*This was a comment I made on a video created by YouTube user, Ultranick24 called "Dank Discussions #2: Subscriber Loyalty - Sonic The Hedgehog 2006" check him out!
I think many of us struggle with retaining decent viewership, the smaller you are the tougher it is but lately it seems to be happening to even larger channels. I mean its always been that your sub count does not reflect video views, say you have a person with 2 million subs, they generally do not get 2 million views or around there (especially gaming channels).
This may be due to the over-saturation of gaming channels, the past 2 years their have been an abundance of new gamer/lets play channels popping up. I have watched Cobi (Cobanermani456) for many years now, and its weird that even though his video quality and commentary has vastly improved, he doesn't quite get the views that he got even a year or two ago (not just Cobi, but I used him as an example) More people are competing for viewership, also it seems that many people are into more "reactionary" style game play videos or those videos in general then the actual commentary itself. Kind of sucks imo but that is what gets the views, everyone "has" to have a webcam and make some weird/funny face or have a bizarre reaction. There are not a lot of gameplay channels that do not show their face, most big ones do i.e popular ones like Markiplier, Pewdiepie, jacksepticeye etc. I can only think of a few that people watch purely for entertaining commentary (GameGrumps, Super best friends, The super gaming bros) there are probably more but not too many in comparison.
YouTube has definitely changed, and it is harder than ever to make it. In my case I've considered making different styled content on another channel that is not gameplay, to try and differentiate myself. I have also at times felt like what is the point of doing videos if nobody watches, it can really drag you down. Big channels that have a more "loyal" subscriber base..well that is really hard to do. GameGrumps for example, I enjoy their content. Most fans don't care what they play or if they play poorly, they love the guys so much that they'll watch almost anything they do. To get to that level of viewership is rare nowadays. My advice as a small channel would be to not give up, keep doing your best. Maybe branch off and do other types of videos, something out of the comfort zone. Experiment possibly, something might just catch on :]
Second post: Like you said in the video, subscriber burn has been affecting channels as well. Along with YouTubes crappy sub box system that sometimes works. I recently went to a small YouTube panel in a bigger city in my area, we had a talk about viewer retention and growth. Sorry for the long comment, just had a lot to write xD
To clarify I don't hate any of the big channels I mentioned, I just needed something to compare the channel too. I don't really hate any channels tbh, everybody has their preferences. Anyways thanks for reading this little rant I had lol
Listening to: Take Me On - NSP Cover!
Playing: Bayonetta 1&2