PewDiePie's success and fame as a 'YouTuber' has led many to try and follow in his footsteps. But how successful is he?
Well, at one time, he was the most successful, financially as well as based on subscribers, personality on YouTube.
First, he's a Swede. His real name is Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg. His YouTube channel is consistently the most subscribed-to channel on YouTube, though it has been dethroned briefly by an Indian Bollywood-playing site on more than one occasion.
As of April 2019, PewDiePie's channel was ranked as the third-most subscribed and eleventh most viewed platform on YouTube.
PewDiePie first subscribed to YouTube in 2006, under the name that has now become famous.
After dropping out of college to concentrate on his YouTube channel, within a year - by 2012 - his channel surpassed 1 million views.
Why or how did his channel do so well?
Among other things, PewDiePie's channel specialized in 'Let's Play' videos, documenting his playing through a video game, including commentary and occasional views of his reactions while playing.
According to Business Insider, YouTube's top stars have become the world's top "influencers" - personalities coveted by media outlets and advertisers for their daily reach to followers.
PewDiePie was one of the first.
What Is PewdiePie's Net Worth in 2019?
PewDiePie's net worth is between $14.5 million and $20 million, by some estimates, and $30 million by Celebrity Net Worth.
But, believe it or not, he has dropped from the highest-paid YouTuber to ninth, according to Forbes' list published in December 2018.
And he is the third-highest subscribed-to channel, being replaced by T-Series, the Bollywood music and film production-linked channel, and Ryan Toys Review, a channel featuring an 8-year-old boy reviewing toys. Ryan's Toys has now become a Nickelodeon television series.
PewDiePie's most successful years were between 2010 and 2013. He had 60,000 subscribers by December 2011, 1 million in July 2012, doubling to 2 million by September of the same year. He signed a contract with Maker Studios, a division of Disney (DIS) - Get Report , in December 2012, and really started to make money.
His became the most subscribed-to channel in August 2013, becoming the first to reach 15 million subscribers by November 2013.
By 2014, the Wall Street Journal did a profile of him, calling him "by far YouTube's biggest draw." At that time, he had 27 million subscribers and had made an estimated $4 million in sales.
PewDiePie's name, according to the newspaper, was the result of his first YouTube channel, which he named Pewdie, combining "Pew," alluding to the sound of shots in a "shooter" video game, and "die." He added "Pie" after losing the channel at one point.
His channel features videos of him playing many different game series and segments.
Attention focused on him as the amount of money he was making became public.
Kjellberg was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1989. Both his parents are corporate executives in Sweden.
He showed an early interest in art, though he would practice drawing popular video game characters such as Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, and play video games on his Super Nintendo Entertainment System, according to A&E Network's 2018 biography of him.
He would skip high school classes to play video games at a local internet café with friends, according to RollingStone article.
He was pursuing a degree in Industrial Economics and Technology Management at Chalmers University of Technology in his home town, when he first registered his PewDiePie YouTube account, dropping out the following year after losing interest in his degree.
A failed application for an apprenticeship at an advertising agency in Sweden led him to focus on creating content for his YouTube channel.
To afford the equipment for his videos, which were homemade, he sold prints of his Photoshop art projects and sold hot dogs at a hot dog stand.
According to WeTheUnicorns.com, Kjellberg registered his first YouTube channel, PewDie, in December 2006.
About four years later, in April 2010, he discovered he forgot the password to PewDie, and so started a new one called PewDiePie. He uploaded the first video on the PewDiePie channel, a video of him playing Minecraft for two minutes, with no camera showing his reactions, in October 2010.
In 2011, he signed with Machima, a network for gaming channels on YouTube, quit his job working at a hot dog stand and moved to Italy with a girlfriend, Marzia Bisognin, after they chatted on the internet and met previously.
By February 2011, his face was first seen on his YouTube channel after it hit 100 video uploads and 2,500 subscribers.
In September of the same year, he debuted 'Friday's With PewDiePie,' and decided to be more interactive with his fans.
In July 2012, his PewDiePie channel reached 1 million subscribers.
By January 2013, his PewDiePie channel reached 1 billion views. It currently has more than 15 billion. Later the same year, PewDiePie and Marzia move to Brighton for a 'better internet connection,' after living in both Sweden and Italy, and gaining a large number of subscribers. By August of the same year, PewDiePie became the most subscribed-to YouTube channel in the world. PewDiePie's channel went from 3.5 million subscribers at the start of the year to just under 19 million by the end of it, making him at the time also the fastest-growing YouTube channel.
In March 2014, after reaching 24 million subscribers, he announced he was cutting back on his output to his channel. Later the same month, he uploaded his first 'Goat Simulator' Let's Play, moving away from horror games. By June of that year, he released a video revealing he and his fans had raised more than $1 million for charities including Save the Children, Charity Water and others. A couple of months later, in August, he debuted his BroKen podcast on his PewDiePie channel. By September of the same year, PewDiePie's YouTube channel became the first to gain more than 10 billion views. In December, he beame one of the few human cameos on the animated television series, South Park.
