Friday, June 15, 2018

One Million


One.  Million.  That's... a really, really large number.  It's so large, in my view, that in most contexts it doesn't even make sense.  Think about it for a second.  Would you ever consider counting to a million?  (One guy did it in 2007; it took him 3 months.)  How many people do you know who have or have done a million... of anything?

Somehow, this month the JANGBRiCKS channel on YouTube passed the one million subscriber mark.  That's now ten times what I originally thought I could one day earn if I worked diligently and basically did everything just right after I started taking the channel more seriously a half decade ago.  A lot has changed in the online world since then, though, with YouTube's own growth further exceeding all expectations, raising the ceiling of possibility for all of its creators with it.

So here I am today with one million subscribers, and it doesn't feel real. Alas, in many ways, it isn't.  There may be upward of a million actual people around the world who once clicked a button labelled "Subscribe" on my channel, but there are nowhere near that many actually watching my videos every day or so when I upload something new.  Due to the way YouTube works in 2018, there are nowhere near a million people even seeing my new videos in their "subscription feed" list in the first place.  Most of my videos don't get 1/10th of a million views in a month, and as of this writing, barely 2% of my videos have gotten a million views in total, in 8 years.  Another statistic that makes the whole million thing seem silly?  Nearly 80% of day-to-day viewership of my videos comes from people who are not subscribed!

This is why I didn't rush to make a million sub video special.  It would be woefully disingenuous to celebrate & give thanks for something I don't at all believe in because the thing, itself, isn't real. What I am definitely going to celebrate & give thanks for, though, are the many messages of support I've received from actual subscribers, those 100,000 or so (hey, my original forecast was accurate after all!) real viewers who repeatedly consume content that I produce. Nothing keeps me motivated like the stories of kids getting inspired to start their own LEGO cities after seeing mine, parents & their children coming together to build critical thinking skills & vocabulary through my reviews, or adults with anxiety disorders finding comfort & calm in my voice in general.  It's heartwarming and reassuring to know that many people find my channel to be a sanctuary of sorts where viewers feel welcomed & safe, even in the comments section.  I'm also relieved that many buyers have saved some hard-earned money by using my videos to help decide what products will provide the best value.

Ultimately I can only take educated shots in the dark and try to hone my aim off the echos of those that land.  Raw data from YouTube Analytics & the like has its place, but none of it even begins to approach the value of human-authored feedback directly from my actual fans.  I'm not able to individually respond to lot of it, but I see it, read every word of it, appreciate it thoroughly, and, when appropriate, act on it to hopefully make my future work better.

Thank you all, you real people, including (especially?) non-subscribers for your ongoing and even increasing support of the work that I do.  I will of course only continue to work hard to provide entertainment and information, and I hope many of you will continue to find it worthy of your time.

24 comments:

  1. I'm a non-subscriber but I watched many of your posts, some on Jangcity, and much more on your reviews which I find unbiased - you seems to still have the capacity to enjoy simple things and are non overly critical of sets that are originally intended for kids. There are a lot of complaints everywhere in the Lego community, you don't like it? don't buy it and move on. We hardly ever see that with you and it's a blessing. And whenever you do (I have a Star Wars set in mind) I for one, at least, agree ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your first review that I've seen was Hero Factory "Ordeal of fire" combo model back in 2011.
    Thank you for your great videos!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great job Jang, congratulations! I've been a subscriber, viewer and fan for four years now. I love your unbiased, thoughtful and well spoken reviews.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, thank you for all your reviews over the years, it has really helped me make difficult decisions from the amazing product line that Lego has produced with my limited shelf space. I've tried to watch most of your videos, starting in 2011, although my email has changed over the years. I am one of your true subscribers and indeed, it’s sad to see people who just subscribe to a channel just for one video, never to be back again. Thank you for all that you have done.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very-very inspiring, and congratulations for all of your wonderful achievements! You totally deserve it.

