Krzysztof is a 10+ year YouTube researcher who spends hours researching, analyzing, and uncovering YouTube trends, challenges, and media.
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 over 109 million subscribers.
Although other youtubers before him took the gaming 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?
11. T-Series vs. PewDiePie (Update: He Lost)
T-Series, India's multimedia YouTube channel, is currently the most subscribed channel, but they didn't get there without a fight.
Indeed the 2018 to early 2019 T-Series vs. PewDiePie battle for supremacy was epic, captivating, confusing to mainstream media, and exciting for fans of Felix, memes, and all things internet.
Nearly every popular youtuber and millions of fans, his 9-year old army as he puts it, joined in to help keep Felix's channel at the top of the charts over the rising Indian conglomerate.
For months it was a brutal back and forth between the two channels with everything from public fan displays during the Superbowl, a printer scandal, tons of charity live streams, and many, many social media posts to keep PewDiePie from falling.
It was one of the biggest ongoing feuds in the digital space because of what it represented. Felix is an individual creator while T-Series is a multi-million dollar network, and fans/youtubers understood how important it was for a creator to succeed.
The creator vs media corporation chasm will continue to grow, and unfortunately the little guy couldn't win this time. On the plus side, it made PewDiePie more popular than ever and this battle will forever be enshrined in the history of the internet.
10. He's Swedish
Globally YouTube is one of the top three most visited sites on the internet and the most popular social media site for teens.
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 makes him marketable 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"
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
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)
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
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 wife Marzia, partnering with other youtubers, vlogging, 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. In fact he reinvented Minecraft in 2019 and generated bigger views than ever that year.
5. Interacting with the YouTube Community
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. Plays Independent (Indie) 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
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
Content creators need to upload consistently in order to stay relevant, which is something PewDiePie excels at.
It's rare when he doesn't upload anything even when sick or traveling. Felix usually uploads 1-2x a day, which is common for most gaming channels, but he's been doing this for 10 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
PewDiePie's thumbnails are 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 however if he didn't captivate on it first, we might'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.
Questions & Answers
Question: Does PewDiePie make more money than Logan Paul?
Answer: Theoretically, PewDiePie has more total views, so his net worth is likely much higher, but Logan Paul's view count has been surging lately, and it's likely he's making more money than PewDiePie. However, he lost a lot of endorsements and brand deals after his scandal, as did PewDiePie, so it's unclear who is the top money earner right now.
Question: Why is Pewdiepie getting worked up over not being the Number 1 most subscribed YouTube channel? Don't views matter more than subscriptions?
Answer: Based on his past humor, I believe he's kidding around. I don't genuinely feel he cares that much, and yes views are much more important than subscriptions if a YouTuber truly cares about getting paid.
In my eyes, I still believe he is YouTube's most subscribed channel because he's a true, pure YouTuber and not a corporation, mainstream musician or company like a T-Series or Justin Bieber.
Question: Does Pewdiepie have the most positive fanbase? I never saw any hateful comments on his videos.
Answer: I like his fanbase, it's very diverse and they don't spread hate as much as other fanbases do. Given how many fans he has, he very well could.
Question: How much money does PewDiePie have?
Answer: His net worth is around 20 million, and he most likely makes between 4-10 million a year according to multiple sources, but his exact earnings are not clear.
PewDiePie earns money from Adsense, sponsorships, brand deals, past YouTube Red shows, and much more so it's unclear how much he really makes. A few years ago he was ranked as the top YouTube earner, but recent hits to his reputation and channel could've impacted his ranking.
Question: I don't like PewDiePie because he swears. Why does he swear?
Answer: Unfortunately, I can't help that he swears but if that bothers you, then I'd recommend another YouTuber or YouTube gamer like DanTDM. He doesn't swear, and plays a lot of different video games.
Question: Did PewDiePie pay for all of his subscribers?