In 2015, Kjellberg releases PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist for iOS, Android, Windows and OS X. It took the form of a side-scrolling action-adventure platform game and featured himself, Marzia, his dogs, and YouTube friends with Easter eggs from his old Let's Play videos. By October of that year, PewDiePie makes an appearance on The Stephen Colbert Show, where he tries to teach Stephen how to swear in Swedish and make Let's Play videos. The same month, he releases his first book, a parody of self-help books, called "This Book Loves You." It became a New York Times bestseller, and remained on the list for two weeks in November of that year. Also in October, YouTube Red announces PewDiePie's first series, Scare PewDiePie. His channel hit 40 million subscribers that same month.
In early 2016, PewDiePie announces his first YouTube network, Revelmode. It was shut down in early 2017 after a controversy over anti-semtic language. He made his second television appearance on The Conan O'Brian Show in February of the same year. In late February, the developer of Bear Simulator decides to not make further updates to the game after PewDiePie's video playing it. Also that year, in April, Time Magazine called PewDiePie one of the '100 Most Influential People in the World.' And Forbes named PewDiePie the highest-earning YouTuber with his annual income reaching $15 million that year. In December, he collaborated with a Swedish company to release his own line of socks. Also in December, Revelmode raises $13 million to fight AIDS, and PewDiePie releases one of the most disliked videos in YouTube history, trailing only Call of Duty's "Infinite Warfare" trailer and Justin Bieber's "Baby."
As noted in his career highlights, things went pretty swimmingly for the Swedish YouTuber, who essentially established Let's Play and other video genres for the platform.
However, it has not been without controversy - and controversy has cost him his perch as the most subscribed-to, and the greatest net worth of YouTubers.
Trouble started relatively early. Though without a doubt, 2017 was his worst year.
PewDiePie's somewhat unrestrained use of language has frequently been both the edge that attracts his viewers, and the bane that sends them fleeing.
In 2012, for instance, after being criticized by a number of fans and media as well as other creators about his supposedly light use of "rape jokes," PewDiePie put a post on Tumblr. He titled the post 'No More Rape Jokes,' noting was "not looking to hurt anyone" and "apologises if it ever did."
A few years later, the developer of Bear Simulator, who raised money to develop the game on Kickstarter, called it quits after PewDiePie trashed his game in March 2016. The developer said he was calling it quits because of the "drama" caused by the YouTuber.
The same year, in June, Kjellberg is evicted from the second flat where he filmed videos. The landlord said he was "too loud," and PewDiePie called his landlord "homophobic," according to WeTheUnicorns.com. He has since been evicted from another flat, and now owns and works at the former Walt Disney/Club Penguin office in Brighton.
And, then came 2017. PewDiePie was edited just short of shouting the "n-word," a racial slur, in a video. After outcry and accusations of racism, a hashtag started trending: #PewDiePieIsOverParty.
The same year, he used Fiverr in an experiment to see what people would do for money. He got two users to unscroll a message that said "Death To All Jews," causing outrage and accusations of his anti-Semitism.
In February 2017, the Wall Street Journal said Disney cut PewDiePie from its network after being shown videos of a number of allegedly anti-Semitic references in PewDiePie videos. The same day, YouTube announced it was canceling its second season of "Scare PewDiePie" before it aired amid the anti-Semitic controversy.
And in March 2019, the gunman at the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, who broadcast part of the attack, urged those watching to "Subscribe to PewDiePie," in reference to a movement meant to help the once-most-subscribed-to YouTuber to regain his title, particularly against rival T-Series.
How Does PewDiePie Spend His Money?
According to TheRichest.com, Kjellberg doesn't own a mansion, or a collection of exotic cars, and, in fact, likes to make videos satirizing those YouTubers who post videos of their latest expensive things.
As might be expected, a major investment for PewDiePie is in his own set up for his YouTube videos, the main and original source of his wealth.
He has, for instance, three Asus Rog Swift Monitors at $1,000 each; a Corsair Strafe mechanical gaming keyboard costing $150; a Benq Zowie FK1 mouse that costs about $100; his own model of Razer Kraken Pro V2 headphones that cost about $130; and a Canon XA11 HD video camera that retails for around $1,300.
As a second camera, he has a Canon G7X Mark II, which costs about $700; an AKG C414 XLS microphone that costs about $750; a 600 Watt Neewer fluorescent ring for lighting, which costs about $76; and a Clutch Chairz 'PewDiePie Edition' Throttle gaming chair, which costs about $400.
In addition, he pays two full-time editors, though exactly how much isn't known; he pays to have merchandise using his brand manufactured and sold, and he donates thousands of dollars to charities as well as helping raise funds from other donors for them.
Kjellberg also spends money on travel, exotic pets, video games, and tattoos.
He also likes to collect some odd things, including some fashion items such as his Saikou Double Primeknit sneakers, which retail for about $400-$500 a pair.