How to Create an RSS Feed for Any YouTube Channel

Joel Lee 06-09-2016

I watch YouTube on a near-daily basis and if there’s one thing that absolutely annoys me, it’s how terrible the subscription system is. I would certainly use it if it was anything close to useful. But it isn’t. So I don’t.

In fact, I’d prefer it if every YouTube channel had its own RSS feed that I could subcribe to so that I could instantly know about any new interesting videos just by checking my RSS reader Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader is dead. By July the Internet's premier RSS service is shutting down forever, leaving users to find a replacement on their own. If you're looking for an equivalent to Google these are just... Read More .

But here’s the good news: even though YouTube itself doesn’t publish any RSS feeds, you can cobble some together for each channel you want to follow.

To illustrate, I’ll show you how to create an RSS feed for our very own YouTube channel:

  • Visit the channel’s main page.
  • Right-click anywhere and select View page source.
  • Search for data-channel-external-id and look for the value that immediately comes next. In my case, it’s UCfXdejDvNviqilmJ9DvGuow (don’t include the quotes).
  • Tack that value onto the end of this URL https://www.youtube.com/feeds/videos.xml?channel_id=
  • Submit the new URL to your RSS reader.

That’s it. You now have an RSS feed for that particular YouTube channel. It’s a bit of work if you have dozens or hundreds of channels that you want to subscribe to, but it’s a nice workaround nonetheless. At least it’s possible.

Which YouTube channels do you want RSS feeds for? Share them with us so we can discover some new and interesting channels we’ve never seen before!

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  1. Tim
    April 18, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    When you visit the channel's main page, the channel ID is part of the URL. You can copy it straight from the address bar, no need to hunt for it in the page source.

  2. nim
    September 17, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    how can i win ?

  3. Greg
    September 6, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Can you also write simple articles for rss feeds for
    facebook, twitter, instagram


    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 2:58 am

      That sounds like a good topic to cover. I'll see what I can do, thanks Greg!

  4. user
    September 6, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    Use RRSOwl. Thats all you need for YT subscription

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 2:57 am

      I prefer to use a web-based RSS reader so I don't know if RSSOwl is for me but if it really does support YouTube URLs then that's awesome!

  5. Jeremy
    September 6, 2016 at 10:54 am

    My Solution with Feedly: Go to subscription List. At the end there's at Option to Export the subscriptionlist. And then Import in Feedly.

    • Joel Lee
      September 14, 2016 at 2:56 am

      Ah that's clever, didn't realize YouTube did that. Does it come in OPML format? If so, that would be very handy!