Since setting up my YouTube channel on April 7th 2006, I have watched the channel build up views over the years. I have not been slow to blog (boast) about hitting milestones such as another million views. In 2014 the almost doubling of views year-on-year stopped, but 2015 has seen a rather dramatic decline in the number of views compared to previous years. The chart below (from YouTube Analytics) illustrates the rise and fall in the number of views since
The "Watch Time" (shown top left) of 45 years and 102 days dates only from September 1st 2012. Interestingly, the number of views on Christmas Day this year was 1,004, the lowest since 2011. I have no clear explanation as to why this decline happened - it started in May of this year. This coincided with some changes I made on the recommendation of my YouTube Partner Manager such as adding more tags, cleaning up the descriptions of each video, and adding thumbnails. I can't see how this alone would have caused a decline - these changes were intended to improve the chances of YouTube Search finding my videos. Changing metadata might have been responsible for some initial decline. I have also added videos regularly this year, though none of them have been a "hit". None of my last 18 videos (posted between June 17th and December 23rd this year) has passed the 1,000 views mark yet. 27 of my videos have over 100,000 views, but none of these were published in the past two years. So - I'm thinking that I have been living off my older videos for a long time, and maybe their shelf life is declining. One thing I do know is that there is a lot more competition out there on YouTube, and perhaps this decline was going to happen anyway.
One thing I can look forward to in about March next year is my first million views video - How To...Create a Basic Gantt Chart in Excel 2010 is at 980,890 views and should pass the magic million mark in about March or April. This video is responsible for about 10% of my overall views and has earned just over €6,000 since it was published on January 4th 2011. Its views pattern is almost identical to the channel views above - including a similar dramatic fall in views last May.