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10 Reasons PewDiePie Is YouTube's Most Subscribed Channel

Updated on June 27, 2017
Chriswillman90 profile image

Krzysztof is a 5+ year YouTube researcher who spends hours researching, analyzing, and uncovering YouTube trends, challenges, and media.

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Who is PewDiePie?

PewDiePie, also known as Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, is a popular "Let's Play" youtuber who is the most subscribed individual on YouTube with nearly 56 million subscribers.

Although other youtubers before him took the platform beyond the internet, he arguably made YouTube the mainstream video site it's known today.

But how did he do it...how did one person become so popular and rich?

10. He's Swedish

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YouTuber From Sweden

Globally YouTube is one of the top three most visited sites on the internet.

The fact that PewDiePie was born and raised in Sweden gives him an edge over many youtubers trying to make it. He has an international appeal that someone from say the United States can't quite capture.

Luckily for him he can also speak English, which helps brand him throughout the world especially in North America and many parts of Europe. The other cool factor is that being Swedish gives him an accent, which people really seem to enjoy.

Accents make you stand out, and if you're a youtuber, then it can cause more people outside the United States to relate to you.

9. Capitalized on "Let's Plays"

King of Video Games

He took a fledgling market of video game commentary and turned it into entertainment.

Felix wasn't the first person to play video games while recording himself, but he was definitely one of the most entertaining. In part, his reactions to horror games was what began drawing attention in a time where people never watched someone react to such a genre.

He arrived at the perfect time where video game commentary, horror games, and Let's Plays began to explode. He was able to add the right amount of genuine humor and emotion that got people talking.

He may not have been first, but he took an idea and created something new that made people notice.

8. The Comedy

PewDiePie's Sense of Humor

His comedy is what really sold his content.

I understand that many people think his brash and over the top humor is childish, but it's what made him popular.

There are plenty of people who want to show off games and game play in a serious tone, but that's not for everyone. Personally I want someone to play games while also giving me a little extra, which is what PewDiePie does.

He may be loud and outrageous, but it's better having a personality than not having one at all. His style made him interesting to a lot of people, and it continues to draw millions to his channel everyday.

7. YouTube's Video Gaming Community

Rise of Twitch and YouTube Gaming

Gaming is the second most popular type of content on YouTube after music.

It shouldn't come as a surprise then that some of the most popular YouTube creations are gaming channels, which steal the adult male demo by over 90 percent.

As video game streaming exploded with the rise of Twitch and YouTube's gaming community, so did PewDiePie's channel.

There's really nothing that comes close and it's still growing today. In fact video games are about to get a huge boost from virtual reality, which could grasp people who normally wouldn't be interested.

It also helps that Felix plays many relevant, popular games like "The Last of Us" and "Uncharted 4" that many can't afford to buy or play.

Having him do an entire series on a popular game is very appealing to large audiences that don't have the time to play. It's very similar to how we watch sports instead of actually play them.

6. Content Variety

Different Kinds of Content

Although gaming is in itself a niche category, that doesn't mean you can't do something new with it.

PewDiePie doesn't only do Let's Plays, he does a variety of content including podcasts, reading comments, playing Indie games, playing fan-made games, filming collaboration videos with his girlfriend/youtubers, vlogs, and much more.

His content is always new, fresh, and relatively short. Even when he's filming a video game series, he continues to mix it up with different forms of entertainment.

If he never did anything new, then there's no way he would be as successful as he is today. Pewdiepie is able to capture a widespread demographic because he can grab multiple layers of interest.

Despite that, he doesn't bounce away from his video game niche.

5. Interacting with the YouTube Community

Reading Mean Comments

It's rare to become a YouTube success without community interaction.

Things like reading mean comments or making statements about controversial topics, digital trends, and the YouTube community will make you appear more accessible in the eyes of your viewers.

The more accessible you are, the more likely you'll capture new audiences and grow as a youtuber. PewDiePie does this often to show his fans how much he cares about them and the platform he's apart of.

Though these segments may be serious, he continues to have fun with his fan base through off-beat humor and sarcasm.. He also ingratiates himself with social media for further promotion and interaction.

Through these methods he was kind enough to help many new youtubers that were talented but unrecognized.

4. The Indie Games

Plays Independent and Fan Made Games

Not a lot of gamers on YouTube go outside the box like PewDiePie does when it comes to unproven Indie games.

Some of his best and most original content is him playing these kinds of hidden gems. He's able to provide fresh insight on something others haven't done before and promotes games that people wouldn't notice.

That's one of the greatest things a gaming channel can do, and it's nice to see him enjoy these games and/or favor them over mainstream hits.

