Game Theory: Yes, PewDiePie. YouTube Is Broken

Yes, PewDiePie. YouTube Is Broken

This past November, PewDiePie released a video expressing his concerns that subscribers weren't seeing his latest uploads. In his words, the YouTube Sub Box was broken. And he's not the only one. Hundreds of creators, large and small, have expressed concerns about their subscribers not seeing their latest uploads. And they're not entirely wrong. Here's my theory on WHY this happens.

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Fascinating video. On YouTube, I'm only subscribed to about a dozen channels. The notifications are something I don't pay much attention to, I know what days the channels I like publish content. I think that of you are the type who relies on notifications, you are not a consumer, you are a sheep. You watch what they want you to watch, not what you want.

This is a a very enlightening video.
I personally have the problem that I have 50 subscriptions.
I cannot give everyone their due attention, even though I appreciate every content creator I subbed to.
So what do I do. Once ever few months I take a look at my list, weed out those who have become inactive or just stop interesting me. So far, so youtube algorithm who is more less doing the same.
But not only those I also weed out those who have turned their channel into a what I consider content spamming, where they put out new content so fast it clogs up my feed.
You know, where the ammount of content has taken paramount to the quality.
I rather watch or listen a 10 minute well done thought-provoking piece then five 2-minute quick-and-dirty pieces with depth of a water puddle. And this is where someone will burn me up and cause me to unsub or youtube to stop showing me your stuff, because 2 to 5 minute videos do not interest me as much as a 10 minute indepth analysis of a subject.

Youtube is broken. The subscription system is broken, the recommended videos are broken, the interface is broken, the comments are broken, the revenue system is broken and the account controls are broken (unless 'I have slow internet play only low quality' actually means 'jack it to 1080 every fucking time and fuck your data cap'). It's high time something else replaced it.

For the situation in the video, if a channel only has one series out of X that interests me, I won't sub but instead just visit the channel occasionally to watch them back-to-back. Matpat is one of them.

So what's PewDiePie's shelf life at this point? When's he gonna be done, 'cause I am eagerly looking forward to him crashing and burning. The last three indie horror games I Steam I played referenced PewDiePie within the first 10mins and I'm really fucking sick of it!!

PewDiePie annoys the ever living crap out of me...the first few seconds of this video just made me cringe.

did i time travel, or am i seeing a video i already watched months ago?

I don't believe any of this is true, and i have 4 reasons:

1) Either its not true or i am a very weird exception.
I am subscribed to 108 Channels and at least 2 of them i ignore for ~95 or more % of the time. So basically i watch about 1 video in 20-35 or about one video in 1-2 months. I also have channels i have not watched in about half a year but i still get all their updates.

2) Missing sub-vids always happen in phases and when it happens all my creators are affected, even those from whom i watch every video (about 3-5 vids a week).

3) A Sub-Box that does not deliver would be a nonsensical notion, as there is no algorithm that can safely determine why I subscribed to someone in the first place. It would be even bigger nonsense if i missed the one format i am subscribed for just because i don't enjoy the rest.

4) Google has no reason to do it as i (the user) can unsub any time i want if a channel spams my inbox too much. No-one will be sad or angry. Also google is interested in you watching as much content as possible so they will show you everything on the off-chance you watch it. (veritasium2 has a video (called 'The Problem With Facebook') explaining how the interest of youtube differs from that of facebook in that regard better than i can.)

Now I know that point 3 and 4 are only my reasoning and google could apply a different logic and i know that 1 and 2 could be dismissed as anecdotal evidence but in the hard sciences one exception is often enough to disproof a theory. As an algorithm like the one you described would never arbitrarily exclude users I thinks the rather extreme examples in 1 and 2 should suffice to completely disproof your theory.

Furthermore if one is not wowed by your eloquence or the music picking up when you present your arguments, then they are pretty weak and include multiple fallacies. The data you present does not support burned subscribers as much as it does burned-out subscribers and everyone knows the psychology behind human value-assessment, so 'less videos = more views' is hardly a mystery. Also while you might have argued your case very well concerning facebook (note that a huge portion of your argument depends on this part), facebook is hardly suitable example (see video in 4).

Now while i might have some errors in my reasoning and i could be wrong, this and some other gametheory videos have led me to my own gametheory-theory: You are lately more and more often fitting the facts to your theory and not the other way round. While this would never diminish the entertainment-value of your videos, it still saddens me a little. It saddens me because i know you are capable of better and it saddens me because i already hate it when wrong rumors and conspiracy-theories haunt the public image and/or understanding of the sciences and it would pain me if half the 'public knowledge' of my hobbies would also start to consist of scaremongering and superstition.

