August 24, 2019

THIS IS HORRIBLE AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Yeah, no. This isn’t one of those videos. You see the title and I know your mind immediately
jumps to a video of a dude sitting in front of a camera complaining about the YouTube
algorithm for 10 minutes and not a minute more to get those sweet mid-roll ads. And, well, this video will probably hit 10
minutes, and I’m sure I’ll complain a little bit, but, frankly, I’ve done that
enough. Ryan’s done moaning. But here’s the thing, the title isn’t
wrong. Gaming on Youtube is dying – or rather it’s
already picked out a grave site and a coffin. And while that does suck, that’s just the
nature of the game of entertainment…the game of YouTube. As players on YouTube, we’re forced (okay,
maybe not forced)…we’re incentivized to create videos that get more views. Duh. You want to make the best possible video on
something you like while also reaching the largest audience so that people who liked
that video subscribe, come back, and watch future videos. But, that’s the basics of YouTube as a whole. Things you already understand. So what happens when you create videos that
you thought were solid, and, over the course of time, the subscribers you gained start
to become disinterested. Well, I’ve been over this before so I’m
going to just gloss over it here. If your subscribers don’t watch your video,
YouTube assumes that video sucks and people don’t give a crap about it so it so will
be promoted less. And, in turn, those subscribers who didn’t
watch won’t get notified for future videos, turning into “subscriber burn” and the
cycle continues. So why does this matter? Or, specifically, why does this matter for
gamers? Because at this point we’re past the whole
part that the Let’s Play gaming market is incredibly oversaturated and is the lowest
common denominator for making gaming videos. I mean, on the surface all you’re doing
is playing games and making money. Sounds great right!? But a lot of these people aren’t trying
to work at it and improve. They’re just trying to take the easy way
out and pump out fast content of part 43 of their sims playthrough where they threw someone
who looked like Harvey Weinstein in a pool and took out the ladder…okay that actually
sounds kinda funny – but you get what I’m saying, right? People like the Game Grumps and Markiplier
didn’t skyrocket to popularity just on accident. Sure, they got some luck, but it took a lot
of hard work. Hours of practicing to improve and hone their
funny bones, to be able to get as good as they are today. Luck is a factor. But hard work is what increases the probability
that luck will happen in the first place. So, no, I’m not talking about the saturated
Let’s Play market. I’m talking about this idea of subscriber
burn and YouTube’s current state as a whole – and why it matters for ALL people making
gaming videos. To boil it down, gaming (unlike other YouTube
content) is incredibly centered around fads. Now what I mean by this is the biggest and
best gaming channels in terms of both views and growing subscribers are centered around
a single game. For this past year, that game has been Fortnite. The YouTube Trending page for Gaming don’t
lie. But then the problem becomes…what happens
to all of these channels once Fortnite dies out? Well…the trending page will be overrun with
whatever new game is popping for those 5 minutes of fame and many of those Fortnite channels
are stuck. Now some will be able to get out and successfully
transfer to a wider variety of games and new fads, it always happens, but for most that
transfer out of the trend won’t be successful. But this isn’t an issue with other types
of content. You don’t subscribe to a music channel for
just one song, you want to hear all the songs that musician makes. It would be like subscribing to Gordon Ramsay
but only watching him make asparagus. “Oh I hate it when he makes steak! I subbed for asparagus! Where’s my asparagus Gordon??” That’s what those comments complaining “Make
more FNAF videos” are saying. We don’t subscribe to other types of content
creators in a way that actively destroys their ability to create new types of content, except
for gaming. This isn’t just something we’ve noticed,
but other creators like MatPat have noticed it too. If you’ve watched one of his more recent
videos MatPat goes into how YouTubers are classified internally on YouTube. There’s a team dedicated to Top Influencers,
but there’s an entirely separate team dedicated to Gaming Channels. And the two shall not overlap. Essentially, if you’re a gaming channel,
you’re literally seen differently in the eyes of YouTube. Now I don’t work for YouTube, I don’t
know the internal workings of exactly what this means. But there definitely is a divide. Whether that divide comes from there being
such a large number of Gaming YouTubers that Google decided that category needed its own
team, or whether its part of trying to make YouTube less gaming centric, or something
else, I don’t know. But what it likely means is that Gaming YouTubers
aren’t valued the same as other creators. This is reinforced by MatPat receiving a package
