Friday, December 2, 2011

Youtube Partner Epidemic

I'm not gonna lie, I'm really worried about the new youtube design/layout. In fact, perhaps a little terrified :( I really do believe it has the potential to wipe out several youtube partners who have made youtube there career, perhaps including mine.

Now my life isn't based on youtube at all, well... I kinda take that back a little, haha, but the truth of the matter is, just recently I decided to focus full time on youtube.... However, this may soon change..... (Dramatic music kicks in)....

Yesterday afternoon, Youtube released their new layout, which in turn, has begun the beginning of perhaps the youtuber partners death (for some, and the rise for others).

Instead of me tell you how it has effected people who have made youtuber there careers, let me show you. All the graphs I have, I got this morning off of which is a way to follow any youtube channel, hour by hour to see how fast they are rising, or in this case..... following....

Let's take a look at one of the biggest youtubers, MysteryGuitarMan. He on average gets 1,100 people subscribing to his youtube channel a day, that's an average of the last 30 days. However, as of yesterday, here is what happened at 4pm when youtube changed the way youtube runs.

Before Youtube layout (average subscribers a day): 1,100
After Youtube layout (last 24 hours): -722

Never in this youtubers career has he gone in the negative, not only is he in the negatives.... but a pretty substantial drop.

Here's a graph to show what happened!

Let's take a look at another huge youtuber, ShayCarl, here is his stats!

Before Youtube layout (average subscribers a day): 1000
After Youtube layout (last 24 hours): -1,357

RhettandLink who are also another huge youtuber, it once again is the same story :(

Now, I really believe Youtube wouldn't make these changes to kill all of there youtube partners, in fact, I would say it would be quite the opposite. Youtube is awesome with helping there content creators grow.. Show lets look at how some youtubers who have been effected positively.

Machinima, who is the number 3 most subscribed to youtube channel, having almost 3.8 million subscribers, here is what happened to them when youtube made the change.

Before Youtube layout (average subscribers a day): 5,500
After Youtube layout (last 24 hours): 24,069

As we can see with this youtube partner, there stats are off the hook!

As I have looked into why this is, when most other youtubers are on the worst decline of all time, I have come up with this....

The new youtube layout, it acts a lot like facebook, as far as news feeds go, so people who put out a lot of content, show up a ton in peoples news feeds, and people who put out vids once a week, don't have a great chance of showing up at all.

People like Machinima, who put out 5-10 videos a day sometimes, (its all video gameplay content), push out of the news feed all the other youtubers.

This is what I have gathers just from my own observation, I don't know if it's the only reason but I really do believe it is a huge part of it.

Which is sad, for youtubers that we looked at earlier, because the content is very time intensive to make, it makes it impossible to put out videos on a super regular basis. So it almost takes away all chance of them being seen.

In my own personal case as well, it's the same story. I put several weeks into my films for youtube, several days shooting, working with music composers, editing, sound design, and everything else that goes into it. It now takes away any chance of me being able to compete with any company/top dogs that have a huge crew/team.

Here is what has happened to my youtube channel within the last 24 hours.

Before Youtube layout (average subscribers a day): 352
After Youtube layout (last 24 hours): -72

And it's not just the people the subscribers that are changing, even how many hits the videos are getting.

Within the last two months, every video that I have released, because of the 130,000 subscribers that I have, I would always get at least 50,000 hits on the first day, even if the video didn't do amazing overall, I was always guaranteed 50,000 hits on the video on the first day.

The youtube video I released two days ago, it got only 10,000 hits in the first 24 hours. Youtube had already started re-ramping it's system, so it already had a huge effect on my video.

Once again though, several youtubers have been effected greatly by the changes, here's a look at a couple others.

RayWilliamJohnson, who is the most subscribed to channel on youtube, here is his stats!

Before Youtube layout (average subscribers a day): 5,998
After Youtube layout (last 24 hours): 18,526

Once again notice that with every change that happens for these youtubers, regardless if they rise or fall, it all happens right around 4pm when youtube started using the "New Youtube".

And lets take a look at another huge youtuber, EpicMealTime.

Before Youtube layout (average subscribers a day): 4,608
After Youtube layout (last 24 hours): 17,373

Here's another graph looking at there subscriber growth within the last two weeks.

I also have compiled down below a list of the top youtubers, and how they have been effected. I'm still trying to figure out why some youtubers skyrocket off the hook, while others totally drop.