    While I have been a LEGO fan all my life, and I really appreciate your LEGO set reviews, what I found the most unique on your channel are the Mega Bloks/Mega Construx reviews. I had no previous personal experience with the Mega brand, but seeing some of their sets at Toys'R'Us, I got curious. I was happy to discover that you also review Mega sets. I already trusted and appreciated your LEGO reviews, so I figured "If JANG likes Mega, then I'm sure I will like it too". Since then, I have become an avid collector of Mega sets as well, so thank you for introducing me to another wonderful brand.

    I have been a long time subscriber and I get alerts on my phone every time you post a new review. You are the Bob Ross of the construction toy hobby with your soothing voice and throughout reviews. Thank you for making the world a friendlier place, and keep being awesome! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations Jang, I'm subscribed and watch all your output as you put it out. Enjoy your reviews and your own creations equally. I watch together with my six year old for quiet time before he goes to bed. When he's building lego all his colours and parts are described as you would describe them. Your videos have shown me what can be done with Lego and I'm enjoying helping my boy with his builds and then trying to develop them with his input to help his play. Great fun. Thanks Jang.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well done JANG and thankyou very much for what you have been doing. Awesome effort.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Throughout the years I've spent on YouTube, I don't think I've ever come across someone more humble than you. I've been watching since 2011 (with Hero Factory 2.0), and I think I can say you've always given fantastic reviews of sets, and overall great commentary on LEGO and the hobby involved with it. It's clear to me that you care about what you put out there.

    I especially remember the change to JANGBRiCKS, which I think is when you made the decision to take the channel more seriously, as from that point on, I think the channel took a very positive change. Perhaps it was just me, but I noticed a change in your attitude towards the reviews; you added personality to the reviews (especially recently, which btw, has been even more fun to watch). While I have always loved the videos since I started watching, I found that they just became so much better.

    I guess what I'm saying is, you've always had a knack for knowing how to improve your content, and every time you do, it just proves to show you care about the quality of your work. You do what few creators have successfully do: you do what you like, improve your content (or simply change it), all the while staying true to who you are and how you operate. That is a rare quality in my opinion, and you've certainly got it.

    Keep up all the good work you've done over these past years!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I will also join in on the congratulations. I know the subscriber number is probably the least informative number on YouTube and therefore silly, but silly things can be important as well. Here's my silly story relating to the JANGBRiCKS channel.

    When I started watching your videos (2014?), I saw a grown man playing with LEGO. A grown man. Grown-ups were allowed to play? And be excited about new toys as they are coming out? My mind was blown.
    At the same time, I was stuck in a job I hated. On some days it didn't allow me to see my children, it was very stressful, and, as a result, the whole family's health suffered. Fortunately, it didn't take us long to conclude that we didn't need the money THAT much. And there was something I REALLY wanted to do.
    But it was crazy. I wanted to make a LEGO YouTube channel. A grown woman throwing away her Masters degree to play with dolls. And I haven't even made a single video by then. Nor did I know anything about photography or storytelling. But I wanted to do it, and I knew there was this guy, Jang, who was doing it. He was living proof that it could be done. So I did it.
    And I'm still doing it. Both my health and the health of my kids improved drastically, we have more time together and I love my life now. What more could I ask for?

    It's silly that a few LEGO review videos inspired that kind of change in my life, but they have. So thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing them.

