YouTube Removing Subscribers & A New YouTube Player On The Way - The Reel Web #22

YouTube Removing Subscribers & A New YouTube Player On The Way   The Reel Web #22

In case you're just now recovering from all the recent changes YouTube has made to their system, it's time to brace for another round of major changes. This time they'll be removing some of your subscribers from your channel's subscriber count if the subscriber's account is old, inactive, hasn't been linked to a Google Account, or if YouTube feels like the subscriber has been gamed and inflated through different YouTube schemes and services that break its Terms of Service.

The other big news from YouTube is a new YouTube player that's coming out sometime soon. There's no ETA at the moment, but it will feature a new storyboard element that lets users skim through an entire video and have a thumbnail preview of what's happening at that moment in the video, even without needing to buffer. Instead of collecting only 3 thumbnail images from each video, now YouTube will be collecting 100 thumbnail images, although it's uncertain whether or not we'll be able to actually set one of those 100 thumbnails as the image for our videos or if we'll still only get the same 3 choices as we do now.

Plus, we talk about how important it is for your videos to focus on a specific niche and capitalize on that audience, per YouTube's VP of Global Content Partnerships indicated in his keynote speech at CES last week.

Subscriber Count Inflation, A New YouTube Player, & More

Stories from this week's episode:

The Reel Web is a weekly show that highlights the news from the online video world every Monday here on YouTube and at

Don't Miss Out - Join Our VIP Video Marketing Community!
Get daily online video tips and trends via email!

About the Author -
Tim Schmoyer is the host of ReelSEO's Creator's Tip and the author of "30 Days to a Better YouTube Channel". You can see some of his personal videos on his Family Vlog Channel. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • Alejandro Dominguez

    I've noticed that the subscriber #s reported on my Android App was different from the #s on my channel last week. I even saw on my cell that I had 0 subscribers at one point. This explains it.

  • Silvia Ioana Ghita

    I can already skim through the video and see what's happening at different times. It's a very good idea.

  • Tim Schmoyer via Facebook

    I should clarify that I don't think there's anything wrong with an auto-follow/friend approach in social media, just not how I like to use it, that's all. :)

  • Tim Schmoyer via Facebook

    Syreeta Hall: Cool, thanks for the clarification. I watched their intro video and the impression I got is that it auto-adds friends and auto-subscribes to channels in your niche and then lets you send your videos as a message to those people asking them to check it out. If that's accurate, those messages feel like spam to me unless it's coming as a personalized message specifically to me. I'm not saying it's a bad system, just that I wouldn't use it. I'd rather find those people organically and reach out to some of them personally.

    As far as my personal philosophy of social media in concerned, I'm not into auto-following anyone, whether it's on Twitter, YouTube, or any other social network, just to try to get people to notice me. I know others do it and with great results sometimes, but to me that feels selfish and disinterested in others because it seems primarily self-serving. I only follow/friend/subscribe to people because I value their content.

  • Video Leads Online

    Ahhh.... more buzz around thumbnails! As many of you may know that is a particular area of focus for the Video SEO Hound!

    I'd bet ya a dog bone (smothered with creamy peanut butter) that we don't get to choose from the '100 video thumbnails' that YouTube may make in the future. If we could, there would be a much higher chance that people would try to stick content into the video that would only be used to gain an 'engaging' Thumbnail image.

    So far YouTube does not like that action at all and has done a good job making it real hard to do (trust me I've tried for years!)- so letting us choose from amongst 100s of thumbnail possibilities is most likely not in the works... says the VSEO Hound.

    • Tim Schmoyer

      yeah, I'm inclined to agree with you. That's what I think, as well.

  • Syreeta Hall via Facebook

    @Tim Schmoyer just to respond as someon who actually uses the software, Tube Toolbox doesn't generate artificial views or subscribers to your YT channel. As a matter of fact, many of its features will filter out those who are would not be interested in your video and you can't even make successful contact with someone who's account is closed. It is used to reach out to those who are already interested in your niche. It can be misused and abused, but in essence its not meant to be used as a spam bot.

  • ReelSEO via Facebook

    Happy to chat sometime.... Going to be unavailable for the next 2 weeks but email me and we'll set something up... Thanks for participating in the discussion.

  • Hope Daley

    Appreciate the info. Leary of the new player when the latest player now has this mystery audio issue where it's removing or blocking spoken audio tracks from HD uploads on cell phones and some random PC's and laptops. There seems to be no real answers out there either, just a lot of speculation and failures to find a resolution. If there was an alternative that was as successful, I'd be looking to jump ship right about now.

  • Megan O’Neill

    Thanks for linking to my Tubalr post, Tim! I love watching your videos :-)

    • Tim Schmoyer

      No, thank YOU for making my job easier! :) I read a bunch of your stuff actually. It makes me look good. haha

  • David Libby

    When is this happening and who / what is your source?

    • Tim Schmoyer

      Some are reporting on YouTube that the subscriber removal is currently taking place right now. The source is YouTube itself, as I mentioned in the video. Check out the link I supplied for more info.

    • Tim Schmoyer

      Silvia Ioana Ghita Yeah, I've heard that, too. I'm still waiting for those numbers to be reflected on YouTube. It's weird that VidStatsX would be more accurate than YouTube's analytics right now, although I totally trust that it is.

