Getting over the 1,000-subscriber hurdle [infographic]

Here at Fullscreen we have access to a lot of YouTube data. This week, we looked at the data with a question in mind: is there a subscriber “hurdle” a channel can pass that acts as a tipping point toward accumulating more views and subscribers? An observable point where views and subscribers start to snowball?

As anyone who’s started a YouTube channel from scratch can attest, gaining views and subscribers is hard work. But what if there were in fact a tipping point? Using a Fullscreen tool called Engine, we analyzed 1 million channels over the course of 30 days to try to answer this question. And it appears the 1,000-subscriber hurdle makes a difference.

Media companies have fared the best on YouTube

It’s great to be a media company on YouTube these days (we defined media companies as channels in the Television or Movie categories). Compared to other verticals in the same subscriber tiers, media companies averaged more than four times as many subscribers as the next closest category and were one of only two categories to average more than 100,000 views in the past 30 days (along with News and Politics).

Producing more content works

Getting to 1,000 subscribers takes effort and dedication—but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel once you get there. Channels with fewer than 1,000 subscribers contributed only 7.2% of test group viewership, but this share jumped to a whopping 20.8% of views after crossing the 1,000-subscriber threshold. The first benchmark for your brand to hit on YouTube is 1,000 subscribers.

Even more interesting was the correlation between number of lifetime channel uploads and their effect on subscribers and views. Channels with fewer than 10 uploads saw a measly 11 subscribers and 2,900 views on average per video, whereas channels with more than 100 uploads saw this average jump to 834 subscribers and 177,000 views per upload. This correlation becomes even more pronounced when you cross 1,000 channel videos: 5,300 average subscribers and 1.7 million average views per video.

In short: stick with it. Don’t be discouraged by mediocre viewership, especially at first. When it comes to compelling content, if you build it—eventually—they will come.


If you’re a brand looking to learn more about how our creative, our insights, and our client service get you front and center with the connected generation of teens and millennials, authentically and at scale, please contact Fullscreen’s Channel+ team to optimize your branded content today.

Follow Ross Coelet on Twitter at @RossCoeletFS.