TubeBuddy Review – Pros & Cons, Features, Alternatives

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While content is still king, the kind that dominates changes. These days, it’s video. According to a 2018 HubSpot report, over 50% of consumers would want to see a lot of this in the brand they’re engaging in. 

Creating videos, though, is easier said than done, especially on YouTube. Your brand is against millions of others.

How do you give yourself an edge? You can use tools like TubeBuddy. 

In this TubeBuddy review, you will learn some of the tool’s best features, pros and cons, why it’s worth using and even paying.

If you've already decided to get TubeBuddy, just click the button below to get it for free.

What is TubeBuddy?

TubeBuddy is a platform that aims to make the YouTube community productive and happy. It provides a wide variety of tools and features that support the needs of every marketer or influencer using the video site. 

What is TubeBuddy

The brand officially began in December 2014 and has been updating and introducing features for the past 13 years - long before YouTube became part of the Google world. It is also a self-funded company, which, in a way, allows it to be more user- or consumer-centric. 

The platform’s tools can be divided into the following categories:

  • Optimization 
  • Analytics
  • Promotion
  • Productivity

While these are only a few, I believe these are the most critical factors that will determine your success in video marketing, especially on YouTube. 

The app comes in many different forms:

  • You can use a TubeBuddy extension for browsers. These are TubeBuddy for Chrome and for Firefox. 
  • It also installs directly on your YouTube dashboard, but you need to sign up for an account.
  • There’s also the TubeBuddy dashboard, which provides access to all its features, depending on your level of subscription. 
  • Users can also optimize their videos on the go with TubeBuddy Mobile available in Google Play and Apple.

Who should use the TubeBuddy app?

Who should use the TubeBuddy app

The TubeBuddy for YouTube is for everyone, but it’s best for the following users:

  • These are ideal for digital marketers, business owners, and decision-makers who want to understand if their video marketing efforts are working. The data that the software provides is extremely helpful in assessing campaigns. 
  • It is also excellent for new YouTube users who wish to monetize their channels at some point. It can assist them in “spying competition” and knowing the best SEO practices for videos. 
  • The app can also be beneficial to established marketing influencers. The information they can glean will help them in brand positioning.
  • TubeBuddy comes with a slew of handy features that make many aspects of video production easier. In other words, it’s a great platform for those who don’t have advanced editing skills or want to speed up the upload process.

TubeBuddy review: What are the pricing plans?

TubeBuddy pricing plans come in four tiers:

  • Free
  • Pro
  • Star
  • Legend

First off, let me say that I love the naming conventions. They resonate with their ultimate goal, which is to help and support YouTube creators. I mean, who doesn’t want to become a star or a legend at least online, right? 

TubeBuddy pricing plans

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of each, so you’ll know which of these plans fits your needs and budget.

1. Free

The TubeBuddy Free pricing plan gives you access to some of the basic tools for productivity, data and research, and video optimization. All promotional features are available.

You can also use some templates, but the number is very much limited, while you cannot process videos and edits by batch. You also cannot use some of the essential tools, such as Publish to Facebook and A/B Split Testing.

2. Pro ($9/month)

At least 75% of the productivity tools become accessible to you, and you can also optimize your videos through the app’s mobile version.

For less than $10 monthly, the app can already provide you with unlimited access and use of its templates and tools, such as Keyword Explorer, Tag Lists, and Search Explorer.

The downside is you still cannot publish to Facebook or test your copies.

3. Star ($19/month)

All tools for bulk processing are now available, which can help you save a lot of time. You may also receive Brand Alerts, which can track mentions or YouTube videos about your brand. 

4. Legend ($49/month)

Obviously, since this is the most expensive pricing plan, it provides accessibility to all features. The downside is even if you do, some of these tools may still be limited.

TubeBuddy free pro star legend

These include Competitor Upload Alerts, Competitor Scorecard, Search Rank Tracking, and Video A/B Tests. Why? I don’t know either. 

Let me also stress the following points as I think they will matter during your decision-making process:

  • As soon as you download it, you are already subscribed to its Free version. You can upgrade anytime or try its Free Trial version, but this offer seems inconsistent.
  • The app provides a lot of concessions. You may get discounts if you pay annually, a non-profit, or an owner or manager of multiple channels. True to its vision of supporting the YouTube community, users with fewer than 1,000 subscribers can get a 50% coupon, but they need to subscribe at least to the Pro version.
  • All platforms will allow you to connect to Amazon Alexa, which can provide voice-activated data and stats. 
  • The website also offers a lot of perks, such as AudioHero for premium and royalty-free music tracks, YouTubeStock for 4K motion graphics and sounds, and Collabspace for, well, collaboration. Those who are using the Free version of TubeBuddy can get all these for a fee, while they’re available for free (sometimes for only a year) for the rest of the pricing plans.
  • Fully-featured conversion forms

TubeBuddy best features

What makes the TubeBuddy app a worthwhile addition to your browser extension or YouTube channel? Here, I am going to enumerate some of its best features. 

