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Why Do YouTubers Want You To Subscribe?

“And don’t forget to subscribe!” is a phrase that anyone who has spent even just a small amount of time on YouTube will undoubtedly be familiar with, but why exactly are creators so insistent on getting people to hit the ‘Subscribe’ button?

To help answer this question, we’ve outlined a few reasons why subscribers are such a precious commodity.

Compelling Reasons

Better Visibility

YouTube is a big place. With over 30 million users per day who, cumulatively, watch 5 billion videos per day. It’s not the easiest place to get noticed – even with the best possible video content.

By subscribing to a channel, a user is telling YouTube that they would like to receive that channel’s content directly to their subscriptions box, removing the need to search for it. This also segues nicely into the next reason for subscribing…

Watch Time

YouTube’s algorithm has many metrics for measuring a video’s success with its audience, one of its favorites being watch time. This refers to the total amount of time that a channel’s content has been viewed by its audience.

More subscribers result in a higher watch time meaning better promotion of the creator’s videos in YouTube’s search rankings and recommended section.


Following on from watch time, another way subscribers help YouTubers is through engagement. Actions such as subscribing, liking/disliking and sharing all help to promote content further and increase its reach.

Youtube Partner Program

Of course, if you’re keen to start earning money from YouTube, you’ll need to become a YouTube partner. There are a number of strict criteria required to begin monetizing videos, one of which is a obtaining a following of at least 1,000 subscribers. This is a significant reason why subscribers are so sought after by smaller channels.

As previously discussed, watch time is another criterion necessary to become a YouTube Partner. 4,000 watch hours are required, meaning that you need to keep people hooked for as long as possible if you want to achieve this quickly.

Bragging Rights

YouTubers are not exactly renowned for being the humblest of individuals, meaning that the number of subscribers acts as a badge of honor, signifying a creator’s caliber.

“Subscriber wars” are not uncommon (who could forget PewDiePie and T-Series’s tussle to be the first to 100 million subscribers?), and many YouTubers set their own targets – reaching X number of subscribers by the end of the year, for example. This is seemingly a good strategy as it creates a sense of urgency for the viewer to subscribe but can, of course, be embarrassing if the goal is not met.

Influence and Appeal

Even YouTube itself places prestige on certain subscriber milestones. Plaques are earned at 100k, 1m, and 10m subscribers, so many creators have these figures in mind when thinking about subscribers and encouraging new people to join.

As well as impressing peers, the number of subscribers also improves a creator’s appeal to sponsors and brands. The more a channel grows, the higher its potential influence will be. There aren’t many companies that will pay to have their product promoted by a YouTuber with 100 subs, after all.

Conclusion: Subscribers are King

As we have seen, while the number of subscribers may often appear to be just a trivial figure, they are an important metric in deciding a creator’s success, opening up pathways to bigger and better things such as monetization, sponsorships, and influence.


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