In a video posted on Saturday, appropriately titled “i’m ending the vlog,” Neistat explained he’s not done producing YouTube content overall. But as far as his episodic, day-in-the-life series goes? “This experiment,” he said, “it’s over.”
Neistat, 35, has been producing 10-minute YouTube videos chronicling each day of his life for the past 18 months, and it’s not some sort of low-rent production, either—his videos are about as slick and professionally shot as any on the platform. There’s a reason for that. As the Washington Post noted after Neistat announced the retirement of his daily vlogs, he shot the videos using a DSLR camera on a tripod and an external microphone, and the effort of producing them on a daily basis ate up a ton of his time.
It’s not the time commitment that Neistat is citing to explain why the vlogs are going away, however. He describes that purely as a matter of needing a change in his creative priorities. Noting that he’d gained more than 5 million followers since starting the series in 2015 and the immense amount of success he received for his efforts, Neistat says the success has actually hurt his creative process, leaving him too “comfortable.”
“The creative challenge faded away, something easier took its place, and then that easier thing was exasperated by wild success on YouTube,” he said. “That success, combined with kind of a creative complacency, I think yielded something that I don’t like, something I’m not proud of.“I know how to do this, do it in a way that’s pretty easy, have it make me very successful on YouTube, make a great living via AdSense, and grow this reach. But what it hasn’t been doing is challenging me. It hasn’t been the creative fistfight that I want and need every single day.”
Neistat concludes that he’d never be able to find that “creative fistfight” as long as he was devoting so much time each day to churning out daily vlogs. Instead, he says he’ll be starting on a different project he’ll “share the intimacies of” in the future. All that’s left is the mic drop.
While his millions of fans await his next move, it’ll be fascinating to see what Neistat tackles next and whether his robust number of followers stay with him now that the daily videos are going away. Whatever concerns he might have on that front, though, he sure had a good run, and he seems characteristically confident in the decision he’s made.