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Why You're Losing Subscribers On YouTube: 8 Main Reasons

Written by: GetFans Team
On Mar 02, 2021

Why You're Losing Subscribers On YouTube: 8 Main Reasons

All YouTubers work towards attracting and keeping as many subscribers as possible on their channels. It is because the number of subscribers is an essential measure of a channel's success. Also, the number of subscribers is an essential requirement for getting your channel monetized.

It makes perfect sense why you need to attract and keep your subscribers, right? There are many essential things when it comes to attracting subscribers, but you also need to think about keeping your subscribers hooked to your channel. Here we'll talk more about why your channel may be losing subscribers and give some tips on how to amend this. 

What Are YouTube Subscribers And Why Are They Important? 

The official definition for a YouTube subscriber is someone who subscribes to your channel and decides to follow your channel. By becoming subscribers, viewers get notifications and are more likely to watch your content. A channel with a good subscriber base more easily rakes in watch time and has a better shot of becoming monetized quicker. To see how you fare with your subscribers, you can check out the detailed subscriber status in your YouTube Studio account.

There are other benefits from having many subscribers to your channel: you can turn viewers into fans and increase brand awareness. The YouTube recommendation algorithm is more likely to recommend YouTube channels that attract more subscribers. You can opt to promote a product/service, and you can reach more people by having more subscribers to your YouTube channel.

The subscribers are critical for the success of a YouTube channel, as they are fans who are far more likely to watch the posted content. The subscribers that click on the notification bell when subscribing to a YouTube channel also receive notifications about fresh uploads. Each YouTube user has a Subscription feed: a section on the YouTube homepage where the latest updates from the channels they subscribe to are featured.

Overall, it is good to have a lot of subscribers to your YouTube channel. Besides having the guaranteed views, having many subscribers brings other benefits that improve your channel's success, like building credibility, promoting your brand, and more. But you may have noticed a fluctuation in your channel's subscribers. Well, there are many reasons for this, and we'll talk about this next.

Reasons Your Channel Is Losing Subscribers

If you regularly check your YouTube channel's metrics and data, you've probably noticed that the number of subscribers fluctuates from time to time. If the subscribers counter fluctuation is not significant, you have nothing to worry about, as this may be due to natural changes. 

But if you happen to notice significant changes in subscriber numbers, namely losing YouTube subscribers, then you have a reason for concern. You may be losing subscribers for several reasons, and we'll cover each of these in detail here.

1. YouTube Is Deleting Fraudulent/Closed Accounts

YouTube's algorithms regularly do a sweep and check for closed/dead accounts. If such an account is subscribed to your channel, it will be deleted from the subscriber list. You will see a notification about a lost subscriber. However, this is not a reason to be concerned, as it is not through any fault of your own that this happened, and you can't do anything to change it. 

This practice was less common in the past and happened three to four times a year. YouTube has upgraded their audit services, and now they "catch" dead, fake, and spam accounts within about 48 hours of them subscribing to your channel. This practice enables YouTube to offer better services to its users by weeding out the closed accounts and spam subscribers.

2. "Viewer Fatigue" Is Causing Your Subscribers To Leave

Viewer fatigue is a real thing. Viewer fatigue is the second most common reason why you see a decrease in your subscriber numbers. It happens when people become tired from your content for no apparent reason and decide to unsubscribe from your content. 

It is often through no fault of your own, but because people get overwhelmed by the many subscription services they are offered. It is prevalent for people to get hooked on a particular channel and wait for the new video to be posted. But after a while, they get bored or fed-up with the content and simply unsubscribe from your YouTube channel.

To counteract viewer fatigue, you should focus your attention on posting exciting and appealing content that will not bore or overwhelm your viewers. Think in terms of retaining your existing subscribers, as they are already here: provide content that viewers feel they need to see.

3. Your Subscribers "Outgrew" Your Content

When you post content specifically for one type of viewers, you can potentially face a lower subscriber count when they outgrow the content you are posting. It usually happens with channels that deal with topics for beginners.

Once the beginners master the topics you cover, they'll be inclined to move forward and seek new channels with content more appropriate for their needs. In the case of not having new subscribers joining your fan-base, you are very likely to lose subscribers and not get them back.

The image below is from a famous woodworking channel focused on beginner woodworking skills and tools. Once people master the basics, they often forgo this channel to favor more high-level skills and education.

The advice we can provide for such a case of subscriber loss is knowledge of how to optimize your channel better to attract new subscribers who will find your content suited to their needs. With the over 2 billion active monthly YouTube users, that should not be very difficult after all.

4. Your Subscribers Found Better Content

YouTube is one of the most competitive communities where everyone is looking to trump their competition. That means no channel is safe from losing subscribers to the competition, yours included. With the abundance of channels in various niches, there is no shortage of quality content.