    • Silvia Ioana Ghita

      It happened on Monday. If you go to Vidstatsx & search for your favourite channels you'll see how much their subscribers numbers have dropped. ;)

  • Tube Toolbox – YouTube Marketing Software via Facebook

    Based on the video, I honestly don't think it will affect Tube Toolbox much. Tube Toolbox doesn't offer any ways to directly gain subscribers which is what the changes will address. If it does affect us, then we will adapt and add more features that help the YouTube community (while following YouTube's TOS). As a general trend, we are working to offer features that are considered more white hat than grey hat these days. Hopefully someday we can completely transition the product into something where there is no controversy. Mark - would love to talk to you some day about your thoughts on what features you think could benefit the YT community -Phil (Tube Toolbox Creator)

  • Tim Schmoyer via Facebook

    I agree with Mark about tools like TubeToolbox. They mostly feel like spam bots to me anyway. (Maybe not TubeToolbox in particular because I've never used it, but those kinds of systems in general.)

  • BlogAid via Facebook

    Thanks for the heads up about loss of subscribers. Will keep an eye on my numbers to see what happens. The new player sounds great and hoping they do allow more choices for featured image. ~ MaAnna

  • ReelSEO via Facebook

    You know, I have to say yes... (This is Mark Robertson) However, I do think (and it could be that tubetoolbox takes this on) that there are lots of other features and functionalities that could be useful for marketers that are not part of YouTube. I tend to shy away from tools like TubeToolBox only because I dont think any automated methods will match the power of a YouTube owner manually logging in and being engaged on the YouTube platform itself. Most of the things that can be automated, even if they follow YouTube's stated policies, are a bit gray hat in my opinion, and really just give lazy people some hope that they can succeed with minimal effort ;-) I say if you're going to do YouTube, do YouTube right.

  • Syreeta Hall via Facebook

    Very good question Scott Ayres I would love to know this myself!!!

  • Diana L Guerrero

    It might be a problem for streaming shows but I think people are beginning to mix it up a bit with more variety in screenshot angles, graphics, etc. This might just catalyze some changes in how people are constructing videos--bumping it up a notch which might be a good thing!

    • Tim Schmoyer

      Yeah, that's a good thought. This will make the production value a bit more important, but it may also cause people to move away from videos sooner since they can kinda skip to "reading the last chapter of the book" in a way. Although, I'm sure YouTube did their research before implementing this and concluded that that wasn't happening.

  • Brandon Bloch

    Choosing video thumbnails is super important! How else is the audience supposed to be interested or enticed if the embedded image is just a random talking-head image, or something?

    I have no idea why YouTube doesn't just let us upload our own thumbnails, like Vimeo does. I guess being able to choose from a hundred YouTube-selected thumbnails could help, but until they add real upload capability, I'm going to stick with Vimeo.

    • Tim Schmoyer

      Yeah, what Jacye said exactly. I'd also add that the thumbnail isn't all it's cracked up to be, either. People care more about who's sharing the video and what they're saying about it than they do the thumbnail image.

    • Tim Schmoyer

      Jayce Broda Yeah, like chapter markers type of thing? I think it should only be enabled for partners and only for longer videos (like 20 minutes or longer) so it's not abused. I can see people using chapter markers and titles that have little to do with the content.

    • Brandon Bloch

      Jayce Broda I get this argument but still think it's a bit silly. You're saying that YouTube encourages people to upload millions of minutes worth of video content... but is afraid of people uploading thumbnails? If they can enforce video, why can't they enforce still images that go along with them?

      (re: Tim) - Thumbnails may not be the single most important factor in getting someone to click, but as long as YouTube continues to beef up many of its other features, you'd think they could just give a little development bandwidth to this pretty simple task.

      All I can say - from many examples of personal and professional experience - is that it's frustrating when you put so much time into crafting a video with compelling imagery, only to have YouTube (without fail) automatically choose a thumbnail of the one shot in the video of a talking head half blinking... for example.

      Anyway - thanks for covering these kinds of topics and discussing. I'm really glad I found your blog.

    • Tim Schmoyer

      Brandon Bloch Yeah, whether you agree with the argument or not, it's the one YouTube holds to. I tend to agree with them. Videos go viral all the time and their thumbnail never has anything to do with it.

    • Brandon Bloch

      Tim Schmoyer Fair enough. I respect your positions - It's just one of the main features I still appreciate about Vimeo. And just seems to me like as long as YouTube is sprucing up many of their other features... why not improve this one too? If for no other reason than it makes creators like myself feel happy. We put all this work into our videos only to have the equivalent of the "movie poster" be chosen out of a hat. But I digress... Thanks for listening ;-)

    • Tim Schmoyer

      Brandon Bloch Yeah, maybe better thumbnail options are coming, I don't know. We'll see.

    • Jayce Broda

      They do this because many will & have abused the custom thumbnail option. Uploading a close-up shot of large breasts for example, when the video itself has nothing to do with breasts! Partners have been know to abuse the tool once they have it also.

    • Jayce Broda

      Tim Schmoyer What would think of YT building a segment tool like Viddler employs? I thought this was a great feature! This is where you can simply select the segment of the video that interests you the most, instead of watching segments that are of no interest to you, you can simply skip it, because each segment is named for what it is. I suppose the scrubbing option would work too, but it will require guesswork.

    • Jayce Broda

      Brandon Bloch The custom thumbnail option simply allowed people to gain the system by getting viewers to think the video was about something that it was not. This feature is therefore available only to partners who have demonstrated reasonable use of it.

  • Scott Ayres via Facebook

    So do you think all of these changes makes tools like TubeToolbox useless?