    Sincerely,
    one of the million

    ReplyDelete
  10. Welldeserved. Always eagerly awaiting the next video, especially any MOCs or New Jang City work. Keep it up :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congratulations Jang! Your humbleness about reaching such a monumental milestone is admirable, but in this case I can't help feel it's a little misplaced. I understand that the subscriber count is a rather arbitrary and flawed measuring stick, but that doesn't change the fact that reaching 1 million subscribers is still an incredible achievement. Sure not all your subscribers watch every video you produce, but that is largely because many of your viewers are interested in certain themes but not others (for instance some may only collect Ninjago whilst others may only collect LEGO Friends). It's unrealistic to expect every LEGO enthusiast to be interested in every set, but the fact that so many people from so many different groups see you as their go to guy whenever they want more information about a set is a testament to both the quality and honesty of your videos, as well as to the classy way you conduct yourself as a content creator. You have every right to feel immensely proud of everything you have achieved. I understand if you don't want to throw a public parade, but I hope you take some time to celebrate with the people in your life that mean the most to you, it's important to celebrate the wins in life and you thoroughly deserve this one for all the hard work you've put in over the years. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congrats, Jang - from our Lego-Loving family of five.
    We recently discovered your channel while "getting into" (ahem, getting obsessed with) Lego. We just converted our game room to a full-blown Lego room (putting a folding Ping Pong table on the pool table) and you have helped us tremendously along the way.
    Your professional, thorough set reviews helped us decide which sets would be best for our family, and going back and watching all the videos of the evolution of your Lego City helped us map out our own city.
    Don't be too humble about gaining 1,000,000 subscribers!! You are in the top 1% of youtubers any way you slice it, and while I agree it's somewhat misleading to say a million people are truly "following" you, it's an astonishing achievement nonetheless. You set out to create a safe and inspiring place for Lego lovers of all ages, and you did. And you continue to do it! Your videos brought me, my husband, and my three kids out of our respective "corners" of the house to share in a wonderful hobby. I can't thank you enough for that!
    It's so refreshing to see your mature but fun-loving perspective on Lego. Not only have you helped bring our family together, you have helped me appreciate all the intricate pieces, beautiful prints, bright colors, and brilliant designs. You evoke child-like wonder alongside an appreciation that only an adult could have. I hope this is not a temporary obsession we have, but the beginning of a life-long love of this timeless toy.
    Thanks for all you do - and congrats again!

    ReplyDelete
  13. COngrats, recently mass buying lego, i could like to know what kinda of table you are using for your lego setup, is from ikea or etc etc

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Jang, very well done, also I agree all your comment on this! However you are truly the best brick reviewer of all times. No question. It is funny you mentioned mental health as well and somehow I feel linked to this matter also. Building bricks helping people be chilled lol. Thank you very much, keep up the great work! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm not a subscriber--mostly because I'm only interested in a few themes but I've watched your lego city and lego creater and New Jang City videos for years! I introduced my 6 year old nephew to your channel and he's also a big fan and loves your Ninjago reviews. I don't generally comment on videos, blogs, etc. but I really want to say thank you for making such great content that is family friendly and for helping this middle age woman feel less alone in her enthusiasm for playing with Lego!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Having followed your various ventures since the UltimateRC days (that website was instrumental in getting me into the hobby btw), I'm really happy to see you succeed so fantastically. All the best and long may it continue!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Jang, and congratulations!

    I’m very happy to read your “One million” post. I’m a subscriber, and I watch almost every videos, because I like your humor, your kindness, and your “inner-child” (I love when you imagine “how to play”). I’m Attila (43) from Budapest, Hungary.

    My passion for LEGO dated back my childhood. I was lucky enough to have LEGO back in the 80’s. In Hungary at that time (Communist Eastern-Europe) LEGO wasn’t sold for the public, you couldn’t buy it in a regular toy store. The reason why I got LEGO (mostly for Christmas), is that many of our relatives left the country because of the Hungarian revolution in 1956 (they went to Austria, Australia and Canada). When I was child, they send for our family dollar, which means, if you got dollar (or some other currencies, like german mark etc), you could buy LEGO at special stores (we called it “dollar-store”), so my grandparents did buy.

    A few years ago, as a grown-up man I went to my parent’s house, and I collected all my Legos from the past. I organized all (it was fun - and lot of work). I still have my old sets, my oldest are the 369 Coast Guard Station, 588 Police Headquarters, but I also have the classic 8860 Car Chassis, and many more (some classic space, castle, and classic town). I started buy and build Lego again as a hobby, so I found your channel.

