VidIQ vs TubeBuddy 2020 | A Full Comparison!

VidIQ and TubeBuddy are two of the most popular YouTube management tools that help creators and businesses in growing their YouTube presence. Below, we will compare VidIQ vs TubeBuddy to help you find out which one you should use for your YouTube channel.

Every minute, 300 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube. With so much video content on the platform, quality content is usually not enough to attract and keep viewers.

No matter how beautifully produced your video content is, it will be a waste of your time, money, and energy if you don’t have a plan to make sure they are viewed by the audience you want to reach. This is where VidIQ and TubeBuddy come in. Keep reading for a full VidIQ vs TubeBuddy overview.

Why YouTubers Need VidIQ and TubeBuddy

To get viewers, you need to make sure that your videos can easily be searched by your target audience. You need a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your videos rank higher in the search results page.

SEO includes decisions made before uploading a video, such as using the right keywords in the titles and descriptions of your videos, choosing the right tags, and creating a thumbnail that will get people to click on your video.

What you do or get after uploading also affects the searchability of a video. For example, the number of comments, shares, and new subscribers that a video gets have all been proven to be correlated with higher rankings.

Whether you are still in the early stages of your YouTube journey, or already have an established channel with multiple videos, channel management toolkits like VidIQ and TubeBuddy can help save a lot of your time and energy.

How can VidIQ and TubeBuddy help you exactly? Let’s explore each of them in detail in this VidIQ vs TubeBuddy overview.

Overview of VidIQ vs TubeBuddy

Both VidIQ and TubeBuddy have free and paid versions that can help in publishing and promoting your videos.

Weekends are also a popular time on YouTube, with Fridays and Saturdays as the best days of the week for engagement, while Sunday is also an ideal day to upload a video.


VidIQ is a YouTube-certified channel management tool that offers live statistics, competitor scorecards, and keyword research features that can help you boost your videos. You can download it for free as a Chrome or a Firefox extension.

VidIQ also offers paid versions that come with more powerful features as the price increases. Their Pro plan starts at $7.50 per month, which allows you to track more competitors and see how your videos are being shared on social media.

Their Boost plan starts at $39/month, which allows you to utilize VidIQ for up to 5 channels, track 20 competitors, and obtain recommendations for titles and descriptions that you should use for your videos.

Their most expensive plan, Boost+, starts at $415 per month and allows you to have regular personal coaching, in-depth analysis of your video statistics, and priority access to their customer support.


TubeBuddy is another tool that can help you more easily publish your YouTube videos, increase your views, and get more engagement on your channel. It is available as a free extension for Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox, as well as a mobile app.

Just like VidIQ, TubeBuddy offers paid plans that expand on features as the price goes up. Their paid options start with the Pro plan, which costs $9 each month ($7.50 per month if billed annually), and $4.50 per month if your channel has less than 1,000 subscribers. With the Pro plan, you gain access to their Thumbnail Generator, card and end screen templates, and their SEO studio.

Their Star plan costs $19 per month, which gives you access to all the tools that the Pro plan offers, plus advanced scheduling tools, the ability to update your videos in bulk, and the ability to schedule to hide videos at a future time.

The Legend plan is their priciest one, which costs $49 per month. With the Legend plan, you get everything that the Star plan offers, plus auto-translation tools, in-depth competitor research and analysis, and the ability to conduct A/B video testing.

The best tool and plan for you depends on your budget, your personal or business goals, and your own YouTube process. To help you determine the best plan and tool, below we will compare VidIQ vs TubeBuddy in terms of their respective free versions, then we will break down the features included in each of their paid plans, and then finally highlight the main similarities and differences between these two tools.

Comparing the FREE Versions: VidIQ vs TubeBuddy

VidIQ – Free Version

You can download VidIQ for free by installing the extension on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. The free version allows you to use VidIQ for only one YouTube channel.

Keyword Engine

One of the most useful features of the free version of VidIQ is the keyword research tool. This allows you to see the leading channels for a certain search term, as well as the number of average views and average subscribers associated to the search term. It also allows you to see how effective the keywords would be when used in a video title or description.

VidIQ will let give you a “search volume” score, which lets you know how popular a search term is, plus a “competition” score, which tells you whether there’s already high competition for those words. It will give you an overall keyword score, ranging from high to low, to help you predict how effective a keyword would be for your videos.

For example, the keywords “digital marketing” gave me the following score:

Competitor Tracking

The free version of VidIQ also allows you to track your competitors. You can add up to 3 channels to monitor. With VidIQ’s competitor tracking, you can easily see what your competitors are uploading, the keywords they are using, and the views they are getting.

VidIQ Academy

VidIQ Academy offers helpful online courses that can help you make the most out of your YouTube career. From beginner courses like finding the right equipment for your videos, to more advanced courses like how to make money from YouTube, VidIQ Academy can provide you with the right skillset to launch your YouTube career.

