A quick heads-up - your YouTube channel subscriber counts may have dropped this week as part of routine maintenance at the site.
As detailed in a YouTube Community update, YouTube has removed a "higher than usual" number of closed accounts this week as part of its ongoing efforts to clarify its site metrics.
Heads up: Some creators will see a decrease in Subscriber count today as we remove closed accounts.— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) December 3, 2019
We routinely adjust Subscriber counts due to spam and/or closed accounts – learn more about this process here → https://t.co/iY1LV2bHnH
Closed accounts, explains YouTube, "were either closed by the user, or by YouTube/Google for violating account policies".
"If we removed closed accounts from your channel’s subscriber count, you’ll see this reflected in YouTube Analytics for Dec 3 to Dec 4 within the next 48 hours. From YouTube Studio > YouTube Analytics > select “See more” under the graph > Subscription source > Closed accounts. Since these accounts are closed, removing them from your subscriber count shouldn’t have an impact on watch time."
So YouTube's saying that even if you do lose a few subscribers, that won't really matter, in a broader context, as they weren't really watching your content anyway. Which is true - but then again, subscriber counts do matter in respect to the platform's monetization tools and expanded features. YouTube Stories, for example, is only available to channels with over 10,000 subscribers, while Super Chat, YouTube's live-stream tipping feature, only becomes available once you hit 1,000 subscribers.
In this sense, your subscriber counts could be crucial, depending on the actual impacts. YouTube has since clarified to TechCrunch that, on average, impacted channels will see their subscriptions decrease "by fewer than 15 subscribers".
So it should be nothing major, but again, one to check in on if YouTube is a key channel for your efforts.