Answer: No, he would have to spend a lot of money to get that many subscribers. Also, the YouTube vetting system that tracks bots and false accounts wouldn't allow that.
Question: Does he like BTS?
Answer: He's a fan of Asian culture, so I'm pretty sure he appreciates their music.
Question: Why does PewDiePie cuss? I would watch him, but I have to turn the volume down.
Answer: That has been his style ever since he started on YouTube. He won't change who he is. DanTDM is a good alternative if you don't care for PewDiePie's language.
Question: When did PewDiePie start his YouTube account?
Answer: According to his official YouTube page, his PewDiePie channel was created on April 29, 2010. That's when I remember watching his first videos as well.
Question: Does Pewdiepie play Minecraft?
Answer: I believe he used to, but he doesn't play it anymore.
Question: Why isn’t Logan Paul the most subscribed YouTuber?
Answer: He's still very new, relatively speaking compared to someone like PewDiePie. However, his subscriber count is rising rapidly, and maybe he will be someday.
Question: How much money does PewDiePie make a year?
Answer: There's no finalized answer but I'd guess over 10 million from YouTube, sponsorships, brand deals, and merchandising.
Question: Why isn’t Markiplier the top Youtuber? I don’t even like PewDiePie.
Answer: I think he could have been if he started a little bit sooner, but just because he doesn't have as many subscribers doesn't mean he's not a top Youtuber.
Question: Why does PewDiePie have 81 million subscribers when he has 3-4 million views on his videos?
Answer: Currently, his videos average between 6-10 million per video however his monthly views are in the billions because he has thousands of other videos that people click on.
It's not unusual for high subscribed YouTubers to have much fewer views. A lot of those high numbers are due to older users that never unsubscribed and it's impossible for all of his 81 million subscribers (now 84) to watch his videos.
For Pewdiepie the situation is even more unique due to his recent subscriber surge from the Pewdiepie vs. T-Series event. It's likely that his numbers have been hyper-inflated due to that event, and that the majority of new subscribers only subscribed to give him a larger subscriber count than T-Series.
Question: Before Pewdiepie was the most subscribed youtuber who was once the most subscribed youtuber until Pewdiepie surpassed him?
Answer: Pewdiepie famously surpassed Smosh to become the most popular youtuber back in 2013 or 2014. There was even a video made about it. The channel Smosh was on top for a few years until he passed them.
Question: Why does PewDiePie say curse words?
Answer: He's an adult and that's how his channel operates. There are plenty of other gaming/YouTubers that don't curse so check them out. DanTDM is a good one.
Question: Who will win T-series or Pewdiepie?
Answer: Sadly T-Series was the big winner.
balls on April 16, 2020:
pewdiepie is one of the few youtube gamers that are actually genually good
(like jacksepticeye markiplier ect..) his content is great and authentic one of the best you tubers for sure
Rachael on September 12, 2019:
Anyone who calls Pewdiepie cancerous is either a hypocrite, or less intelligent than the majority of Pewdiepie's fanbase. His jokes didn't need to be sophisticated to be funny, and a lot of people didn't just find the joke itself funny, but how he presented it as well. For example, in his Minecraft series whenever his pets died he'll say "they were like a father to be, I loved him like a son". It's an ongoing joke that because of it's repition and how stupid it really is, it's funny. Enjoying someone's content when they make unintelligent jokes doesn't make someone an idiot. I really love the jokes Felix makes because of their simplicity, but I also really enjoy nigahiga's jokes, which for the most part are intricate. All in all, not finding jokes or content funny doesn't equate to you being superior compared to people who do enjoy it. Especially seeing as people enjoy Felix because he's honest, down to earth and humble, his humour simple enough for people of al ages to enjoy it.
ur mom gay ray on April 04, 2019:
ray lmao were 9 year olds get it right and hes still the most subscribed YouTuber even adults watch pewdiepie ray go back to India you gay t series fan
Android_R.E. on April 03, 2019:
Idk in its true but lamo on the first picture!
