Dear creator. Let me lift you out of your funk. The views of your recent videos have been down. You’re asking yourself, “am I past my prime? what happened to my subscriber base?”
I have good news and bad news. For those that eat their desert before dinner, let’s start with the good news. Your total daily and monthly views are quite healthy. YouTube partners are seeing significant daily views, often giving them wider reach than most prominent website or television shows.
The bad news is that the “black box” algorithm is deciding what videos get views by deciding which of your videos shows up as “related” to your legacy ones. Maybe it’s based on their tagging? Maybe it’s based on the videos that are most relevant? Maybe it’s based on the fact that they monetize better. But one thing’s for certain… you don’t have control over what videos are getting the most views. Google’s a data company, so I have to assume there’s a science behind this. Maybe they know more about what will get me views than I do.
Take HotForWords as an example. It used to be that, with 260,000 subscribers, each new video saw 100K-300K views. But lately the views have plummeted. Is that because subsribers can’t see (or aren’t watching) recent videos? Is it because YouTube quietly changed the algorythm for getting on the “most popular” page, where we got a secondary audience? A few creators, like ShayCarl, SxePhil, and CharlesTrippy, have “cracked the code” to ensure they’re consistently on the “most popular” page. I used to think it was the quality of their content and their fan base, but now I’m quite certain they’ve figured something else out.
Now… if you’re still getting daily views that exceed 50-300K, you’re still quite happy. But I personally liked when I controlled what videos got the most views (by simply “organizing” the last 9 videos that showed up next to all of my videos). These thumbnails that appear next to any of my videos are vital. I tried to mix my new videos with my best, so that it would appeal to my existing audience and new people. It was a difficult tradeoff… I want the noob seeing a popular video that I think will “hook” them. But I also don’t want my recent videos to flounder, or else I’m not appearing as “hawt.”
Of course, this is a sobering realization for many creators… turns out that we thought maybe 1/2 or 1/3 of our subscribers were watching each new video, but those numbers are far lower… maybe 10% or less for many (except daily vloggers). This means that YouTube, not the creator, is in control of views for a recent video. So that “sponsored” video you promised would get 50-500K views? That’s going to be hard without running it on your channel page indefinitely.
In conclusion, I humbly thank YouTube for helping me get 250K views a day fairly predictably, but I sure wish I could throttle the new ones. It’s very difficult to get excited about making a new video, knowing that it will get paltry views and not significantly impact my daily views. In short, this could create a disincentive for creators to post frequently, which is the very currency YouTube needs.