Buying YouTube Subscribers Doesn’t Work – Here’s Why

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Buying YouTube subscribers is something that many video creators are tempted to do sooner or later.

Growing your YouTube channel is a challenge, even with a great strategy. Gaining organic subscribers takes time and effort. And it can be slow going, especially since new channels often struggle on the platform. 

Giving your subscriber count a boost by buying them can seem like a straightforward solution. The theory is that it will make you look more established in the eyes of viewers and the YouTube algorithm, and give your videos a boost in rankings and recommendations. 

Plus, there are dozens of services out there that offer “high-quality YouTube subscribers” in return for cash, many of them looking entirely reputable. 

But does it actually work? Is it a scam? Or does the truth lie somewhere in-between? 

Here’s the full scoop.



Can You Buy YouTube Subscribers?

To start with: Yes, you can buy YouTube subscribers.

There are hundreds of services online that let you purchase subscribers. Some of them are plain scams, of course. They’ll just take your money and then ghost you. But many do deliver what they promise – increased subscriber counts on your channel.

Some of the most well-known among these services are Stormviews,, and UseViral. They offer 100 subscribers for $9.95, $21, and $29 respectively. Many of them also offer paid followers on other social media platforms, like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

There’s also a trend for ‘targeted’ packages of subscribers, views and likes. Rather than buying 500 generic followers, you could also get “500 subscribers from Germany” if that suits your purposes.

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UseViral is one of the services that offers the option of buying YouTube subscribers.

Typically, the subscribers you buy on these services appear almost instantly on your channel. 

Some services even offer guarantees to “refill” your subscribers if they drop below the number you purchased.

And the “high-quality” services among them guarantee that the increased number of subscribers you see is due to real YouTube users, rather than bots. They typically also offer a customer satisfaction guarantee as well as customer support. 

Their promise? To boost your channel’s credibility and make it easy to get social proof.

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Is Buying YouTube Subscribers Safe?

While it is absolutely possible to buy YouTube subscribers, it’s not the way to go if you’re aiming for sustainable channel growth. Or building a loyal audience.

In fact, purchasing YouTube subs can be dangerous. The fake popularity can hurt your monetization, alienate your real audience, and even get your channel penalized or deleted.

Here’s why.

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Why You Shouldn’t Buy YouTube Subscribers

It’s Illegal

First off, buying YouTube subscribers is explicitly against the platform’s Terms of Service.

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YouTube's official policy clearly states that it's against the rules to buy subscribers.

Trying to manipulate YouTube metrics, including subscribers, can get you into deep trouble. If you’re found out, your channel can get suspended temporarily or even deleted permanently. 

So what’s the likelihood of being found out? That’s difficult to answer. While YouTube hasn’t released any official figures, it’s not difficult to pinpoint a YouTube account that’s trying to fake its way to the top. Instead of the gradual increase that comes with organic growth of real subscribers, there’ll be a sudden jump in new subscribers.

Just as damningly, you might see a sudden drop when YouTube bulk-deletes suspicious accounts – and this is a lot harder to mask.

An abrupt change like this is easy to flag. And the YouTube channel owners who’ve resorted to purchasing subscribers will face the consequences – suspension and deletion.  

They’re Likely Bots

Another reason to avoid buying subscribers is that they are often bots, even when providers offer “high-quality subscribers”. 

The vast majority of services that offer subscribers in return for payment rely on bots programmed to access your account regularly. This is an artificial inflation of your subscriber count – and something that YouTube’s algorithm can pick up on easily.

While you may see your subscriber numbers and view counts surging initially, it’ll soon be followed by a steep drop. That’s because YouTube regularly purges fake subscribers and penalizes accounts that benefited from them most. 

Fake subscribers are relatively easy to spot as well. They lack the genuine human qualities and patterns that active users of the platform all display. 

Instead of watching videos, jumping between topics, getting sidetracked, and following up with a favorite creator like real YouTube subscribers do, these fake accounts do little besides subscribing to accounts in a disjointed multitude of niches.

