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PewDiePie draws $4 million annually

Advertisers pay big bucks to access YouTube gamer's audience of 27 million subscribers

Playing video games can be a more lucrative endeavor than making them. According to the Wall Street Journal, Felix Kjellberg (better known as YouTube sensation PewDiePie) commands $4 million in ad sales a year, thanks to a devoted fan base of 27 million subscribers on the video sharing service.

PewDiePie is the most prominent personality at Maker Studios, an online content producer that sold to The Walt Disney Company earlier this year for $500 million, with another $450 million possible if it meets performance thresholds. Kjellberg is aware how much influence that audience gives him in the industry, and told the paper he finds the situation both cool and scary. Some developers have attributed success to his videos, while others are creating their games specifically to appeal to the new generation of YouTube content producers and their audiences.

Despite the increased popularity of the format, Kjellberg still gets by with modest production values, churning out videos in quick succession, and usually editing them himself.

"Unlike many professionally produced shows, I think I've established a much closer contact with my viewers, breaking the wall between the viewer and what's behind the screen," he said. "What I and other YouTubers do is a very different thing, it's almost like hanging around and watching your pal play games. My fans care in a different way about what they are watching."

Latest comments (14)

Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend2 years ago
Respect to PewDie for making it work to the annual tune of 4mil a year, but Jesus Christ his voice could strip paint from walls!! :D
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Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer 2 years ago
Too bad his commentary is total garbage.

I think, sooner or later, as the community matures, they'll want something with depth. I mean any depth at all.
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend2 years ago
I prefer to go more Cynical Brit than PewDie, but I have seen how much love the guy gets and it boggles the mind. Guess I am just getting old..
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Show all comments (14)
Ryan Locke Lecturer in Media Design, University of Abertay Dundee2 years ago
I am dumbfounded! How impressive....but I don't think I 'get' it. Fair play to him.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany2 years ago
Good for him. I find him entertaining in general.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 18th June 2014 8:53am

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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game2 years ago
When you think that he has 27M+ subscribers, if even a third of these are actively viewing, he is about matching the UK's most popular radio show (the Chris Evens Radio 2 morning show), so it's not surprising that he is raking it in.
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Julian Beck HR Consultant 2 years ago
I like to watch the Cynical Brit, he's great.

Never understood what's funny about the commentary of PewDiePie. Watched once a video of him for some minutes and found it just annoying :)
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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis2 years ago
I've never heard of this guy, feel like I'm missing out :)

Cynical Brit and frankieonpcin1080p are my usual go to channels.
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Eric Leisy VR Production Designer, Nike2 years ago
It's things like this that remind us all of the fact that we're... yes, in fact, getting old and becoming less relevant by the minute. :) Sigh. No one I know personally has ever heard of this guy, so my guess is that he is not appealing to the age bracket of 30 and up-yearolds.
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Chris Thornett Editor at Future Publishing 2 years ago
Can't say I know what the appeal is for all his viewers as I'm way too old to even pretend to know, but I tend to watch his channel because he's a funny and likable guy.
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Christopher Ingram Editor-at-Large, Digitally Downloaded2 years ago
Funny, I've never heard of the guy.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 2 years ago
Young children watch him heaps. But he is by far not the only "YouTube Celebrity" that mystifies most adults.

Google "Fred" and yes the YouTube celebrity will be the first thing to popup. One could argue he is the most watched person on the Internet.
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Scott Reismanis Founder, CEO, DBolical2 years ago
As the creator of IndieDB (a indie game site streamers / youtubers like pewdiepie frequently search to unearth indie gems), it is amazing the influence / reach people like him have today. When pewdiepie features your game in one of his streams and links, nothing comes close to matching the influx of visitors. It is on-par and even exceeding that of Reddit.
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Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster2 years ago
A lot of advertising companies are very bad at targeting. PewDiePie should be targeting youngsters and teeny boppers, but a quick check on an untracked browser through tor still brings up alcoholic product adverts...
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