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An update on subscriber counts

By David Boyle

YouTube Staff

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve heard from creators who have seen decreases in their public subscriber counts, so we wanted to keep you in the loop about what to expect on your channel.

This February, we began a process to improve the accuracy of your subscriber counts, to give you the best data possible on your channel. Recently, we’ve extended this process by removing additional closed and inactive accounts from our system, which means these closed accounts are being deducted from subscriber counts. None of the accounts we’re removing from our system are active, so these changes to subscriber counts will not cause any change in viewership. The number of accounts removed varies from day to day, so you may notice unusual declines in subscriber counts on one day followed by a return to normal performance the next day.

We plan to complete the account removals process over the coming weeks, with a significant number of closed accounts being removed on one day. We will update this blog when we have an expected date of completion, and on that date it’s possible to see a drop in your public subscriber counts as well as in YouTube Analytics. How much this will affect your channel will vary, but the longer you’ve been on YouTube the more likely it is you have inactive subscribers.

These account removals have already started to take effect in public counts and API counts (through sites like Vidstatsx), but we will not be able to update the counts in YouTube Analytics until we have completed the account removals. For the time being, YouTube Analytics only captures subscribes and unsubscribes from active users, which is a more meaningful metric for tracking engagement with your channel than the public counts.

We want your subscriber counts and all other analytics to be consistent and accurate, so thanks for bearing with us as we make these improvements.