- YouTuber Logan Paul is seeing a big slowdown in subscribers and views in the months after he controversially posted a video of a dead body in Japan's so-called suicide forest.
- SocialBlade statistics examined by Business Insider show a 47% dropoff in views, and an 88% slowdown in subscribers between December and March.
- Paul stopped posting videos for the month of January, and YouTube has taken steps to demote Paul on its platform.
- The figures cast Paul's decision to move to rival platform Twitch in a new light, given his YouTube revenues are probably meaningfully impacted.
- Paul has also agreed to fight fellow YouTuber KSI which is likely to give a big boost to his numbers.
There's a good reason why controversial YouTuber Logan Paul has decided to launch a channel on rival site Twitch — and it isn't just creative pride.
Statistics from SocialBlade show that Logan Paul is seeing a major decline in his viewers and subscribers on his primary YouTube channel LoganPaulVlogs. This will directly be hitting his earnings, pegged at up to £5.6 million ($7.9 million) a month.
The numbers show the slowdown began to bite from December onwards, when Paul hit the headlines for posting a video showing a dead body in Japan's "suicide forest." He was subsequently kicked out of Google's Preferred ads programme, which lets top-tier advertisers place ads against the most popular creators, handpicked by YouTube.
At the beginning of December, Logan Paul's YouTube channel LoganPaulVlogs had 316 million views. By the beginning of March, that had fallen to 168 million views, a decline of around 47%.
And you can see a similar impact on subscribers. To be clear, the figures don't show that Paul is actively losing subscribers. Rather, SocialBlade's numbers show Logan Paul is struggling to add as many new subscribers each month as he used to.
When Logan Paul was at his peak in June 2017, he added more than 2 million subscribers to his channel that month alone. In March, he only added around 241,200. That is a huge 88% decline.
It's also important to note that Paul still has more than 17 million subscribers in total. But the numbers show he's no longer on a tear.
YouTube punished Logan Paul after a string of offensive incidents
The dropoff is likely down to two factors: YouTube's sanctions, and Paul's decision immediately after the suicide body scandal to post less frequently on Youtube.
Paul posted only two videos in the entire month of January, as a kind of penance for his actions, before posting around 15 videos in February, and 23 videos in March. That explains the initial steep dropoff in numbers — but also shows that Paul hasn't been able to recover his previous popularity levels.
After the suicide forest backlash and Paul's removal from the Preferred ads programme, YouTube also canned a movie deal with Paul, which was supposed to debut on the platform's YouTube Red subscription service. He was also removed from the upcoming fourth season of the YouTube Red original sitcom "Foursome."
Paul didn't seem to learn from his mistakes or the punishment as, after a brief pause on uploading videos, he returned with a controversial video where he tasered a dead rat on camera. YouTube said it had "temporarily" suspended ads from Logan Paul's entire channel because of his recent "pattern of behaviour" which would likely put off advertisers.
Creators rely heavily on ads to make money from their videos, and the more views and subscribers they have, the more likely they are to become a preferred channel. That becomes a virtuous circle, where YouTube heavily promotes the most popular creators through its recommendation algorithms.
Paul might reverse the decline. He's made the commercially savvy move of agreeing to fight fellow YouTuber KSI in two fights in Manchester, UK, and a rematch in the US. A previous match between KSI and another YouTuber, Joe Weller, drew in 1.6 million viewers when it was streamed live — and 20 million were predicted to watch the footage later.