top of page

The Wave of YouTube Retirements

By Dhara Patel and Nyelle Sarreal

Just weeks into 2024, the digital world was shocked as several YouTubers announced their retirement. Tom Scott, MatPat and Hannah Wilton, pillars of the YouTube ecosystem known for their content, have decided to step back. While fans are disappointed, the reasons for these retirements often go overlooked, with some quick to label these decisions as selfish.

The world of social media is always changing, with platforms such as TikTok gaining traction. This shift has left many YouTubers in a dilemma over content creation, struggling to keep up with the demands of short-form content that is significantly different from the longer videos that used to reign supreme on YouTube. Factors including burnout from relentless competition, the challenge of engaging a diversifying audience and diminishing returns have emerged as reasons driving creators away. Tom Scott expressed his unwillingness to compete against the increase in "zero-effort generative AI channels" that are on the platform.

Source by Lindsay Kim

One of the biggest YouTubers, The Game Theorists, is saying goodbye to the platform.

"I personally believe YouTubers are retiring because there has been a large rise in popularity of short-form content that is very different from the typically longer videos that were once popular on YouTube,” freshman Liam Cabildo said. “Also, as more people see content creation as an actual job they can pursue, more and more content creators are entering the field. Thus, competition is rising and most likely leading to burnout.”

“YouTubers got their money, and now they’re cashing out. It’s good for them but unfortunate for the people who watch them,” sophomore Alex Krawczyk said.

However, not all retiring YouTubers are cutting ties with the platform. Youtubers like CaptainSparklez are going away from their signature content to explore new formats, such as vlogging. This shift reflects a trend among creators seeking to change their online personas in response to changing viewer preferences, though not without causing a stir among their audience.

"As someone who watched MatPat grow up, it’s sad to see that he is choosing to retire, but I understand why he is since he can’t do work forever,” sophomore Olivia McLaughlin said.

Changes in viewer preferences, mental strain and the rate of digital content production are to blame for the recent phenomenon of YouTubers retiring. As viewers witness these changes, it's important to recognize the toll they take on the creators fans have come to admire.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page