YouTube and Your Subscription Feed

I thought it was all bullshit and people just didn’t know where to check but now I know that it is real being that I witnessed it happen first-hand.

YouTube isn’t pushing our videos to some of your sub boxes, or if they are - they’re being delayed. Which is crucial for the way the algorithm works and how our videos are seen. Let me explain–

Today I published the Guardian Games tour video at 12PM, and had social media post everything at 12:01PM. While that was happening, I was talking to the people in our Discord. People were telling me they didn’t see the video in their sub box. I checked myself, and sure enough - it wasn’t there. Checked another account - wasn’t there.

I tried making the video private and republishing - nothing. Didn’t change anything for the people in our Discord either.

I’ve emailed our MCN, but honestly what can they do? Are we expected to take down the video and re-upload it? We haven’t even broken a thousand views (yes, I know views are down in general) but it’s been almost three hours.

Why is the timing important? Well, the way the algorithm works is that videos that are engaged more are suggested more on other videos. While some videos may only get 3-5% traffic from the suggestion functionality, there have been a lot of our videos that have 20-30% traffic from the suggestion functionality. I met with YT a couple weeks ago and what I took from the meeting was that the suggested/discover functionality uses “engagement,” which is calculated on:

  • Comments
  • Retention (YT now considers length viewed in minutes more important then actual independent views)
  • Upvotes AND downvotes (lookin’ at you downvote squad-- hope you guys realize it helps our videos)
  • Metadata (Text in the title, description [if you’ve noticed, I’ve been now putting in about a paragraph in the description talking about the video] and closed captioning [I honestly forgot about this - but it makes sense that they would mine this data as well for your video].)

–So if people are more engaged in a concentrated time (the moments it hits their sub boxes), the chances of your video being shared in the suggested functionality is substantially better then one that is uploaded and gets no traction from your viewers at all. To account for this, we’ve just started scheduling our videos for 12PM PT and trying to push them out Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Publishing videos late at night is not great for people on the east coast, or over seas (in some cases). Majority of our audience is in the US so we want to make sure that everyone gets it at 12-3PM PT.

But none of this matters if YouTube can’t even get the videos out to people, or out in a timely manner.

The timing for this is quite interesting though, yesterday YouTube uploaded something “debunking” these claims and saying that its not happening.

(They only sampled 100 channels? wot)

Much bigger channels then us are aware of these problems as well - so we’re not the only ones. Here’s Ethan from H3H3’s perspective:

I’m at a loss as to what to do other then stay on the grind and hope for the best. Dependency on a single platform is something we don’t like doing anyways, so maybe there are other places we can start to consider uploading content to. Until then…

If you are subscribed, please make sure to click the “bell” icon next to the subscription box and sign up for notifications. Although it may be annoying, it will help us out tremendously and make sure that you see all our uploads.

I’m going to go lay out in the snow and crack open a beer. Papa bless.


i checked mine and it said it was posted 3 mins ago so it was fine for me :slight_smile:

That’s the point I’m trying to make, that’s three hours and 17 minutes after I published the video. It hurts our videos and views when its not published at the same time for everyone based off the system they put into place.

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it’s all about the money honey - YouTube 2016

Susan Wojcicki is a slimy whore. Does that help?

That was not necessary - but no.

Luckily I do meet with a YouTube representative on Monday so I’ll talk to him again to see what is up. I’ll probably report here what comes out of it.

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@hutchison15 Still has not reached my sub box on my main YouTube account :confused: but glad that you post on other social media networks, so I knew to go watch the video on my other account. Will see how long it takes for my main to get the notification.

I can understand the new algorithms and keeping them secret to prevent spam, but to lie about establishing a new one, just not cool on YouTube’s part.

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Aaah, please keep me in the loop. Would love to know and have something to tell YT when I meet with them next.

The like/dislike ratio on that video is hilarious

Thanks for the update. I do not have a youtube profile thing or whatever I normally just go and watch uploads on the YouTube’s on the regular days and when I notice a video uploaded on the forum which I frequent every day. If the sub will help you have one on the way. But it sounds like I wouldn’t get the notification from them anyway.

I noticed this as well with the Guardian Games video. Never really saw this happen until I saw Guardian Games in my Home Recommended list, but it wasn’t in my subscription box at all. Now I’m wondering how many smaller YouTubers ’ content I’m missing because it just doesn’t appear.

I think the best way to circumvent this issue for the time being until YT either fixes this or a new platform arises that is very competitive, is to have an Email Notification list that you can add to your Social Media posting task list so that people get direct notifications.

I will look into the most affordable newsletter services to send such simple information over the weekend.


Mailchimp is free for the first 2k subs but then adds up costs. Lets say 10% of our YT subs signup to get email notifications, we’re looking at $275-$325 a month just for email notifications.

Looks like our best bet would be to use which is a self hosted email marketing web app that ties into Amazon SES which I believe @Logan said the team now uses. All we would pay for is the emails sent which means we would save TONS of money.

So if we sent 500k emails in a month we would only pay $50 compared to $5k for other available services.

I also think the best way to “fund” this because we shouldn’t have to create our own notification system but YT is being gimp so we have to now is making something similar to what Daring Fireball does for their RSS feed which is like a sponsor of the month or something.

So at the bottom of each notification email we just have a Thank You written out to our monthly newsletter sponsor allowing us to send these emails with a link to their site or a new product something like that.

Another Service

Self hosted which might be nice so that’s once less thing for us to manage.


We could probably allocate some of the Patreon funds to that, that’d be kind of a nice tribute. Right now we’ve been doing vlogs for them and showing what we’ve used their funding for, this might be another great way of thanking them for what they do and the support they provide.

Alright - so just FYI, we reuploaded the video and we’re going to see if it goes to your sub feed this time.

Watch one of the latest videos from The Game Theorists. The explanation that MatPat gives regarding the changes is very solid, and seems to be right. Maybe it will help you.

Edit: here is a link to the video.

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Hey @hutchison15 never got a notification on my account for the video, though I did get one today just a little bit ago (looks like you took the video private and re-published it, but not sure).

Great video though, and you guys did a great job! Keep up the great content.

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For years, I’ve been meaning to get into YouTube. Something else popped up that pushed me away. I finally got started and this is happening. This won’t affect me now, as I am legit starting from square one, but I am curious how this will affect any potential growth.