YouTube has released a statement addressing the following concerns on their Creators Blog claiming lost subscribers “won’t affect viewership.”
There is a troubling development spreading throughout YouTube that could threaten the livelihood of some of your favorite channels. This issue was first brought to my attention, through an uploaded video titled “YOUTUBE IS FUBAR #SaveYouTube” by serial rant master and YouTube celebrity Onision.
As the video begins, Onision comes out swinging by saying, “Right now, YouTube is murdering off some of our favorite YouTubers.” He goes on to explain that in YouTube’s efforts to unsubscribe inactive accounts, they are in fact unsubscribing active YouTube members. “Recently I have been noticing a steep decline in most all of our channel views, and you gotta ask yourself ‘why?’” Onision asks. The reasons, as Onision goes on to address, in his opinion include:
1. “Cosmic Panda, this absolutely disgusting layout change”
2. “ The fact that they [YouTube] have incorporated Google+ into the system, so you have to give out all this ridiculous info just to get a YouTube account”
3. “And you have the fact that they are removing subscribers who are “dead””
As the video continues, Onision explains that the twenty thousand subscribers Shane Dawson lost in one day, “took me two years to achieve when I started out.” He continues by mentioning that most YouTube channels including his own and Shane Dawson’s have had fans report that they are being automatically unsubscribed from them.
Of course, as my cynical nature demands, I visited VidStatsX to check out the top channel’s numbers for myself. Here is what they look like in terms of subscriber losses as of May 22, 2012.
Founder of Techno Buffalo and friend of the site, Jon Rettinger sent us a tweet saying that he also lost over ten thousand subscribers last week with no explanation from YouTube.
The reasons for the recent drop of subscribers could be due in part to YouTube canceling inactive accounts. But the sheer volume of lost subscriptions seems to go beyond tossing “dead” accounts.
Towards the end of the video, Onision theorizes, “Is it because they [YouTube] are trying to prepare all these accounts to be forcefully integrated into Google+? Is it because Google doesn’t at all respect the original system that made YouTube popular in the first place and just wants to change it into something else?”
It seems that the Onision video is making an impact. A Twitter search of #SaveYouTube shows, people are passionate about the negative consequences these dropped subs could have.
We reached out to YouTube for a comment and are still waiting on a response. We will update as soon as we receive any new information.