from YouTube that blatantly said “Mid Tier Influencer” on the front. If he’s midtier, what am I? Chopped liver? But again, this likely has to do with how
YouTube’s algorithm treats gaming creators, typically limiting them to one game or genre. This phenomenon happened to us, and is still
plaguing us. I’ve explained the Treesicle experience
before, with how Indie Horror took our channel and gave us a steroid shot with subscribers
and views. But even still we weren’t one track minded. We made sure to stay diversified. Covering topics on Nintendo, Pokemon, some
Anime titles, and even newer games. But the audience that we garnered through
Five Nights at Freddy’s and other Indie Horror titles overwhelmed our other audience:
The audience that loved and enjoyed the variety games we covered. And now that Five Nights at Freddy’s is
basically dead, we’re left with half a million subscribers who aren’t even FNAF fans anymore…so
why the hell are they still here? Well, they watched a couple videos on FNAF
3 years ago that they liked so clicked that little red button but just don’t care anymore. Not that I blame them, it’s just the game
of YouTube. You get a viral video, people subscribe to
your channel expecting more of that same content, and if it’s not the same they are a dead
subscriber. And in the gaming sphere a lot of times this
just boils down to simply not covering the same game they subscribed for. And to be honest, the past couple months I’ve
been seeing a lot of comments from people asking why we haven’t been covering as much
gaming content. In January specifically we had a pretty good
month, but only 2 of our 6 videos were centered around games. Most of our current subscribers found us from
mostly indie horror – and right now we’re in a dry spell for those types of games. The problem with posting about games is that
if you, the audience, aren’t interested in the game itself, you’re not going to
click on my video, no matter how enticing a title or thumbnail. I can’t do a clickbait title and thumbnail
of me walking in on Grant taking a dump, because what we do here is overanalyze shit. And so we’ve been incentivized to create
videos on “trends” – things that are happening in the industry. The Story You Never Knew of Big Chungus. The Real Truth of Jesus Christ. Giving our take on what happened to us with
MCNs. Things that are outside the realm of “gaming”
but things that we feel you want to see and watch – because the topic itself is interesting
and will catch your eye more than just a game you’ve never heard of. And the response based on number of subscribers
watching these video showed the interest. But there was still pushback. While gaming allows for fast creation centered
around the game, once that game dies, views and channel growth fall with it. Like FNAF, Overwatch is another perfect example. I remember seeing our buddy, ohNickel’s
channel back in 2017 getting 10+ Million views a month and talking to the boys on the Treesicle
team joking that the only reason we don’t become an Overwatch channel too is because
our Overwatch video “only” got 50,000 views first week…a fraction of what our
Indie Horror videos were getting. But now, I see Nickel’s channel and he’s
getting just around 1 Million views per month and is actually losing subscribers. As Overwatch’s popularity is falling, he’s
been unable to get out of the bubble that game has created for his channel. But, I can’t be all doom and gloom here. Every system has exploits it… and to some
degree, YouTube is no different. JoblessGarrett. A dude who a couple of the guys on the team
met once at a convention like 4 years ago has a channel with 1.6 million subscribers. That channel…isn’t doing too hot with
views, BECAUSE it was more or less a GTA V dedicated channel. Now that GTA is dead, he stopped posting only
GTA content…also I don’t know what’s happening with his thumbnails right now… So, this dude has made 2 other channels, one
dedicated to Fortnite, another dedicated to Red Dead Redemption 2. Both of these channels have a couple hundred
thousand subscribers, but are DWARFING the main 1.6 million sub channel in terms of views. BECAUSE they are making videos DEDICATED TO
A SPECIFIC GAME that is popular right now. But once that game dies? The channels growth and views will get shot
in the knee and Garrett will probably spring up with 2 other channels and a meth lab in
the basement next to your mom’s house. So…not exactly Jobless. But even with the optimistic approach of “oh
just have separate channels for different games” – it’s still pretty tedious to
have to do, and puts gaming channels at a severe disadvantage in the long term. I don’t think YouTube has a gun to gaming
channel’s heads trying to tear them down. They still make money off of us after all. It’s just that the cogs that keep the YouTube
machine moving have changed over the years. The algorithm. It wasn’t always the way it is today. Back when we started Treesicle in 2014, gaming
was actually thriving on YouTube. It was a big deal. According to TubeFilter, of the top 25 most
viewed YouTube channels, Gaming had 6! PewDiePie, StampyLongHead, TheDiamondMinecart (a.k.a.
