
Both of these services provide useful yet limited options with their free plans.
If you want to get more comprehensive data, you’ll have to upgrade with at least one of them.
Whenever you compare two products or services, you have to consider the price.
This can get complicated when comparing multi-tiered services as you have to make sure you’re looking at equivalent plans.
- Upload Checklist
- Channel Valuation
- Emoji Picker
- Advanced Video Embed
- Thumbnail Generator (Limited)
- Coppa Center – Scan your videos to find out which are appropriate for kids. Coppa legislation was passed to protect children from having their data collected.
- Comment Filters (Limited) -Filter your comments to quickly find spam, negative, and positive comments.
- Social Monitor
- Real-Time Sub Counts
- Vid2Vid Promotion -Promote one video in the description of another.
- Keyword Explorer (Limited)
- Insta-Suggest -Get real-time tag suggestions.
- Access to TubeBuddy Mobile
Pro: $9/month. Includes all Free features plus:
- Publish to Facebook
- Best Practice Audit
- Video Topic Planner
- Card & End Screen Templates
- Search Rankings
- Health Report – Provides an overview of your channel’s health.
- Channel Backup (Limited) -Protects your data with backups.
You also get more comprehensive versions of many limited free features, such as Keyword Explorer, Suggested Tags, Insta-Suggest, and Comment Filters.
Star: $19/month. Includes all Pro features plus:
- Sunset Videos -Schedule to have videos set to public or private in the future or remove a video from your playlist.
- Demonetization Double-Check -Find out immediately if YouTube has demonetized any of your videos.
- Bulk Thumbnail Overlays
- Bulk Find, Replace, & Append
- Opportunity Finder -search phrases & tags that can help you get more views.
- Brand Alerts
- Bulk Copy & Delete Cards
- Schedule Video Update, Publish or Post to Facebook
Legend: $49/month. All features of Star plus:
- Comment Spotlight – Quickly identify new comments from subscribers or Patreon supporters.
- Video A/B Tests (limited)
- Channel Access -Provide selected users with access to your TubeBuddy account.
- Export Comments -Save comments to a CSV file if you want to analyze them.
- Retention Analyzer -Calculates what parts of your videos are causing viewers to leave or remain.
- Competitor Upload Alerts (limited)
This is not a complete list of features but gives you some idea of what you get with each paid plan.
- 1 User
- 1 Channel
- Competitor Tracking (3)
- Basic Video Analytics
- Limited Trend Alerts
- Video Scorecard -An overview of your YouTube stats such as views, views per hour, average view time, and more with a VidIQ score.
- Live Stats Bar -See the latest stats in real-time.
Pro: Starts at $7.50/month. All free features plus:
- Competitor Tracking (6)
- Keyword Research Tool
- YouTube Description Campaigns
- Top Trending Videos -Find out the latest trending keywords and topics across YouTube.
- Historical Analysis
- Top Tweets For Videos
- Best Time of Day
Boost: Starting at $39/month. Get twice as many views on new videos. All features of Pro plus:
- 1, 3, or 5 Channels
- VidIQ Keyword Engine -40, 100, or 200 videos per month (pricing goes up for each tier).
- Competitor Tracking (20)
- Trend Alerts – 5, 10, or 15.
- SEO Title & Description Recommendations
- Facebook Syndication
- Video Archival
- Bulk SEO Optimization
- Channel Wide Tags
Boost Plus: Starting at $125/month. This plan is designed mainly for agencies.
- Up to 5 Channels
- VidIQ Keyword Engine (200 videos/month)
- 15 Trend Alerts
- Monthly Coaching Call
- Analytics Deep Dive
- Personalized Tips & Tricks
In should be noted that both TubeBuddy and VidIQ offer customized plans beyond the ones we’ve covered.
TubeBuddy offers a Star plan while VidIQ has an Enterprise plan.
Since these are customized for larger companies and serious video marketers, it’s hard to compare them head-to-head.
However, if you’re interested, it’s worth talking to each service to get a feel for one they can do for you at this level.
Comparing TubeBuddy and VidIQ
It’s fairly complicated to compare services that each offer multiple tiers and such a diversity of features.
Here are some conclusions based on trying out both.
What I Like Best About TubeBuddy
Here are some of the things I like best about TubeBuddy:
Transparent Pricing and Features
While both services have a dizzying number of features (which is basically good but a bit overwhelming), it’s nice to be able to easily pinpoint and understand them all.
