[This post originally appeared as a LinkedIn article on 12 June 2023.]
Since I publicly launched Fortivo Music last month, I have been learning A LOT of valuable lessons. Here is a quick answer to the question in the title.
Honestly, it comes down to the old saying, "compensation drives behavior."
YouTube makes money from advertisers. The more time users spend watching videos, the more ads YouTube can serve up, and therefore the more money it makes. This is why YouTube sets up its compensation structure to reward creators who post content that users watch. The more users who watch a creator's content, the more YouTube compensates that creator.
This compensation comes in two forms.
The obvious one is cash, since YouTube gives the creator a share of the ad revenue.
The less obvious one is favorable treatment from the YouTube algorithm that decides which videos to recommend to users in their feeds and search results. The more popular a particular video, the more exposure the algorithm gives it. This, of course, creates an upward spiral that can lead to videos "going viral."
It is this second compensation that drives creators to ask viewers to "hit the subscribe button."
While the specifics of the YouTube algorithm are a closely guarded secret, in general it takes into account several factors when evaluating the popularity of a particular video. Essentially, it all boils down to "engagement", which includes things like watching a video all the way to the end, watching longer videos over shorter ones, hitting "like", writing comments, and sharing. For a channel, "engagement" is measured by other factors, such as SUBSCRIBERS, repeat visitors, and notifications. The videos from channels with high engagement generally get more exposure through the algorithm.
And that is why YouTube businesses focus so much on growing their subscriber base.
So ... if you really like a particular channel, then help them out:
• subscribe to their channel
• sign up for notifications
• watch their videos all the way through
• like their videos
• leave comments
• share their videos
Believe me, they will REALLY appreciate your support.