Videolytics and Channelytics


Once you installed TubeBuddy correctly, its Videoanalytics will be the first thing you’ll see. It provides the essential numbers any video marketer wants to know, such as views and engagement in different social media accounts.

You will also learn the tags these videos have. 

The Compare button allows you to match two of your videos to see which of them fared better. It’s a great feature to use when you have two or more similar videos, or you want to have a better idea of why one video succeeds over the other. 

The Tools button is just as helpful, although if I were to pick which ones matter the most, it will be Search Rankings, which measure the popularity of the video tags.  


Above is the Channelytics dashboard, which, as you can guess, provides stats on the channel itself. I particularly like the Compare Stats feature, which helps you gauge the level of engagement over a particular period. 

Keyword explorer

The TubeBuddy Keyword Explorer is one of its primary features. What I love about it is visual. For anyone who has lesser knowledge about keyword research and optimization, presenting data in this manner makes the information easier to digest or understand.

TubeBuddy Keyword explorer

This feature immediately measures whether the keyword is worth targeting or using. It also suggests better keywords to increase your score.

The downside?

Unless you upgrade, the data are severely limited and you will miss out on better-targeted keywords.

A/B tests

The A/B Tests feature here is no different from that of landing pages. It lets you compare two or more video components with subtle tweaks.

For example, they may differ in terms of meta descriptions or targeted keywords. The result will help you determine which ones may get higher engagement and, thus, more effective as a promotional tool. 

Although it’s nothing fancy, usually, it’s the subtle changes in the detail that can matter the most. Sadly, despite its importance, the number of tests you can do are limited regardless of which plans you subscribe to. 

Bulk processing

If you’re using videos for marketing, expect to produce a lot of them. Updating each, therefore, can be time-consuming.

Bulk processing

The TubeBuddy app resolves that with its Bulk Processing feature. Based on the image above, you can implement changes in your videos across the board or over your chosen videos.

Competitor scorecard

How do you match against other influencers and marketers within your field? This Competitor Scorecard feature will provide you the answer.

Competitor scorecard

The dashboard is simple and visual, which I believe is one of the strengths of YouTube Buddy. Many of its data are easy to understand! 

Best practices and opportunities checklist

This feature is nothing but a checklist of the industry’s best practices, but it’s equally essential because, admit it, many times you feel like a headless chicken.

You aren’t really sure if you’re doing the right thing.


Make no mistake about it - integrations here don’t refer to linking to social media accounts. You can do that for Facebook and Twitter only. You may say it needs to include Pinterest and Instagram, and I also share the same sentiments. 

TubeBuddy integrations

However, you need to remember that YouTube itself can already help you do that.

In other words, TubeBuddy prefers to focus on other helpful integrations, which include:

  • Patreon
  • Social Blue Book (BB)
  • Amazon Alexa
  • MagicLinks

Note that MagicLinks, which will allow you to earn more income by allowing your viewers to shop using the links you share, works only when you have 10,000 subscribers.

Member perks

TubeBuddy aims to be that “one-stop-shop” for everything video marketing with its incredible list of perks.

As long as you upgrade your account to paid, you can already access templates, sound bites and soundtracks, mobile optimization, and 4K motion graphics and sounds.

member perks

There are also a few but commendable courses that are awesome for beginners and who want to refresh their skills and knowledge. 


When using apps or platforms that you may have to integrate into existing programs—in this case, TubeBuddy to YouTube—I like to pay particular attention to accessibility. You want the combination of these two to be as seamless as possible.

Did TubeBuddy pass? The answer is yes, based on the way it presents analytics dashboards. However, I have something to mention here:

When you click on “My Account,” it will bring you to another page, where you can access more tools. Some may find it cumbersome and time-consuming, but I find it great since you can work on your YouTube channel or video and the TubeBuddy tools side-by-side. 

