Unboxing the YouTube 100,000 Subscriber Award

It’s Friday, and late Friday for me in particular. Heck, it’s already Saturday for those of you on the other side of the globe. As such, it’s quickie post time.  Usually I just include my various YouTube videos in the topic-aligned post. So for example if I do a video on the Garmin MARQ watch, I include it in the Garmin MARQ post. But every once in a while I don’t have a post here that’s aligned to that video.

Such as is the case today. Well, actually, three days ago.

Either way – point being I did a bit of a fun unboxing that’s a bit different than most of my other unboxing videos. Though, I rigidly follow the same structure this time by comparing it to like products – including trophies and awards from 10 years ago and my corporate 10-year recognition award. Weighing it in and all!

But what the heck is the subscriber award?

Well, for those unfamiliar it’s the YouTube Silver Play Button. Except now it’s called the YouTube Silver Creator Award or something like that. Either way, it’s what YouTube sends you when you manage to cross over the 100,000 subscriber line. They also give out awards at 1,000,000 subscribers and 10,000,000 subscribers. Neither of which are concerns of mine at the moment.


Now for many YouTubers, their adventure on the platform starts on that platform and then grows over time. But that couldn’t be further from the truth for me. In fact, YouTube was in effect my dumping ground for the blog here. Specifically, my dumping ground for video files. Be it eating live octopus in South Korea or years of voiceless watch button pressing. Yup, that’s right – for the majority of my YouTube career my videos were totally unnarrated.

I just needed a place to stash quick 15-30 second video moments and such for the site here, and YouTube was a free option. And it worked well.

So by the time I got around to paying any attention to the platform and what the heck ‘subscribers’ even were, I already had 15,000-20,000 subscribers. Somewhat funny – like finding a buried treasure chest in your backyard.

I think it was in the 25,000-35,000 subscriber range that I actually started to put some thought into videos. Of course, as the very video above proves – I still suck at producing videos. Chop my head off? No problem – I’m here for ya!

For me, it’s always going to be a bit of a balance time-wise between writing a post and the photos that go with it, versus shooting and editing a video. But to that point, in the last year I’ve started to differ my content slightly for each platform. On YouTube, my action cam/drone related footage is what does super well. Whereas here on the platform it’s my watch/bike computer/trainer content. Of course, both types still do reasonably well on either platform in the grand scheme of things – but when push comes to shove, I usually prioritize the time into the content based on which platform it does better in.

Similarly, I find it more and more common that subscribers to my YouTube channel don’t even know the site here exists (and often vice-versa). Which…uh…if that’s the case, you can Subscribe to my YouTube channel with one button press here. ;)

In any case, probably more than you wanted to know. But I figured I’d share some of that backstory here – since while y’all didn’t know it – you here were the foundation for the award over there. With that – thanks for reading and watching, and have a great weekend ahead!


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  1. Neo.e92

    Congratulations, Ray!

    A well deserved one.

  2. Joe

    Was just thinking about the time – years from noew – when your kids will explore the internet and find then some “old” stuff from you, making fun about the strange gear was used in the old days and how you may have changed over the years …

    Gratulations from Vienna!

  3. Neil

    I was wondering what the shiny thing with the YouTube logo was in the background of your Marq video, now I know!

    Congratulations Ray.

  4. Niklas

    Congratulations! Keep up the good work!

  5. MattH

    Well done Ray, well deserved

    I’m far from a Youtube fanboy, and your channel is one of a very few that I subscribe to. Have you looked at how many subscribers you have compared to other similar channels?

    You are probably secretly delighted to be ahead of both GPLama (80k subscribers) and Desfit (36k subscribers)?

    But interestingly GCN has 1.6m subscribers and GTN has 181k subscribers. I’m a little surprised that they both have more than you – surely most of their viewers are consumers of sports tech?

    Keep up the good work. And onwards and upwards to the next award…..

    • Nah, Shane and Des and I get along awesome and are all rooting for each other. We’re even crashing the same Airbnb together at Sea otter in a few weeks.

      All three of us have different approaches. Des posts a bit less than I, but his videos are so deep with information. It’s cool watching him prep the script for them. Every word counts and there’s so much detail. I’m the inverse and just turn on the camera and hope for the best. Sometimes I miss things I meant to say, etc… Shane meanwhile is throwing down serious amounts of content as well each week, all just as detailed as my reviews here. It’s cool.

      GCN is somewhat in a different league than all three of us from a resources standpoint. Last I checked they have roughly 100 staff or so including all their channels. It’s a machine. The reason their channels have so many subscribers is heavily because of the quantity of content they can produce – most of the time 2-4 videos per day. It’s impressive, but again, with 100 employees, they should absolutely be able to do that. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy lots of their content as well.

    • James

      Fyi GCN at 140 staff late Jan 2019 and targetting an extra 200 following Discovery buy-out (see link to techspark.co).

  6. Adam Aitken

    Congratulations Ray, you’re a fav of mine!

  7. Dave Lusty

    You know I bet there was a point where The Girl was all like “there’s no way you’ll need that massive heavy crystal in Europe, just leave it behind” :)

    • Haha… it turns out most of our awards are still at our friends house, and my parents house. This was a box of more recent awards that came with us. And in the case of the Microsoft one, I got that one after moving to Europe. :)

  8. Pete Lambertz

    Funny video. Congrats on the award.

  9. Mike 9

    Congrats Ray, always enjoy your videos!

  10. Casey Cook

    Nice little bonus! Good work Ray. Just curious if there is a youtube subscriber number that equal some revenue? In other words, does You Tube pay you once you get to certain subscriber level? I heard some top Youtubers can make a living off of their channel.

    • Revenue on YouTube is totally 100% video view based. So as long as you’ve hit the min thresholds (1,000 subscribers and some number of watch hours per month), then it’s purely how many views you get.

      Technically there’s some nuance to that – for example you can more than one commercial per video if the video is more than 10 minutes, etc.. And you have content that certain advertising companies bid higher for. And you could be on partner networks, etc… But by and large it’s just views…and only views.

      So I can have 100,000 subscribers and potentially have the same revenue as a low-output (video-wise) 1-million subscriber YouTuber. Inversely, someone with 50,000 subscribers but outputs daily videos could easily top me. I generally do 1-2 videos per week (usually one), which is kinda on the low side. As such, my revenue from YouTube would be below minimum wage if I dared think about how much time I spend on it versus what I get out of it (pure $/hour equation).

      You can use free sites like Social Blade to get guesstimates of revenue for various YouTubers. The middle ground of its estimates are usually about on target, some months higher in that range, some months lower.

  11. Amazing! Congrats Ray! How old is your channel?