All that said Theories are there to argue over them and i love your theories of little stuff which are blown totally out of proportion, which is why i replied with this antithesis which is blown totally out of proportion.

Best Regards,
your fellow theorist ;)

I have never subscribed to a channel. I enter the names of the YouTube accounts I want to watch manually in the address bar (autocomplete 4 teh win) and check if there's something new. I practically don't use YouTube's start page at all.

Maybe it's because I'm a control freak and don't trust YouTube to inform me correctly. :/

Tiamat666:
I have never subscribed to a channel. I enter the names of the YouTube accounts I want to watch manually in the address bar (autocomplete 4 teh win) and check if there's something new. I practically don't use YouTube's start page at all.

Maybe it's because I'm a control freak and don't trust YouTube to inform me correctly. :/

Same here. For me it's more that I have very diverse interests and the algorithms keep going all one way or the other. I never log in so the data resets now and again when my ip switches and my cache clears. It's pretty funny when it messes up sometimes and displays a bunch of foreign languages and weird shit I don't even know what it's about from somewhere in the world. For me, it's not like I must absolutely have youtube, so in the end I guess the content creators are the ones getting burned.

Yup, it's true, of the 50 or so channels I'm subscribed to, I only get update feeds of 3 or 4 of them, but then again, some of those I'm mor interested in, and the ones I don't get feedback of but I really like, I always actively seek if they have uploaded anything new, so meh.

If you ask me the real reason the sub box seems to break every now and then is because YouTube/Google can't keep themselves from fucking with something for more than two hours, which means that something is going to break every now and then.

Oh, I recognised the Shinobi music, nice!

Gutsripper:
PewDiePie annoys the ever living crap out of me...the first few seconds of this video just made me cringe.

I didn't realize he was only in the first few seconds... I had to abort my viewing as soon as he said his name in that ridiculous way.

Neat! But does this theory apply to the "My Subscriptions" page? I don't use the home page at all when I browse Youtube because I only want to see the latest uploads from ALL of my 110 subscriptions, and the home page simply does not do that. As near as I can tell using "My Subscriptions" does the job 99% of the time, with occasional glitches where almost none of my subscriptions are notified, even on this page, like what happened for a day or two at the end of last year, and a couple of brief periods in the year or two before then.

Silentpony:
So what's PewDiePie's shelf life at this point? When's he gonna be done, 'cause I am eagerly looking forward to him crashing and burning. The last three indie horror games I Steam I played referenced PewDiePie within the first 10mins and I'm really fucking sick of it!!

To be fair, that's not really PewDiePies' fault. That's down to stupid game designers putting wildly inappropriate content in and killing the mood. They would probably screw it up even without PewDiePie, and a good dev team would not do it.

whitewing:
Neat! But does this theory apply to the "My Subscriptions" page? I don't use the home page at all when I browse Youtube because I only want to see the latest uploads from ALL of my 110 subscriptions, and the home page simply does not do that. As near as I can tell using "My Subscriptions" does the job 99% of the time, with occasional glitches where almost none of my subscriptions are notified, even on this page, like what happened for a day or two at the end of last year, and a couple of brief periods in the year or two before then.

As far as I've been able to tell, except for the occasional glitch, the "My Subscriptions" page works just fine. I know I've subscribed to channels that only produce content in spurts and I've yet to miss a video. I'll even check some channels I haven't heard from in a while to see if I missed anything, and have yet to find that to be true.

martyrdrebel27:
did i time travel, or am i seeing a video i already watched months ago?

It seems that all of the Game Theory videos posted on The Escapist are 6-12 months old, but hardly anyone notices so they get away with it.

Put this theory in the bin, it's entirely wrong.
I watch PewDiePie's videos daily and they still weren't showing up in my subscription list at the time this video was first posted.

RedDeadFred:

Gutsripper:
PewDiePie annoys the ever living crap out of me...the first few seconds of this video just made me cringe.

I didn't realize he was only in the first few seconds... I had to abort my viewing as soon as he said his name in that ridiculous way.

Very understandable sir.

That theory works for the recommended section, but not for Subscriber sections. Those should show absolutely everything, YT just has some awful bugs that creep in from time to time.
There were numerous times where creators had to ask viewers to recheck their sub list because shit would randomly disappear from it, which in itself is quite humorous as you wouldn't get notified of the video telling you things went wrong if it happened to you.

 

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