Negatively Effected:

Positively Effected:

I'm having a super hard time drawing parallels with why some of these youtubers channels are going off like crazy, while the others are totally falling apart, I would love to hear any of your thoughts on why this is, so I can change what I'm doing wrong, so I can get back in the game, otherwise I really don't think I'll be able to keep up with the whole youtube thing :(

But, one last final statement. I know youtube has been constantly trying to better everything, for everyone. And change is always hard regardless, and I really do believe google/youtube will figure things out with this, even if it does take time, I just hope that it is something that can happen sooner then later :)

As far as this "New Youtub" goes, it's just a matter of figuring out the new system, and for those that figure out how to run the new system first, they are the ones that will prosper, grow the fastest, I just have to figure that out :)


My youtube friend "Kalebnation" just informed me that the reason why those youtubers above are getting the boost, is because they are apearing on one of the main pages, because they are being promoted, otherwise they would be on a downfall as well :(

Here's the link to that, and a screenshot of that page.


  1. Good analysis mate. Not being a benefitter of YT, I can see how others worry about this.

  2. This is just horrible, personally I hate the new layout. You inspire me so much to make my video's better every time. I would hate to see the downfall continue, changes need to me corrected asap.

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  3. As a long time youtube follower and fellow director... I can honestly state that a lot of this has to do with behind the scenes system gaming. The top YouTubers you listed that did well with this change did so because of their current placement with front page listing and the new browse settings.

    I'm sure you're aware of the many different little ways that YouTube's "tools" can be exploited and sadly guys like you and I are too small to leverage them (or too pure of heart, haha).

    I have nothing against people who grow... But I do encourage you to keep your chin up. Those of us with exceptional content may not grow as quickly as those who somewhat "cheat" the system... But we will eventually overcome them.


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  4. Devin, I'm a big fan of your vids and I'm really sad of this news, not sure why the change is making the traffic go the other way...

    But one idea could be that you could create shorter videos before releasing a video, like a teaser or short previews, and after releasing, behind scenes, making off, bloopers, etc in order to upload videos more frequently.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Hey Devin, been a fan for a while now (slip-n-slide) and I have my own channel with about 12 thousand subscribers. I was also hit by the negative Subscriber plunge. At first I thought maybe viewers didn't like their long subscription list and decided to trim the channels they realized they haven't cared about in a while. Yeahhh that stings a little, but whatever. For a while now Subscriber numbers have never been an indication of how many views you get. Lots of youtubers have a lot fewer subscribers than the views they get, and other's views only come from 10% of their subs. That being said, youtube itself may have possibly kicked in and started actually doing a more accurate count of how many subscribers you have, akin to an update Myspace did like 6 years ago when suddenly everyone lost 12 friends or so. I dunno. If it means a more accurate amount of people seeing your videos, sure that's cool, but not if it also means being way harder to swim through the noise.

  6. I love your videos man. Sad to see this. I don't know of any other youtuber who puts the kind of effort you do for creating the content.


    Here is a video of my toughts on the new layout

  8. Eventually youtube will become harder and harder to rank without paying for views. Search has gone the same route. SEO has gotten harder and harder. It all seems down the same vein of their latest caffeine update Nov 4th. Searches are now filtered based not so much on the quality of a post, but the frequency. This helps illustrate a little more on what I mean.

  9. One possible reason for the difference in subscriptions might be the subscribers themselves. I mean, different channels attract differently behaving fans. If your fanbase is full of share happy people, who tell their friends about every video they like, then it would show up as a huge increase in subscribers of the channels that person is following. It's kind of like the viral loop -effect.

    The negatively affected youtubers might be losing subscribers because their "signal to noise" has changed for the worse, thanks to the new layout which is based around the noise, not the signal. All that the youtube users are gettin is the updates from their share happy -friends, and your videos might just get lost in the "noise".

    I think that google is trying too hard to be like facebook, and losing it's focus on services like youtube.

  10. Its interesting......What I don't understand is why would you loose subscribers? I could understand that you might get a fall off of new people from a new system but why would you loose people? That seems troubling to me.

  11. Dude tell everyone that at the top it where it says subscriptions just to the right there is a button that says uploads only and ahve everyoen click that!

  12. Sorry to hear this. Apart from youtubers feeling depressed for not being noticed, viewers are also depressed for not being able to discover new videos easily.