Ray on April 03, 2019:
I agree with dave. this is cancerous cant wait to see all the 10 year olds that watch this garbage grow up
clifford on March 20, 2019:
you now you don't have to watch it dave you t series suporter
Dave on March 15, 2019:
The fact that PewDiePie is the most popular YouTuber really makes me concerned about the average intelligence level of human beings on this planet. I checked out his show and I cannot understand at all why he is even close to the highest ranking YouTuber his content is really stupid and not funny.
Jason on February 21, 2019:
I love Pewdiepie. He's so genuine!
Uriel on February 20, 2019:
I watched a few videos of PewDiePie and I found his content dumb. I really didn't get how he could be the most subscribed youtuber haha and the I realized humans are dumb too... So there you go it's the synchronicity
Chris Alvarez on February 08, 2019:
Interesting article subscribe to Pewdiepie
Idiots on December 30, 2018:
Pewdiepie is garbage and you should feel bad for liking it
Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on December 20, 2018:
I was going to write an article similar to this one, but I see you beat me to it! I love PewDiePie. I didn't start watching him until about a year ago. I love his humour and how watching is videos is like hanging out with a friend.
No Name on September 02, 2018:
hi i like pewdiepie,he is an awesome youtuber,if you want u can go wach him (sorry for my bad english)
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on July 30, 2018:
He's a lot more than that, so I understand why you might get upset.
Jack spedicey on June 26, 2018:
He doesn’t play video games anymore
Alexandra on May 02, 2018:
I'm Swedish and I'm not a top yoytuber
Memes are cool on January 21, 2018:
The pic at the top is sooooooo true! XD :D :p
This ain't a name on January 10, 2018:
All of it is 100% accurate too bad I can't be Swedish to be popular in YouTube :( oh well
pewdiepie on January 05, 2018:
yo mama wow are you really going to steal my chair just to do... this?
Random on December 31, 2017:
I’m from Belgium and reached more than 90 subs and have more friends than usual!(sorry) I LOVE pewds as a YouTuber
yo mama on December 21, 2017:
because he can do... THIS
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on December 19, 2017:
Ha, that's an interesting way of looking at it.
Dale Anderson from The High Seas on December 09, 2017:
Coincidental timing as I was just having a beer with an IT friend of mine and he was telling me about this nut.
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on August 02, 2017:
While I appreciate your enthusiasm, this isn't a top 10 list.
Jpauler on August 01, 2017:
jake should be at least on the list. He is awesome. If anyone is bored, go follow his awesome funny and pure AMAZE channel!!
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on July 26, 2017:
He's great at involving his audience so I completely agree with your assessment.
Derpy on July 26, 2017:
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
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on July 16, 2017:
Indeed he can.
Tamerrrrrrrrrr on July 15, 2017:
He says bad words
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on July 10, 2017:
Deej on July 08, 2017:
It's, "hit or miss", not, "hit and miss".
Suzi on June 20, 2017:
I love pewdiepie
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on June 09, 2017:
I think both are great in their own unique way.
nun yo buisness on June 08, 2017:
HE is amazing
well in my opinion i like jacksepticeye the best TBH
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on May 28, 2017:
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.
Geo on May 27, 2017:
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.
X TheRealExposer X on May 12, 2017:
play asphalt 8
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on April 15, 2017:
His variety of content has increased substantially over the past couple of years. He's no longer just the gamer guy.
M on February 15, 2017:
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.
olga on January 06, 2017:
he is Jesus
trash on January 06, 2017:
*coughs* did you mean MARKIPLIER
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on September 16, 2016:
It's okay you'll never have to.
Mrs.Markiplier on September 12, 2016:
I will NOT betray my #1 youtuber Markiplier!!!!!
Krzysztof Willman (author) from Parlin, New Jersey on May 29, 2016:
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.
Cindy from United States on May 27, 2016:
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.