Some of YouTube’s most established creators saw their channels’ monthly views decline in 2017, including PewDiePie, Zoella and DanTDM.
That’s according to Business Insider, which has been crunching the last year’s data from analytics website SocialBlade.
It identifies a decline in monthly views as well as in new monthly subscribers for the three creators named above, but then suggests this may mean “the golden days are over” for vloggers more generally.
That may be a leap too far. As the article itself points out, other YouTube creators including Philip DeFranco and H3H3Productions have seen their monthly views grow, even if their new-subscriber additions also slowed in the second half of 2017.
The question is whether there’s a natural cycle at work here on YouTube where some older, established channels start to tail off, while newer stars emerge to complement (if not completely replace) them.
There is also the perennial debate about how YouTube’s recommendation algorithm is evolving, and which channels are benefitting or being penalised by the latest tweaks. Other factors – from Nazi jokes to racist slurs – may well be relevant in the case of individual stars too, of course.
In any case, some of the stars mentioned by Business Insider aren’t struggling for cash just yet. In December, Forbes claimed that DanTDM was the highest-earning YouTube star, pulling in an estimated $16.5m in the year to 1 June 2017.
The same analysis suggested that PewDiePie earned $12m in the same period.