Why are subscribers disappearing from YouTube channels

Youtuber :
This is behind the view drops on Youtube

At first glance, both phenomena seem to be directly related to one another: If subscribers are deleted, it only seems logical that the number of viewers will also decrease. But this equation, which is also presented in the "Tagesthemen" article, does not work. Not all subscribers are the same, but not all accounts are the same. So let's first take a look at the phenomenon of the ominous "fake accounts".

For the sake of simplicity, we leave open at this point what a "fake account" should actually be. Because there are definitely variants here: Machine-created profiles can be used to increase the number of subscribers to certain channels. But there are also thousands and thousands of "fake accounts" behind which real people are. Some use them to be able to troll anonymously. Others create dozens of fan profiles for their favorite yououtuber (which can turn out to be a real competition among hardcore fans). Most of these accounts have one thing in common: their contribution to the video views of a channel is marginal. It is simply a matter of file corpses, which Youtube also regularly removes from the statistics.

A PR stunt from Youtube

Rumors that there is a problem with the subscription function persist. It is believed that certain channels will randomly lose active subscribers when they upload a new video. Why this happens is unclear. This is not a minor problem for Youtube. "Subscribing" is the essential function to create an initial bond between the audience and the artist. Youtube without a "subscription button" is simply inconceivable. In fact, after the ongoing criticism, Youtube felt compelled to publish an official video statement in which developers explicitly commented on the "subscription bug". Bottom line: Everything is fine, there is no malfunction.

That was an almost unique PR stunt by Youtube, where you are usually more closed than an oyster when it comes to the engine room of the world's most important video platform. The doubts have not been dispelled: Above all, the many consistent reports from Youtubers around the globe suggest that there is a problem with the subscription function despite all the assertions. Youtube will probably never officially confirm this.

Youtube is based on Facebook

What cannot be denied, however, is that YouTube has massively devalued the subscription function in recent months. If you want to be informed about new videos from a subscribed channel, you now have to activate an additional notification function in the form of a bell directly below the channel banner. In addition, users are no longer the first to see the latest videos from their subscribed channels when they log in.

Instead, Youtube shows a mix of new videos from channels you have subscribed to, current trends and videos that match the ones you recently watched. This is intended to attract viewers to new content. On the other hand, channels that you subscribed to years ago but no longer watch are disappearing from the video feed. This is very reminiscent of the filtered timeline of Facebook.

In addition to further adjustments to the algorithm, especially in the video recommendations, this change can actually be a reason for losses in video views. If a channel has a large number of subscribers and its viewers can no longer see the latest videos, it will definitely lose video views. Smaller niche channels, like the photography Youtuber Benjamin Jaworskyj, on the other hand, report that the view break-in hardly hit them. Often these channels have viewers who are specifically looking for specific content (such as photography tutorials). Such content is less sensitive to trends and fluctuations caused by changes to the algorithm. And there are even winners in a crisis.

The rules of the entertainment industry also apply to YouTube

The success story of the armed forces-Channel "The recruits"Presumably has a lot to do with the changes on the platform. The rapid rise of the barracks soap opera was pushed by a multi-million dollar marketing campaign for the channel. This led many viewers to watch the first episodes and washed" Die Rekruten "far forward into the YouTube trends. There even more users became aware of the channel. From here on it was a sure-fire success. Despite fewer than 300,000 subscribers, "Die Rekruten" had an impressive 20 million views in November.

The example of "The Recruits" shows what is actually behind all the changes: At the end of the day, YouTube works like any other entertainment platform. As on television or in the music industry, the audience does not want to see the same faces over and over again, but is constantly greedy for new content. Youtube has to become much more dynamic and make it easier for new formats to get past Minecraft Let's Plays and beauty vlogs.

In terms of content, Youtube has lost a lot of its freshness in recent years. Many videos that once only existed there can now be seen elsewhere; and better. Snapchat and Instagram are shorter, crisper and closer to the makers. Make it challenging and glossy Netflix and Amazon Prime. In order not to lose even more users to these competitors, it is not enough to produce brightly colored annual reviews of what has been achieved so far. It's time for Youtube instead of pressing "Fast Forward" again.