This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Why YouTube videos are constantly begging you to subscribe

If you've ever wondered why so many YouTubers are so persistent asking you to subscribe, it has to do with the way that they earn money, with advertising. And it's a multiplier effect, even though Adsense (which is what it's called) only pays based on teeny-tiny fractions. I'll see if I can explain by giving you an example of what happens when you only have a handful of subscribers.

I don't upload to YouTube much, and at last count my video of my dog had about 127 views in the past five years. The video is monetized, which means that I have allowed YouTube to have ads on it, and I get a percentage of the money that they earn. A tiny percentage, but still a percentage. And it's real money, make no mistake. It may only be .00001 cents, but if you multiply that enough, it can earn actual dollars for people. But it takes a LOT of views!

Obviously, clicking "subscribe" on a YouTube channel will encourage you to view the channel's videos more often, because they just show up on your when you watch a YouTube video, usually on the app on your phone. And with increased views, YouTube's algorithm kicks in, and the more viewed videos show up as "suggested videos". And when the momentum kicks in, videos can go to being viewed in the millions. And that generates some substantial revenue for the channel owner. So it's to their benefit to get as many people as possible to subscribe, and that encourages what they really want, lots of views, and that's worth money, real money, in Adsense.

Of course, the owners of the channel don't want you to click subscribe and never visit again. Thousands of subscribers is impressive, but not not if there aren't any views. YouTube watches views, and it even watches if the views are for the entire duration of the video, or if they click away.

So really, you don't need to subscribe, although if you like a channel it's convenient. They want you to view their videos. So don't feel bad if you don't subscribe, it's actual viewing that the channel owner, YouTube, and advertisers really want.

Understanding the grumpy artist

I'm not a grumpy artist. I've always been happy when people want to see my work, especially my cartoons. I started doing it in school for friends and if they liked them, they got to see a LOT more. I'm the "puppy dog" of artists. And it's worked well for me in my professional career, as people like to work with me, and recommend me. However, it's not the only way to go for success as an artist - you can also be grumpy.

There have been a lot of grumpy successful artists. A classic example that springs to mind is the great poet Charles Bukowski. If you haven't read his stuff, or better still, listened to him recite, you really should. He is wonderfully grumpy.

Whether he was genuinely grumpy, or it was "all an act" of course no one will ever know. What's inside of someone is something that only they can know, and I know that I'm not grumpy. Like I said, if someone likes my work, I jump around like a happy puppy. But grumpy artists can't do that. It has to do with a type of integrity that a lot of people like.

If you plan on being a grumpy artist, you have to do everything in a begrudging way, as if you're doing it because you have no other choice. In the art world, people love this kind of stuff. They can be made to feel as if the artist was doing them a favor to sell them something. A true grumpy artist will of course never promote, never advertise, never even give an inkling that they're interested in selling their work. And when they do sell their work, or show up somewhere to read their poetry, they do it as if it were the last thing they wanted to do.

It has been my privilege to know many grumpy artists. Their motto is "take it or leave it!" and their artistic integrity is amazing. If someone were to ask me, for example, to change the color of a cartoon dog from blue to red I wouldn't mind at all. But I've know grumpy artists for whom that would be the end of the world, and they storm away.

I hope this helps you to understand grumpy artists. They can be an acquired taste, but they can be wonderful. I suggest that you give them a try, and decide for yourself.