Besides indies he plays a lot of fan-made games and creations that gamers don't normally bother with, which again strengthens the community and makes people admire him.

3. The Crying Game

Real Emotions

Felix started YouTube as someone who enjoyed playing games and filming videos without the goal of monetary gain, and that's how you get noticed.

People who start a YouTube channel only for the money will likely fail because the site is very hit and miss. There are so many youtubers who upload everyday and provide cool, new content but barely get noticed because there's no real formula to winning.

Felix never thought he would be famous and started off YouTube because he enjoyed games and wanted to entertain people. He also doesn't hide his emotions, and with every series, you can see real emotions whether he's happy, sad, scared, or angry.

They may be exaggerated sometimes but he doesn't cry or get jump-scared because fans want him to.

This was very true in the early years where there was very little exaggeration during a series like "The Walking Dead" or "Amnesia: The Dark Descent".

2. Video Upload Consistency

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Organized Upload Schedule

Content creators need to upload consistently in order to stay relevant, which is something PewDiePie excels at.

I don't think there's been one day where he hasn't uploaded a video even when he's sick or traveling. Felix usually uploads twice a day, which is common for most gaming channels, but he's been doing this for six years now.

Most YouTube channels do not last a year or even a few months because the creators give up too easily. The most common reason people give up is because they don't get any money and see very little growth (subscriber or view count).

This hearkens back to youtubers who upload because they love doing it over the money.

If money is your only concern, then get another job.

1. Clickbait + Thumbnails

The Best of Clickbait

PewDiePie's thumbnails are extremely fun and interesting.

They are part clickbait, part creative and it's what draws new viewers. Although some feel that such titles or thumbnails are insidious, most agree that it does cause people to click on the videos.

Felix is very good at doing this, and you have to appreciate how much time he puts into those thumbnails. You must be willing to sacrifice a bit of yourself if you're going to be a self-employed creator.

PewDiePie's success is unbelievable, and I don't think it can be achieved again. YouTube has changed drastically since 2010 and he was in the foreground during its explosion.

It's easy to see why he's the most subscribed person on YouTube. It was not a fluke and if he didn't captivate on it first, we likely would've seen someone else do it.

The market was already changing, and Felix was smart enough to acknowledge that change and throw caution to the wind.

That's why he's the first digital superstar.

Your Turn

Would You Watch PewDiePie?

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    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 2 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      While I appreciate your enthusiasm, this isn't a top 10 list.

    • profile image

      Jpauler 2 months ago

      jake should be at least on the list. He is awesome. If anyone is bored, go follow his awesome funny and pure AMAZE channel!!

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 2 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      He's great at involving his audience so I completely agree with your assessment.

    • profile image

      Derpy 2 months ago

      His videos are great. When i watch it, i can feel like i'm the one who played the game and his reaction make me feel like i'm inside the game lol

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 3 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Indeed he can.

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      Tamerrrrrrrrrr 3 months ago

      He says bad words

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 3 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Deej 3 months ago

      It's, "hit or miss", not, "hit and miss".

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      Suzi 4 months ago

      I love pewdiepie

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 4 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I think both are great in their own unique way.

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      nun yo buisness 4 months ago

      HE is amazing

      well in my opinion i like jacksepticeye the best TBH

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 4 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      That's highly subjective but I agree that there's plenty more talented people out there who sadly don't get the recognition they deserve. But he has worked very hard and has been consistent for years changing and transforming his content. He made the right moves at the perfect time but that doesn't mean he didn't work at it afterwards.

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      Geo 4 months ago

      his videos are mediocre and i know far more talented individuals who are much shinier diamonds still in the rough. pewdiepie won the lottery thats about it.

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      X TheRealExposer X 5 months ago

      play asphalt 8

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 6 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      His variety of content has increased substantially over the past couple of years. He's no longer just the gamer guy.

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      8 months ago

      He's childish and anti semetic. He thinks his latest postings are funny but are extremely dangerous. If his audience of some 50,000,000 dumb subscribers agree with him the world is in big trouble. We don't need another holocaust.

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      olga 9 months ago

      he is Jesus

    • profile image

      trash 9 months ago

      *coughs* did you mean MARKIPLIER

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 13 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      It's okay you'll never have to.

    • profile image

      Mrs.Markiplier 13 months ago

      I will NOT betray my #1 youtuber Markiplier!!!!!

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 17 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Agreed and technically it wasn't that long ago but feels like it's been 15-20 years. Now 10 million is the new 1 million for top dog channels.

    • Chatty Chat profile image

      Cindy 17 months ago from Planet Earth

      Wow. A lot of time has passed. I still remember when Fred was the most subscribed on Youtube, and when 1 million subscribers was a lot.