Even If They’re Real, They’re Unengaged

A third reason to avoid paying for subscribers is that they’ll be unengaged, no matter the quality of the service you picked. 

Even if they are real people, they’re not genuinely interested in your content or your personal brand.

The foundation of a solid YouTube growth strategy is growing a loyal audience of active subscribers. Having a smaller but highly engaged subscriber base is eons better than boasting hundreds of thousands of subscribers who don’t care about you.

Active YouTube subscribers will check in on your channel regularly, keep up with notifications, like, and share your videos. They’ll rewatch their favorites, get into debates in the comments section, and sign up for memberships.

All these are signals to the YouTube algorithm that the content you produce is popular, and resonates with your target audience. As a result, it will flag your videos as high-quality content, rank them high up in search results, and feature them in recommendations.

After all, this is the kind of audience that YouTube itself can monetize.

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Having unengaged subscribers won't help you on your way to success.

You’ll Hurt Your Monetization

Most YouTubers’ ultimate goal is to make a living off the platform.

Buying YouTube subscribers, though, can seriously hurt your ad revenue and your entire monetization strategy. 

Not only are these subscribers unlikely to use features like Super Thanks, click on affiliate links, leave tips on platforms like Buy Me a Coffee or Patreon, or buy any of your merchandise.

As said above, fake subscribers can seriously lower your overall engagement metrics. Organic YouTube subscribers like content, leave comments, and click links. If you artificially inflate your number of subscribers, the activities of your genuine subscribers count for much less. 

This is a significant disadvantage if you’re looking for sponsorships or partnerships.  Potential brand partners pay a lot of attention to engagement metrics. After all, no brand wants to spend money on an audience of bots or apathetic people. 

Consequently, many brands now routinely use tools to spot fakes, and you might well get blacklisted instead of monetizing your channel.

Your Audience Will Feel Duped

Finally, you always run the danger of alienating your organic audience of active YouTube users if they realize that you buy subscribers.

If someone checks into your channel regularly, it’s pretty easy to see when your subscriber counts jump unrealistically. And call you out on it.

Growing an audience on YouTube takes authenticity. Your viewers tune in to see you. If they realize you’re trying to trick the system, losing subscribers will be the least of your worries.

Conclusion - Avoid Buying YouTube Subscribers

The bottom line is that it is possible to buy YouTube subscribers. But you should absolutely avoid it. 

Most bought subscribers are simply bots that manipulate your metrics in the short run before getting purged by YouTube. Even those that are real people are unengaged and not interested in your content.

Last but not least, buying your audience from YouTube subscriber services is against the platform’s terms of service.

At best, this can hurt your monetization strategy. At worst, it can get your channel deleted.

Growing a successful YouTube channel takes time and dedication. There are no shortcuts. 

So how do you boost your channel visibility and find long-term success?  The best place to start is to find a great niche, develop a killer content and monetization strategy, and stick with it. And resist the urge to turn to shady service providers for help.

Yes. It is possible to buy YouTube subscribers off platforms such as UseViral and Stormviews. However, these subscribers are likely to be either bots or unengaged and can ultimately hurt your channel.

No. Buying YouTube subscribers is against the platform’s terms of service. It can get your account suspended or deleted.

No. If you want to grow your channel sustainably, you should absolutely avoid buying YouTube subscribers. Not only is it against YouTube’s terms of service. Unengaged or artificial subscribers also hurt your engagement metrics and monetization.

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  • Alex Lefkowitz

    Alex Lefkowitz is the founder and CEO of Tasty Edits. He's an experienced video editor, having edited hundreds of videos for dozens creators before turning to entrepreneurship and launching his own video editing company. Since then, he has directly managed thousands of video and thumbnail orders. Now, he draws on his experience working with professional creators to write about video editing, the creator economy, and video marketing. You can also read his work on Hackernoon and Medium. Plus, he's contributed several expert opinions in interviews and articles as a guest on platforms like Jotform.