TubeBuddy has a link to each feature so you can read a description of exactly how it works. VidIQ only lists features with no links so it’s not as easy to know exactly what each one is.
Also, VidIQ’s pricing is a bit murkier, as plans start at a certain price (e.g. Pro starts at $7.50/month) depending on your needs. TubeBuddy has a straightforward price for each plan.
A simple way to compare your channel with a competitor’s.
While both services have extensive tools for measuring the health of your videos and channel, the upload checklist on TubeBuddy is especially handy, giving you an instant overview of what’s going on.
In addition to Vid2Vid promotion (listed above), they have Pick a Winner, a simple contest feature that lets you pick a random winner, as well as Subscriber Outreach, which makes it easy to track and connect with viewers on social media sites.
On all plans, you can work on your mobile device. With the free plan, however, you have to pay $2.99/month to access the mobile app.
TubeBuddy offers an impressive number of perks/bonuses which include free or discounted memberships to services such as TuberTools, Collabspace, Jukedeck, 3PlayMedia, YouTubeStock, and more.
These give you access to graphics, music, captions, and other useful tidbits to make your videos more professional.
What I Like Best About VidIQ
VidIQ also has some great features.
Unique Metric: VPH
Views Per Hour (VPH) can tell you how popular a video is right now.
What VPH does is take a look at how many views it’s been getting lately.
Knowing exactly how many views per hour lets you know if that 1 million views video you just watched that was published 12 years ago is getting trending right now or if it died years ago.
Truly powerful information.
Both TubeBuddy and VidIQ offer extremely useful analytics, though in slightly different ways.
VidIQ provides real-time stats for any YouTube video. The stat bar is a great feature that’s available with even the free plan.
I find it quite useful to be able to easily learn about trending videos. Even the free version shows you the view velocity, which is views per hour, for the top YouTube videos.
This is a valuable type of social listening that can give you insights on what topics to cover in your videos.
Even if a trending video is outside your niche, you could tie in the topic to your own business in some way (e.g. refer to a popular movie, sporting event, or holiday).
This is one of my favorite features. It will tell you which videos are performing better in different aspects (engagement, average view duration, likes, etc).
This gives you an easy and pleasant-to-the-eye way of analyzing your channel even if you don’t know anything about reading analytic reports.
This allows you to do more of the things that are working, which is really important for your channel’s success.
VidIQ doesn’t require you to become a channel partner. To gain access to TubeBuddy’s SEO features, you’ll need to share more personal information by partnering with them.
This could be seen as a “con” about TubeBuddy or a VidIQ pro, but if you want to retain more autonomy you’ll appreciate this distinction.
That said, I don’t want to imply that it’s not safe to use TubeBuddy, which is an experienced YouTube-certified company that works with many large brands.
If you have security concerns, you may want to study their security policy.
So, which one should I choose?
Best Price for Starters: TubeBuddy
Something that any newcomer will find useful about TubeBuddy is its pricing.
Even though their Pro plan normal price is $9, you can bring it down to $4.5 if you have less than 1,000 subs.
And if you pay for an entire year in one single payment, you’ll get the lowest price possible: $3.6
Their features are really useful and their prices are flexible, so this is probably the best option for most people.
Best Features and Interface: Vidiq
However, when it comes to interface and the features that both offer, I like Vidiq’s the most.
Both TubeBuddy and VidIQ are quality tools used by many successful businesses and agencies. You can benefit by using either of them.
Furthermore, which you prefer will largely come down to your personal needs, preferences, and budget.
Still, as I’m doing a comparison, I’ll mention my preferences.
If you prefer to stick with a free plan, you can get quite a bit of value from either the TubeBuddy or VidIQ Chrome extension.
Since you can use both of these for free, you have nothing to lose by trying both. If you want to do a fair comparison, however, it’s best to try one for a while and then the other.
If you use them at the same time and for the same videos, you can’t do a comparison and your results will be muddled.
So I suggest trying each free extension, on its own, for a month or so:
Finally, it’s important to recognize the limits as well as the advantages of any marketing tool.
Both TubeBuddy and VidIQ are both quality tools that can enhance your YouTube videos and channels but it’s still up to you to create quality videos with engaging content.
So, the best thing you can do is go test both free versions.
Then, come back to me and tell me in the comments below: which one do you like the most?
Will has been a full-time content creator since 2014. He’s an audio, video, and tech hobbyist dedicated to reviewing products and giving you the best tips he knows to grow your audience.