But in every niche, the viewers/subscribers are divided among several YouTube channels. The analysis shows that the channels that always seek to improve their content and regularly post fresh content get a more significant portion of the views and subscribers. The channels that post low-quality content and don't improve their quality will most likely lose subscribers and slowly wither away.

To counteract this reason for losing subscribers, you should focus on several things:

  • Follow current trends in your niche and create relevant content
  • Update your equipment and skills so you can create better videos
  • Upload optimized content that appeals to viewers.

5. You're "Skipping" and "Zigzagging" Between Niches

We talked at length about finding a specific YouTube niche and sticking to it. It is imperative to do this, as people will only subscribe to a channel that posts content relevant to their needs and wants that they enjoy watching.

Many times, viewers become subscribers during or after watching one of your videos. They do this assuming that the other content you post is on a similar topic, and they can get good value from getting a notification and watching it. Don't start zigzagging between various niches, like post one video on a DIY craft and the next on an entirely different topic. In such cases, people could become confused or disappointed and unsubscribe from your YouTube channel.

To prevent losing subscribers due to posting random content, try to stick to your original niche as closely as possible. If there is a current trend that you wish to explore further, try to find the angle that coincides with your channel's niche topic. If you are still here and there in terms of niche topics for your YouTube channel, you should check your channel analytics and see which of your videos is performing the best. Use this as a starting point and focus feature content on this niche.

6. You Did Sub4Sub

For those that don't know what Sub4Sub is, you are better off without it: Sub4Sub is an app or service that you could use to get an increase in your subscriber count, in exchange to subscribing to other people in the ‘sub4sub’ network. While you could try to get away with it, it is in fact illegal to use Sub4Sub.  The subscribers you get with Sub4Sub are not real people who will spend time watching your content. Instead, these are bots that only count as "subscribers." 

The Sub4Sub subscribers can often do more harm than good to a YouTube channel. The large number of subscribers Sub4Sub brings can lower your rating as these are not real viewers, and advertisers usually don't choose channels with a lot of subscribers and little active viewers.

Our advice on this is very straightforward – don't use Sub4Sub whatsoever.

7. You Post Stale Or Irrelevant Content

If you prefer to post content about popular topics and it goes out of style, you risk losing several subscribers. Yep, we are talking about covering topics that are popular at one moment in time but cannot keep their popularity in the long run. People who subscribe to channels that post such content can quickly get bored or lose interest and leave the channel. 

Even if you are a diehard fan of a TV show that ended years ago but still wish to focus your YouTube channel content on it, there is no guarantee that your videos will attract new viewers. Well, apart from other diehard fans, but these are far and in-between.

The image here is from a tribute video to a popular TV show – that ended in 2013. While Breaking Bad was a real phenomenon and an attention-grabbing title back in the day, no one is watching this content now, so there is no real reason to create fresh content on this topic.

There are two ways you can select when opting to base your YouTube channel on popular topics:

  • You do cover the trendy topic, and once its popularity starts to dial down, you immediately chose another popular topic, keeping the subscribers hooked to your YouTube channel, or
  • You forgo the currently trendy topic but stick to creating evergreen content that will be appealing and relevant even years from now.

8. You Are Not Keeping A Constant Upload Schedule

When you amass a good subscriber base, you have people expecting you to post content. If you start dropping the ball, i.e., don't maintain a regular upload schedule, you are risking losing some of the subscribers your channel has.

Maybe you've opted to post a new video once a week, say on a Thursday evening. Most of your subscribers are eagerly waiting for your video to upload so they can enjoy it. If you miss one week, maybe you'll be forgiven by your fans. 

Still, missing more than two scheduled uploads is an unforgivable offense, and people may punish you by unsubscribing to your channel. The same goes for not keeping a regular upload schedule. 

You should avoid posting three or four videos one week and zero videos the next week. Instead, set a regular posting schedule and stick to it. Have a video ready to cover in case something unexpected comes up. People are creatures of habit, and when they decide they'll watch your new video, they expect it to be posted at the promised time and date.

Conclusion – strive to retain your YouTube subscribers

Subscribers are essential for the growth of a YouTube channel. To reach more people and become a relevant channel, you should strive to attract new viewers and new subscribers. Of course, you should strive to keep your existing subscribers, as these are guaranteed views. However, it is natural to lose some subscribers and gain new ones along the way. 

We covered the eight main reasons why your YouTube channel is losing subscribers. To see more about your subscriber's behavior, you need to consult your YouTube Studio analytics page; here you’ll see the insight into your channel’s performance and learn more about why you are losing subscribers. Also, follow the advice we've provided above, and hopefully, you'll have a better grasp on keeping an excellent subscriber base on your YouTube channel.

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