When you’re just getting started on YouTube, there are a billion decisions to make. From choosing your channel name to getting the best camera for YouTube.
One of the most tricky choices, though, is picking your video editing software.
Even the most brilliant raw footage won’t earn you many views without some serious editing. From basic jump cuts and music overlays to more complex transitions and effects.
After all, professional YouTubers depend on regularly wowing their audience with amazing edits.
Eye-catching transitions and effects are a YouTuber’s bread and butter.
So, what do they use to get to that level? What video editing software do YouTubers use?
The short answer is: It varies. Depending on YouTubers’ editing skills and the complexity of edits they want to implement, they use different kinds of software.
Here are the most common ones.
To start with, many YouTubers kick off their careers with a simplistic video editing software like iMovie.
When you’re just starting your channel and don’t have a lot of capital to invest in serious editing software, free software like iMovie is a godsend. Not only does it come pre-installed on Macs, iPads, it’s also pretty intuitive. If you’re just picking up the basics of video editing, iMovie is a good place to start.
Plus, it can handle pretty much all the rudimentary edits and effects beginner videos need, from various transitions to text overlay. More recent versions even offer green screen capabilities.
However, if you want to launch a professional YouTube career, iMovie just won’t cut it. Pro YouTubers, from MrBeast to PewDiePie, all rely on more heavy-duty video editing software.
One of the most popular video editing software choices for YouTubers is Final Cut Pro.
Not only does it offer a user-friendly interface, it also is packed with high-powered editing tools from magnetic timelines to advanced effects and grouping tools.
One of Final Cut’s biggest plus points is how easy it is to pick up basic editing skills. It comes with easy-to-handle ready-made transitions and effects, as well as capabilities for more complex tasks such as motion edits and 360-degree video.
Like iMovie, Final Cut Pro is Mac-exclusive. It comes with a one-time $299 price tag, but offers a 90-day free trial if you want to give it a test spin.
Next up, Adobe Premiere Pro, which is part of the company’s Creative Cloud (CC), is probably the single most popular video editing software for YouTubers.
In fact, it’s the industry standard for professional video editors, and what we use here at Tasty Edits.
Premiere Pro offers a sleek timeline, 8K editing capabilities, and perfect integration with Adobe’s other CC tools. This includes Adobe Sensei, an AI tool to help you automate repetitive parts of the video editing workflow, as well as the mobile-only Premiere Rush and graphics tools like After Effects.
Pricing for Adobe Premiere Pro comes in the form of a monthly subscription. To get access to the video editing software only, you’ll have to pay $20.99 per month. To access the entire CC Suite, that price tag rises to $54.99.
Finally, a free cross-platform alternative for complex video edits is DaVinci Resolve.
Like Premiere Pro, it runs on both MacOS, Windows, as well as on Linux.
This solution by Blackmagic Design offers a complex set of editing tools, combining editing, color correction, visual effects, motion graphics and audio post-production. The free version works with 8‑bit video formats at up to 60fps.
If you need higher resolutions or even more editing tools, you can get the $300 Studio version of Da Vinci Resolve. However, if you purchase a Blackmagic camera, like the Pocket Cinema 6K, you’ll get the Studio version for free.
Time for a reality check. While Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro are the most popular professional editing tools for YouTubers, very few big YouTubers actually edit their content themselves.
Most professional content creators hire video editors to do it for them.
Once you start editing videos – even simple edits in iMovie – you’ll find that it takes tons of time. Even once you’ve picked up some solid editing skills, editing one minute of finished video can take an hour or more.
Professional YouTubers save that time by hiring video editing companies or freelancers. Not only do they get amazing edits to wow their viewers. They can also spend their extra time on coming up with more viral content ideas and shooting their raw footage.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to the most popular video editing software for YouTubers, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere Pro are certainly the top three.
Among those, iMovie is a popular choice for rookie YouTubers learning the ropes. In contrast, Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro are industry-standard, professional editing suites to produce amazing results for YouTube.
Among beginner YouTubers, iMovie is the most common choice. Pros opt for more high-powered options, especially Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. Da Vinci Resolve is a powerful free cross-platform alternative.
Adobe Premiere Pro is the best video editing software for YouTube in 2023. Final Cut Pro and Da Vinci Resolve are both solid alternatives.
Some YouTubers pick up serious video editing skills in the course of their career as content creators. Most big YouTubers, though, outsource video editing to professional editors to free up their time and get the best possible results.