Quick and Live Stats

With the free version of VidIQ, you will be able to see quick, live statistics such as like ratio on a video, average hours your videos have been watched, and the number of views you received within the last hour.


TubeBuddy – Free Version

TubeBuddy’s free version comes with limited but still helpful features to help with your YouTube workflow.

Upload Checklist

Uploading a video involves multiple steps, including choosing an effective title, adding a description, creating a personalized thumbnail, and adding info cards. With TubeBuddy’s free version, you will get an upload checklist so you can make sure that you are doing everything that you need to do to maximize the potential of your video.


Videolytics allows you see a quick snapshot of insights on any YouTube video. Aside from showing you how a video is performing in terms of views, comments, and likes, it also lets you know how the video is being shared across social media platforms and what else could be done to boost the SEO ranking of that video.  It also allows you to compare any video on YouTube with any video in your channel, which can help you outperform competitors.

Thumbnail Generator

With TubeBuddy’s thumbnail generator, you don’t have to open a photo editing software to create and customize your thumbnails. It will allow you to add a text, an image, a shape, and an emoji right from TubeBuddy’s dashboard. The paid versions let you customize your thumbnails as much as you want, while the free version only allows you to add one custom image and does not allow you to create a thumbnail template.

COPPA Center

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (“COPPA”) are a set of regulations that websites and other online platforms must follow in order to protect the privacy of children under the age of 13.

To respect COPPA, YouTube requires that any video that are directed to children must be marked as “Made for Kids”. TubeBuddy’s COPPA Center can help you ensure that your videos are within COPPA’s guidelines. It can also help you compare which videos have been rated by YouTube as Made for Kids, but you overrode as Not Made for Kids.

Picking Contest Winners

If you are running a contest on your channel and you need to pick a random winner, TubeBuddy can randomly select a winner for you. With this feature, TubeBudy will scan all the comments on a video, or only comments containing specific words, and randomly select a commenter based on the parameters you have chosen. This feature also allows you to access the social media accounts of this random winner.

Comparing the PREMIUM Versions: VidIQ vs TubeBuddy

VidIQ – PREMIUM Version

Keyword Research Tool

While the free version of VidIQ has a helpful keyword engine, the paid versions allow you to dive more deeply into the different possible keywords you can use for your videos. Aside from telling you the search volume and the level of competition for a certain search term, VidIQ’s keyword research tool will also provide you with a list of top search queries that are related to the terms you entered.

If you enable the Inline Tags feature, you will also be able to see the tags that are being used by any video. You can use this feature to see what keyword phrases the top videos are using in their tags. This will give you an idea of potential keywords that can boost the search ranking of your own videos.

Best Time to Post

VidIQ’s ‘Best Time to Publish’ feature will allow you to see the times of the day that you get most viewer traffic.

You will see a bar graph that shows how your views change over time in 3-hour windows. You can use this information to upload a video just right before the peak time for your viewer traffic. Check out this article to learn more about the best time to upload to YouTube.

Source: VidIQ Blog

Productivity Features

VidIQ has a ton of productivity tools that can help you save time in managing multiple videos. Some productivity features are:

Bulk YouTube Cards / End Screens: You know the interactive links that appear on the top right corner of the screen in the middle of a video, or the recommended clickable videos that appear right at the end of a video? Those are called YouTube cards.

You can use YouTube cards to promote a video, promote your channel, or direct your viewers to another website. VidIQ offers a feature that allows you to process and edit YouTube cards and end screens in bulk so you don’t have to change them for every single video. This is helpful when you are running a campaign and want to extensively promote a product or a link across all of your videos, or when you want to draw attention to a particular video for people who may come across your old videos for the first time.

Comment Templates: VidIQ also offers a comment productivity tool that allows you to reply to comments much faster. This can save you a lot of time especially if you get the same comments in every video. Instead of typing out your answers for every single comment, you only have to enter them once through VidIQ’s Comment Templates feature to reply.

Video Impact and Engagement

VidIQ allows you to sort the comments on your videos in a number of ways: those that have replies, those that don’t, and those that contain questions. You can also filter out profanities, or comments that contain certain words. This allows you to closely monitor the quality of conversations generated by your videos. You can use this information to come up with video ideas, or to think of products and services that cater to your audience.

VidIQ also allows you to see the number of subscribers each of your commenter has, as well as any tweets that mention your video. This can help you find influencers that have engaged with your videos. If done correctly, you can build a relationship with these influencers to further amplify the reach of your videos. 

TubeBuddy – PREMIUM Version

Mobile App

TubeBudy has a mobile app, but the tools included in the free version are limited. The paid versions give you access to a wider range of features, including the ability to view your live subscriber count, filter your comments, send automatic responses, and access trending alerts while on the go.

The paid versions automatically give you full access to the mobile app, but you can also purchase access to the mobile app separately for only $2.99 each month.