    I always consider your opinion before a buy. I usually collect Star Wars LEGO. (Fortunately I’ve “infected” my wife, our first common build was the ‘Ewok village’, it was fun. She likes Harley Quinn, so I made her a special wedding set. Now, since she is a ‘Big Bang Theory’ fan I will purchase her a set from Bricklink.)

    I’m really appreciate what you do for donation, and I wish you all the best.

    ReplyDelete
  18. After reading the brick set article i want to see BMO get a video instead, ha that would be great

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congratulations, and thank you so much for your thoughtful and entertaining videos!

    my sons (5 and 3) recently "got into" LEGOs and as I didn't grow up with these toys, had no clue where to start with birthday and holiday gifts. Your videos help so much in navigating a quite confusing world!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have been watching jangbrick's videos for over 5 years now. I reamember watching them when I was 9, and now I am 14. I too have my own lego city, (inspired by jangbricks) but it is about a 1/10 of the size as his. When you have a lego city as big as jangbricks, you know that you deserve the 1,000,000 subscribers. I read the post above and thought about it for a while. Of course, I am a subscriber. However, I subscribed to get daily notifications of your videos and watch them almost everey day! (I'm not kidding!) Jangbricks has definently inspired me the most out of all the youtubers out there: honest reviews, maintaining clean comments, creating homeade builds! So, to wrap this up, thank you for helping me. Congratulations on 100,000 subs. I hope one day you'll get the 900,000 more. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Jang :) I am one of those 100,000 and I just want to say the biggest thank you. You brought me out of my Dark Age (maybe I shouldn't thank you for that!) and taught me that it was okay to 'play' with and love Lego as a 20+ adult. Your channel is a 'safe' place for me, a place I know I can always go to and find fresh, calm and creative content. I have serious health problems and your channel has made such a big difference to my life in the last few years and continues to do so even now; there would be a big hole in my life without it. I now frequent Lego forums and basically know what is coming before it is released, but I still cannot wait to see your reviews because as others have said, your positivity and passion is infectious. You are among one of the most humble Youtubers I know and I wish you all the success in the future :).

    ReplyDelete
  22. Congratulations Jang! I was late to the YouTube LEGO party, but it was you and your passion that took me from dabbling in LEGO to doing it properly.

    Since then, I've made my own channel and discovered just how amazing the LEGO Community is! Your reviews are always interesting and you have a way of covering details that always remains interesting and fun. Everything you do sings of your passion for the brick!

    And watching your city evolve is a joy! Especially seeing that amazing train collection of yours trundling around, showing off the sites and sounds. Amazing!

    For all of that, and of what you will do, I thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. All I have to say is thank YOU!!!
    I am a big fan of you videos and I hope you will go on filming amazing reviewes and/or city tours.
    Greetings from Russia once again,
    Dmitry

    ReplyDelete
  24. One Million! But as you say, what's in a number?

    As one of the "100K", I wanted to say a huge Thank You for the hard work, professionalism and honesty that comes across in your videos - not only the wonderful set reviews (which help me decide how big a hole I need to put in my wallet!) but also your City Updates. I get even more excited by the new MOC projects you are showing off than the tempting new sets LEGO are bringing out! While I love the sets LEGO produces, it is of course the individual creativity which it brings out in people that makes it really special.

    I adored LEGO as a child and had lots of Classic Space sets (which I then sold as a late-teen!) but came out of Dark Age less than a year ago. I'm almost 50 now, but I think the more you play, the younger you feel, and I'm enjoying my reawakened interest in these wonderful little bricks.

    I stumbled across your channel in late 2017 and have been an avid viewer ever since. So thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued output of videos of the highest quality - something quite rare in the world these days and on You Tube in particular.

    Play well, you deserve all your success!

    ReplyDelete