YouTube sensation Logan Paul drew a flood of controversy last week when he posted a video containing footage of a dead body he found in Japan's infamous "suicide forest," but it turns out the mistake may have actually boosted his bottom line.
In Paul's video, he and a group of friends went into a restricted area of Japan's Aokigahara Forest, where hundreds of people have completed suicide. They were the first to discover a victim there, and rather than calling on authorities, they filmed the body, showing close-ups and even making jokes.
Paul was lambasted by other YouTubers, celebrities, fans and casual passersby online. He issued an insincere apology which drew even more heat, before posting a glassy-eyed video apologizing again from his hotel room.
Yet analytics data from VidStatsX reveals that Paul's subscriber base skyrocketed after the controversy. After a brief slump in his usual subscriber increase, Paul came back with a vengeance. Nearly 100,000 new viewers signed up to see updates from the 22-year-old's channel — far more than he usually gets on a daily basis.
Obviously his daily video views also hit a spike thanks to the scandal. His views peaked on Wednesday at well over 20 million — not too shabby compared to his usual 10-12 million range. Of course, the infamous video had been deleted by then, so the views consisted of curious eyes checking out his channel for the first time and journalists scouring his existing material for any other bit of unsavory behavior, of which there was plenty.
The new subscribers likely represent a surge of grim curiosity rather than a positive trend for Paul. Overall, his popularity will suffer from this miscalculation. In addition, all those new subscribers might have to wait quite a while before they see anything out of the internet persona, as he announced his intention to take a break from vlogging after his second apology.