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