Productivity Tools

Card / End Screen Templates: Like VidIQ, you can also create a card template with TubeBuddy’s paid versions so you can easily apply the same set of cards on all new uploads, instead of creating a separate card repeatedly every single upload.

Bulk Processing: TubeBuddy’s Star and Legend versions allow you to process multiple videos at once. The bulk processing tools allow you to copy or update cards, end screens, thumbnails, and playlists in bulk so you don’t have to go through every single video to make a small update.

Sunset Videos: This tool allows you to hide or delete a video at a future date and time. This is helpful for when you are launching a seasonal campaign that has an end date, or when you have a video that will completely be obsolete after a certain date.

Video A/B Tests

If you want to test out certain thumbnails, titles, description, or tags and see what works best for a video, TubeBuddy’s Legend plan allows you to conduct split testing.

This tool will allow you to use two thumbnails for the same video. These two thumbnails will be randomly distributed to two equally sized groups of users. One thumbnail will be seen by 50% of users, while the other thumbnail is what the other 50% of users will see when they come across your video. 

TubeBuddy will then give you data as to which thumbnail generates more click-through-rate (the percentage of people who have found your video on the search results page, their home feed, or their recommended videos and clicked on it and watched it). This can help you design better thumbnails that can get more people to watch your videos.

You can also conduct a split test with different titles, tags, and description, although TubeBuddy recommends that you do it sparingly and only for older videos.

Analytics and Competitor Research

Tubebuddy’s premium versions will give you a health report on your channel, allowing you to discover what’s working and what isn’t in your channel. It will also give you an overview of your audience demographics and the top traffic sources for your channel.

The Legend Plan specifically offers a Competitor Scorecard that will help you stay on top of your competitors’ performance and activities. You can generate a printable report that shows key information like views, subscribers, number and time of uploads, and engagement over time for you and your competition.

The Legend Plan also has a feature that allows you to also receive notifications when your competitors upload a new video.

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy: Main Similarities

Now that we have seen the features in this VidIQ vs TubeBuddy comparison, both offer, we can list their biggest similarities between them:

Available as Chrome and Firefox extensions: Both VidIQ and TubeBuddy can be downloaded as extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

Keyword management tools: Both have keyword management tools to help you see how popular a certain search term is, and whether there’s already too many videos that use those keywords.

Group processing: The premium versions of both VidIQ and TubeBuddy allow you to process and update multiple videos in bulk, which can save you a lot of time if you need to update multiple videos at once.

VidIQ vs TubeBuddy: Main Differences

Although they do share some similarities, VidIQ and TubeBuddy differ in:

Price: TubeBuddy’s pricing structure is more straightforward and more transparent. With yearly billing, TubeBuddy’s paid plans start at $7.20 per month, which is almost the same as VidIQ’s least expensive plan, which starts at $7.50 per month.

Unike VidIQ, however, TubeBuddy’s pricing gives you details on the features that come with your plan, making it much easier to understand what you are paying for.

Availability and Accessibility: VidIQ is only available as a Chrome or Firefox extensions, while TubeBuddy is available on more browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer. TubeBuddy also has a mobile app while VidIQ does not.

Interface: VidIQ’s interface is cleaner and takes less space than TubeBuddy. All you have to do is click on the VidIQ extension icon and the full menu will show up on the top right corner of your screen.

RECAP: Which one is Best for You?

Identifying whether VidIQ or TubeBuddy is a better solution for you will depend on your budget and needs. So instead of giving a general recommendation, our recommendation will be based on different potential goals:

Pick VidIQ if:

  • You want a clean interface that doesn’t take a lot of your screen.
  • You want a free version that can help you in using the right tags, and you have Chrome or Firefox downloaded.
  • You want to see live, quick stats right beside a YouTube video, including like ratios and the number of subscribers each commenter has.
  • You learn best by taking structured online courses (through VidIQ Academy)

Pick TubeBuddy if:

  • It is important that you manage your videos and analytics via a mobile app.
  • Your default browser is Safari or Internet Explorer.
  • You want to conduct video A/B testing.
  • Your account is under 1000 subscribers and you want to try a premium version. (TubeBuddy’s Pro Plan starts at $4.50 per month for channels with less than 1000 subscribers)
  • You like learning from other YouTubers or users (through TubeBuddy’s Community Forum).

VidIQ and TubeBuddy are two channel management software that can help you grow your YouTube channels. Social Blade, Tubular Labs, and Cyfe are other alternatives to VidIQ and TubeBuddy that are worth checking out if you find that VidIQ and TubeBuddy do not answer your needs.

If, after reading this you are still undecided, the best approach is to sign up for each of the tools’ 30-day free trial to see if you can benefit from their features. You can sign up for VidIQ’s 30-day free trial here, and for TubeBuddy’s free trial here.

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Morgan is a recognized video marketing expert and content creator. She also runs a video production company and has a passion for teaching all things video.