My issue, though, is navigating around this separate example. To explain my point, take a look at the images below:


This is how the dashboard for the channel looks like. And below is what you see along with the image above:

TubeBuddy review

It seems there are fewer features, but that’s not true. It actually changes. For example, when I clicked Launch Pad, the whole page looked like this:

TubeBuddy launchpad

The encircled area refers to the significant changes appearing now on the sidebar.

TubeBuddy affiliate program

While it’s not unusual for apps or platforms to have affiliate programs, it’s challenging to find one that has a solid, supportive plan. It’s a good thing that TubeBuddy has one.

TubeBuddy affiliate program

TubeBuddy offers three affiliate plans for marketers. All these extend a recurring commission forever as long as the referrals remain as paying customers (plan subscribers):

  • The Standard Affiliate guarantees a 30% commission.
  • The VIP Affiliate offers a 40% commission, no minimum payout, and a one-year’s worth of Star upgrade for the marketer.
  • The Super Affiliate provides 50% commission, no minimum payout, and a free Lifetime Legend upgrade for the marketer.

The payout for the TubeBuddy affiliate program is every month, which is great.

Perhaps the minor downside is it pays only through PayPal. It would have been better if they accept other e-payment processors or bank transfers. 

The minimum number of people to become a VIP Affiliate is 50, which is doable.

However, to reach Super Affiliate status, the total successful referrals should be 250 people, which seems a significant jump from the lower-tiered plan. It’s not that easy to achieve. 

TubeBuddy pros and cons


  • User-friendly with many no-nonsense features
  • Strong affiliate program
  • YouTube certified
  • Plenty of perks, from soundtracks to 4K motion graphics and sounds
  • Tools for video promotions and optimization 
  • Time-saving tools, such as Bulk Processing and integrations
  • Many usable features under the Free Plan
  • Multiple options for customer support (email, FAQ page, Twitter, and phone)
  • More affordable paid plans
  • Ability to generate data for channels, keywords, and videos
  • Excellent visual presentation of data


  • Confusing presentation of dashboards when on the YouTube page
  • Limited A/B testing abilities regardless of the plan
  • Perks available only in paid plans
  • Affiliate payout only through PayPal 
  • Difficult-to-achieve minimum affiliate referrals for the highest tier
  • MagicLinks is for those with at least 10,000 subscribers only
  • Confusing navigation and accessibility

TubeBuddy alternatives

TubeBuddy is a great video optimization and analytics platform, but it’s certainly not the only one in the industry. My review won’t be fair enough if we don’t mention alternatives.

Of the many, one of its closest rivals is VidIQ. They share plenty of similar features, such as keyword optimization, bulk processing, and competitor scorecard. They differ in their naming conventions.

VidIQ home

For example, some of them may be under Productivity Tools. Both also have Google Chrome extensions.

VidIQ, though, has some gems, such as the following:

  • Key Achievements, which helps track your success on YouTube. It may be an excellent source of inspiration, especially for newbies.
  • Channel Audit, which runs 24/7 and informs you which videos are doing well and which ones are not 
  • More customized solutions for brands, creators, agencies, and MCNs (multi-channel networks)

When it comes to presenting data, I find TubeBuddy to be easier on the eyes. Information is faster to grasp. However, it seems the information provided by VidIQ is more comprehensive, as you can see below:

VidIQ analytics

The embedded YouTube dashboard isn’t pleasant-looking either, but it is rich in data:

VidIQ embedded YouTube dashboard

Interestingly, VidIQ offers almost the same look as TubeBuddy when you do a keyword search:

VidIQ keyword inspector

A significant point here: although I used the same keyword, which is “video marketing,” both showed different ratings. TubeBuddy said it’s a poor keyword to use, while VidIQ scored it high. It may imply they use different parameters or algorithms for generating such ratings.

How about pricing? Here are the plans:

  • Basic
  • Pro ($7.50/month)
  • Boost ($39/month)
  • Boost+ ($415/month)

While its Pro version is cheaper than that of TubeBuddy, you may find the latter to be more scalable and easier on the pocket. Customer support is also severely limited for Free as you can only do it through email.

The Free version also lacks many essential features, which you will find readily available in TubeBuddy.


Is TubeBuddy worth it? The answer is yes.

It is easy to use, and its Free version already unlocks some of the essential features to help you get started. You will appreciate the way it presents data: clean, extremely visual, and easy to understand.

Plus, it comes with a lot of perks to make video content creation more convenient, especially for beginners.

The TubeBuddy Affiliate program is well-thought-out, and you can receive a recurring commission of up to 50% every month. 

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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