    Though I don't know how, please be strong, your fans would hate to see you out of the game. :(

  13. Devin, Youtube goes through phases even before this where people ended up losing subscribers and losing views out of the no where. I don't think this has anything to do with the new format. I always suspected that when stuff like this happened Youtube was just getting rid of dead accounts. I think in the end the new format is a better design than the old one. My only complaint is that like you said your subscriptions can get lost, especially since there is no way to x out the videos you don't want to watch.

  14. Great post Devin. It's all so crazy. I'd love to hear a statement from YouTube about all this. I keep checking their twitter, but nothing.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your findings.

  15. It looks like youtube is moving to encourage and promote channels as opposed to individuals. I think if you want to survive on youtube you will have to team up with several other film makers and all broadcast from the one channel. This may mean a drop in your revenue as you will have to share, but you could collectively end up with a larger audience so the revenue could be similar or more than you currently receive.

    It would mean youtube visitors get new content daily / hourly which is kinda what the visitors want and obviously what you tube wants.
    When you look at traditional TV they spend months in preproduction, filming and post production. the only reason they can afford to do this is because they sell the rights to broadcast for a lot more than you would have ever received from your advertising revenue.

    I think if you dont want to become part of a channel, then you need to host your videos on your own site and only upload "trailers" to encourage people to visit your site. That way you can get more advertising revenue. But your best option is to join a channel. Your position is not that different to current TV production companies. You make a great product that people want to watch. You can sell your content to channels with a larger audience than you can achieve by yourself. Find the right channel and concentrate on your art.

    Disclaimer: I hope this makes sense. Im a little drink.

  16. Devin, I've been thinking about the article you wrote about new youtube layout and subscription. There I think something more than the simple layout and the new design and stuff.

    LOOK, Youtube changed the way it worked so I agree it will prefer the partners releasing videos more often, therefore it seems logic that these guys get more subscribers, Right. BUT ! The thing which here does not make sense at all is, why do other partners like you, loose so many subscribers in this short period of time ???

    I mean, Personally it's not because Youtube changes its design, layout or way to work that I'm gonna unsubscribe to your channel !!! it does not make sense to me ! Why from one hour to the other (and I'm talking for any youtubers here), just because Youtube changes I would spontaneously unsubscribe channels that I've been watching and liked for MONTHS ?????????

    There's, to me Absolutely no reasons for that !

    I think the problem might come from something else, I haven't got the clue of what it is, sorry, But I have a strange feeling that something more is going on here...

    Thanks for reading me ;-)


  17. Very informative! Wasn't aware that this "upgrade" would be negative.

  18. Holy shit, what a infomative blog about how the new youtube system is! :)

    As eflores said.. never thought this would have a negative effect.

    You should keep up the youtube because you should not stop because of less subscribes. Make youtube because of your fans. :)

    you are really one I look up to!

  19. Have you ever considered Vimeo?

    I am not an expert or anything but it seems to me that Vimeo is more about quality instead of quantity.

  20. If you do leave youtube...please at least make one last vid/post showing where you are going so I(and I am sure others) will follow.

    Also, have you considered taking what you posted here and showing it to youtube? Maybe they will listen..who knows, stranger things have happened.

  21. Hi, devin

    I been watching your video everyday because how amazing your directing skills are. I always support your work everyday.

    your second channel will bring new filmmakers to your page.

    Here is my plan
    1. guest star some youtubers like finalcutking, name zack and some other youtubers.
    2. I wanna make a video talking about you i talk for little bit and pass the camera to you.
    3. Action Films
    4. find something that will open people mind
    5. last thing: 3 videos per week just say

  22. Devin, I'm only a consumer, not a producer. I'm pretty impressed with what you bring to the table, in the way of quality, editing and production, and pure entertainment. You're blazing a new trail in the form of online entertainment. Do NOT be discouraged by these changes. I'll throw what tiny bit of traffic I can to you via my blogs and social networking links, and hope that others will do the same. You keep bringing us more fun.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Devin!

    Hey, I was wondering if you have an update on this. Maybe post a new blog about it! Have you seen youtube iron out any kinks? I know your videos are doing great, and your channel is exploding, but that's mostly due to your awesome videos! How do you think the new youtube is working out for everyone now?

    Jeremy Cavner
    Seattle, WA

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