Live Subscriber Count
Here at Grin, we cover all kinds of topics relevant to content creators on YouTube. Today, we're going to tell you how the YouTube
subscriber count works, what it's missing, and how Grin’s live subscriber count tool can show you instant, real-time sub counts
for your favorite YouTubers and your own channel.
Live Subscriber Counts from YouTube
On YouTube, subscribers are often considered a mark of your success. Getting insight into your live subscriber count is
something all creators want. Just like a high score in a video game, or high numbers in your bank account, subscribers are
intended to show a tangible sign of a content creator's reach and their progress as a YouTuber. In a perfect world, this
is how the YouTube sub count would work:
- All of your subscribers would be real, active viewers who are invested in your content.
- Your subscribers would see all of your videos in their subscription feed as you release them.
- Your YouTube sub count would be an accurate reflection of people who meet the criteria above.
- You could monitor your live sub count in real time, watching as you gain more subscribers during promotions,
and even show the live sub counter during live streams, encouraging viewers to sub your channel. (Hint: you can
do this with Grin but not YouTube’s Analytics…)
Unfortunately, there are a few complications with YouTube sub counts...
Subscriber Counts Drop?
With billions of viewers every month, YouTube does a lot to ensure that subscriber counts are accurate.
To the chagrin of many YouTubers, the social media giant periodically purges subs from people’s channels
without their consent. YouTube claims that these are fake and inactive accounts, therefore your watch
time is not affected. However, many people get caught off guard when they see a large drop in their
subscriber count over night. The people that don’t know YouTube’s policy and process feel outraged
to see their YouTube subscriber count drop (rightfully so!). They feel like their progress was
taken away without justification.
It should also be noted that many channels both large and small have reported losing subscribers that
were engaging with their content during one of the YouTube subscriber purges. Many influencers reference
a reduction in average views per video or watch time as evidence. Despite these objections, many other
influencers support the efforts by YouTube, and wish more was done to rid the platform of fake bot
accounts and purchased subscribers.
YouTube Subscriber Count Isn’t Perfect
YouTube is one of the largest websites on the Internet. 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube each day, and 300 hours are uploaded to the platform per minute. This massive amount of content people used YouTube for a longer time and started having cluttered subscription feeds, YouTube did the following:
- They moved focus on the Home Page, which is a combination of Subscriptions, Recommended and Previously Watched. This is intended to drive more views.
- They silently modified the Subscriptions page to prioritize certain videos and channels over others, typically by how often a user had watched that channel's videos or how long they had been subscribed.
These were usability improvements, yes, but they also severely impacted the reliability of the YouTube sub count, and most importantly the live subscriber count, for creators who relied on it as a number to measure their performance. The YouTube subscriber count also suffers from the following issues:
- Many sites offer services to pay for robot subscribers. These aren't real subs and do nothing to boost your actual prominence, viewership or ad revenue. They may inflate your real time subscriber count temporarily, but that's not good.
- Many bot accounts will also choose to auto-sub to various YouTubers to maintain the appearance of a "real" user. This again, affects your real time subscriber count but not in the best way.
- These bots are often reflected in subscriber counts - until suddenly, one day they are purged.
- Everyone with a Google account technically has a YouTube account, not to mention the YouTube accounts that existed before Google's acquisition. Because of this, many accounts are inactive and still counted in subscribers - until suddenly, one day they are purged.
Subscriber Counter on YouTube Is Off
Sub Count on Channel vs Sub Counter in Analytics
You may notice on occasion that the subscriber counts listed on your public-facing channels do not match the sub counts
listed in the Analytics sections for the channels. This is because YouTube does not update channel stats in real time.
For the Analytics dashboard, they delay data by 48 hours. YouTube states that this extra time is used to review the
new subscribers to make sure they are legitimate and not spam or bot accounts.
Sub Count Affected Private YouTube Accounts
Another cause of mismatched sub counts is between your public-facing number and your actual subscribers list. This is because many people on YouTube choose to subscribe while keeping their subscriptions private, meaning that you won't be able to track certain subscribers.
How Grin Can Help You
Finally, let's talk about the elephant in the room: our team here at Grin. At Grin, we have two primary offerings: our
Platform and our Blog.
Our Grin Influencer
Marketing Platform allows YouTube creators to connect with brands for
paid sponsorship opportunities. Brands use Grin to find great YouTube influencers to promote their products.
Brands look at a variety of things when deciding who to work with. These include: youtube sub count, average views per video,
engagement rates (the ratio of likes + comments + shares divided by views), content quality, personality fit for the brand,
other social network profiles that may be relevant for their influencer marketing campaign, among other things.
Our Blog, meanwhile, offers a wide variety of informative posts, just like this one. We offer our blog for free because our goal is to help you grow as a creator - if that's your goal, too, we recommend you stick around.
These were usability improvements, yes, but they also severely impacted the reliability of the YouTube
subscriber count, and most importantly the live sub count, for creators who relied on it as a
number to measure their performance. The YouTube subscriber counter also suffers from the following issues:
Subscribers, What Are They Exactly?
A subscriber on YouTube is simply someone that's subscribed to your channel. This means that they will see your channel in their subscription feeds whenever you choose to upload a video, and in theory means you have a reliable viewer for every video you make. Unfortunately, this isn't always true. There's a lot of complications in this relationship between creator and subscriber, and we're going to dive into that right now.
Subscriber Count vs Watch Time
Watch time determines how much YouTube chooses to boost your videos, and if your watch time
remains the same after a subscriber purge you can be comforted in knowing that you didn't lose anything.
Look here for a full guide on YouTube subscribers.
YouTube Subscriber Count
Despite the demand from creators to have realtime sub counts for their channels, YouTube itself does not
offer the service in their Analytics. They do have a Realtime view, but this only shows information about
video views in the past 1 hour or 48 hours. It updates automatically every 10 seconds. If YouTubers want
to watch their subscriber count in true real time, they need to use an external tool like Grin’s Live Sub Count.
PewDiePie Subscriber Count Live
& Other YouTuber Sub Counts Live
Grin has created custom pages that track every YouTuber’s live sub count. If you’ve ever wondered how mains subscribers PewDiePie gains or loses every minute - now you can watch it live! We track all of the best YouTube celebrities. You can type any channel into the bottom search bar and hit enter. Once the YouTuber’s page loads, a sharable link is created. You can bookmark your favorite ones, and copy the URL to share it with friends.
Here are a few of the most popular links. Don’t forget to share cool celebrity subscriber counts as well as your own live sub count! Click a name to go directly to that channel’s live sub count.