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The subscribe button in dark mode.

A subscriber, commonly abbreviated as a sub, is a fan or follower of a certain channel or content creator. When a user "subscribes" to a channel, it would mean that they grant permission for receiving updates for whenever a YouTube channel uploads, and can access this on their "subscription" feed on the site. Most times, an individual would subscribe to a channel regardless of whether they're a fan or not and would simply want to be updated on what the YouTuber has been uploading. Regardless, subscriptions increase the popularity of a channel.


The subscribe button in light mode.

The ability to subscribe to channels was introduced in October 2005, and the website began publishing a list of its most-subscribed channels by May 2006, at the time which Smosh, with fewer than three thousand subscribers, occupied the number-one position. Currently, MrBeast, an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, has the most subscribers on YouTube, excluding some of YouTube's hashtag channels and hubs (such as #Gaming, #Music, #Movies, etc.).

Average active subscribers[]

The average active subscribers depends on the user and is often immeasurable. Some channels hide their subscriptions though most do not. When someone is subscribed to a channel, it's usually because they want to follow their content. People can often estimate the number of active subscriptions based on their average video views in the following weeks.

Usually, subscriptions do not last forever. It is always a likely chance that someone will get bored of a certain channel or creator, and when this happens, they will either rarely watch the channel's videos, unsubscribe, or be a ghost follower. Sometimes, subscribers will unsubscribe to the channel if it becomes somewhat inactive.

This mostly affects small channels. Larger channels may not even notice when a mass number of individuals unsubscribe from their channel unless they are losing more than they can gain, and usually, don't care too much when they do notice; they have a lot more left. Though this depends on the YouTuber as many might take it as a sign that they should be switching up their content a bit. YouTuber McJuggerNuggets for example was reacting to mean comments. When someone said that he unsubscribed, McJuggerNuggets said that he did not care as it was just one individual. Same with Lilly Singh when she was reacting to hate comments as well.

YouTuber Markiplier for example, as many others, often shows his deep gratitude and care towards his fans. He is often sad knowing that he lost subscribers and would often try finding reasons why this has happened. In his 8M Subscriber Special, he said, while crying, being honest of how he feels, that he wished he knew all of his subscribers personally. He repeated it a few times in that video.

Inflated subscribers[]

In early 2018, YouTube started adding musicians' music channels' subscriber count to their personal channels' subscriber count, some personal channels owned by musicians were getting tens of millions of subscribers in a short time as a result. After that, the channels continue to grow on their own. Although not confirmed, it is speculated that topic channels such as Music and Sports have inflated subscribers from channels of their topic and grow on their own afterwards as well. These channels were introduced in late 2013.

A guide to getting subscriptions[]

Be Entertaining[]

This is always one of the basic steps of getting your fans, having good commentary, being entertaining and engaging.

Know Your Audience[]

Know who your target audience is and strive to their needs – know who watch you and why. Make what your audience enjoys watching to keep a viewerbase. Remember to make subscriber specials, It is always polite to thank your fans for subscribing to you, it will show that you care about them, and they are not just strangers watching your videos.

Reply to Comments[]

Replying to comments will keep viewers on your channel. Answer questions, engage and communicate. It'll make them know you care a lot about your fans, and most important of all, you would be able to understand your viewers better. Receive criticism with an open mind for improvement.

Be Careful[]

Be aware of what you are doing in your video. Make sure you are not acting stupid, being insulting, rude or controversial. Being advertiser friendly has major perks with brand deals and YouTube, which would also help you gain attention. It's also why family-friendly channels do really well, kids and young people contain the largest YouTube demographic.

Show Your Personality[]

Be outgoing and make sure to show your face. You can still gain subscribers if you don't show your face, as proven with many gaming YouTubers in the past, but showing your face will help you grow faster since it will often make your subscribers feel like they have a deeper connection with you.

And most importantly:

Be Genuine

See also[]