DanTDM), VanossGaming, Vegetta777 and PopularMMOs. Not only did they have a solid hold on the
views market, but these channels had CRAZY growth. PewDiePie – only 81%. Stampy – 590%. TheDiamondMinecart – 582%. Vanoss – 352%. Vegetta777 – 274%. PopularMMOs – 1263%. Insanity. Compare that to the top 100 gaming channels
in the past month, according to Socialblade. That would be basically February. We have PewDiePie at…70th…who is no longer
a gaming channel. FGTeeV at 77th. And…Fortnite Funny, which is up 257% from
last month. And you see why it’s grown so much right. Because it’s a dedicated Fortnite “best
moments” channel. DEDICATED! When Fortnite is done, this channel is done,
but for the time being, it’s killing it. But the problem being we only have 2 channels
in the top 100…and one is a kids channel and the other is a B.S. Fortnite channel. Where before we had a bunch in the TOP 25…now,
gaming can barley crack the top 100 But unlike the PewDiePie’s, and Markiplier’s,
and Jacksepticeye’s, and Dunkey’s that sprung up over past years, we aren’t really
seeing channels with variety gaming content growing on today’s YouTube. That’s definitely not to say gaming as a
genre is dead. In fact, according to the forbes 10 highest
paid YouTubers of 2018, 4 of them are gamers (Mark, Jack, DanTDM, VanossGaming) and 1 is
an ex-gamer turned news host (Gloria Borger). The top gamers on the platform are still able
to rake in the views. But these gamers are all established names
we’ve had for years. And unless something changes internally within
the cogs of YouTube, it’s not going to be possible to have another massively popular
variety gaming personality because YouTube will force views for certain poppin’ games,
but once that game is dead, so is the channel. Leaving very few able to recover. I guess maybe it’s just the natural selection
of YouTube, but in my mind there must be a better way, a way that doesn’t pigeon hole
gamers for being gamers. A way that allows gaming YouTubers to hold
a fanbase that doesn’t revolve around one game. A way that doesn’t make us feel like we
have to make the content on the same game a million times just to survive. A way that lets our channels feel fresh and
uncaged. But that’s not possible right now. It was once, but not anymore. And that’s the truth of Gaming on YouTube. The Real Truth. Thanks for watching everybody. This has been on my mind a whole lot ever
since we started working on our anime only channel Bonsai Pop for basically this exact
reason. But, I know my opinion isn’t without it’s
own flaws, and it might not be the same as your guys’, so please let me know your thoughts
in the comments or tweet them at me cuz I’m curious what you guys think about the state
of gaming on youtube and even how it’s changed over the years. But yeah, this is something that’s been
racking around my game. It’s good to get it out there. And, don’t be afraid to subscribe, hit that
little bell. But, you know, if you don’t think you’re
going to watch more, don’t even bother doing it because to be honest that’ll just hurt
the channel. But we do need new blood in here so….subscribe
if you like this stuff! Anyway, that’s all for me today. Thanks for watching everybody. My name’s Ryan and I’ll see you all next
time. Toodles!

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