PewDiePie

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PewDiePie
Born Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg[1][2]
(1989-10-24) 24 October 1989 (age 25)[2]
Gothenburg, Sweden
Residence Brighton, England, United Kingdom[3]
Other names PewDiePie
Alma mater Chalmers University of Technology[4][5]
(left prior to graduation)
Occupation YouTube celebrity, video game commentator, and YouTube comedian
Years active 2010–present
Employer Polaris (Maker Studios)
Known for Let's Play video game commentaries
Religion None[6]
Partner(s) Marzia Bisognin
(2011–present)[7]
Awards List of awards and nominations

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg (Swedish: [ˈfeːlɪks ˈɕɛlˈbærj];[8] /ˈɛlbərɡ/ CHEL-bərg,[9] born 24 October 1989), better known by his online alias PewDiePie (/ˈpjuːdip/ PEW-dee-py), is a Swedish video game commentator on YouTube. PewDiePie specializes in Let's Play videos of the horror and action video game genres. Since 15 August 2013, PewDiePie's channel has been the most subscribed channel on YouTube, being surpassed briefly in November and December 2013 by YouTube's Spotlight channel. Holding the position since 23 December 2013, the channel has reached over 32 million subscribers, as of November 2014.[10] Additionally, his channel is one of the fastest growing YouTube channels, having grown from 3.5 million subscribers to 19 million in 2013.

On 19 July 2014, the channel surpassed RihannaVEVO to become the most viewed channel of all time.[11] As of November 2014, the PewDiePie channel has received over 6.6 billion video views.[10] As a highly popular internet figure, PewDiePie positively influenced the sales of indie games, raised money for charities, and portrayed himself in two episodes of South Park, one of his favourite series.

Early life

PewDiePie was born and raised in Gothenburg, Sweden.[7] In 2008, he graduated from Göteborgs Högre Samskola.[5] He then went on to pursue a degree in Industrial Economics and Technology Management at Chalmers University of Technology, but left the university in 2011 to focus on his YouTube career.[5][12]

YouTube career

Channel format

PewDiePie
Presentation
Hosting PewDiePie
Genre Comedy
Language English, Swedish
Publication
Debut 2 October 2010; 4 years ago (2010-10-02)
Website www.youtube.com/pewdiepie

PewDiePie's channel main focus is his commentary and reactions to various games as he plays through them.[13][14] He is known for playing horror and action video games,[13][15][16] most notably Amnesia: The Dark Descent and its related mods.[17] Unlike conventional walkthroughs, his 'Let's Play' videos are devoted to "sharing gaming moments on YouTube with my bros."[18] Games featured by PewDiePie have experienced an increase in sales.[19][20] PewDiePie also began posting weekly vlogs starting from 2 September 2011.[21]

History

Early years (2010–2013)

PewDiePie created his YouTube channel on 29 April 2010. Around the time his channel earned 700,000 subscribers, PewDiePie spoke at Nonick Conference 2012, about his channel, and its growth.[22][23] On 11 July 2012 the channel reached 1 million subscribers,[7] and later 2 million subscribers in September 2012.[13] In October 2012, OpenSlate ranked the PewDiePie channel as the #1 YouTube channel by terms of their own "SlateScore" rankings.[24]

In April 2013, PewDiePie's channel reached 6 million subscribers, earning coverage on The New York Times.[14] PewDiePie later won the award for Most Popular Social Show,[25][26] competing against Jenna Marbles, Smosh and Toby Turner,[25] as well as the Swedish Social Star Award, at the inaugural Starcount Social Stars Awards hosted in Singapore in May 2013.[27] He had also introduced the nominees for Most Popular Game during the live broadcast of the awards show.[28] In June 2013, the channel reached 8 million, and subsequently 9 million subscribers.[29][30] PewDiePie's playthrough of The Last of Us was documented for leaving the usually vocal gamer, speechless at the ending.[31]

Becoming the most subscribed user (2013)

In July 2013, he overtook Jenna Marbles as the second most subscribed YouTube channel, and surpassed the leading channel, Smosh, on 15 August 2013.[32][33][34] By 1 November 2013, the channel reached 15 million subscribers.[35] However, on the following day, PewDiePie was overtaken by YouTube's own channel at the top of the site's subscriber rankings.[36] In the same month, PewDiePie stated his dislike for YouTube's new comment system.[37]

Later, in December 2013, PewDiePie overtook the YouTube spotlight channel to, once again, become the most subscribed channel on YouTube. In 2013, the PewDiePie channel went from 3.5 million to just under 19 million subscribers,[38] and by the end of 2013 it was gaining a new subscriber every 1.037 seconds.[39] In the second half of 2013, the PewDiePie channel reached just under 1.3 billion video views.[40] Throughout 2012 and 2013, PewDiePie's channel had been one of the fastest growing on YouTube.[41] Billboard reported that the PewDiePie channel earned more subscribers than any other channel in 2013.[42]

Continued growth (2014–present)

In March 2014, PewDiePie updated his video production, announcing he would be scaling down the frequency of uploads. PewDiePie also refuses to hire an editor to help him with his video output, stating "I want YouTube to be YouTube."[43]

In late August 2014, PewDiePie uploaded a video, announcing he would permanently disable comments on his YouTube videos.[44] On his decision, PewDiePie stated "I go to the comments and it's mainly spam, it's people self advertising, it's people trying to provoke... just all this stuff that to me, it doesn't mean anything. I don't care about it, I don't want to see it."[45] After disabling comments, PewDiePie continued connecting with his audience through Twitter and Reddit.[46] In mid-September, PewDiePie uploaded a follow-up video, sticking by his decision, and announcing the launch of broarmy.net, an online forum, in which he will actively connect with, designed to replace the YouTube comment section.[47]

In September, it was documented that PewDiePie would begin streaming videos of his co-hosted series, BroKen, onto MLG.tv.[48] Kjellberg co-hosts the series with Kenneth Morrison, better known as CinnamonToastKen, another online game commentary personality.

PewDiePie would once again allow comments on videos starting on 13 October, although only after going through approval.[49][50] However, PewDiePie has tweeted, "I have them set as approved so I can redirect people to comment on my website instead."[51][52] In a later video, PewDiePie claimed that disabling comments helped him become happier.[53]

On 3 December 2014, PewDiePie guest starred as himself in two episode of the season 18 of South Park, one of his favourite series. He appeared in the two-part season finale, consisting of the episodes "#REHASH" and "#HappyHolograms". In the episodes, he parodied himself and other Let's Play commentators (playing and commenting Call of Duty in an overly expressive way). Despite his appearances being short, he was at the center of the scenario. He was appearing in live action, a very rare occurrence for the series, appearing in the corner of the screen like in his own YouTube videos.

Public image and influence

PewDiePie often refers to his fans as the 'Bro Army' (people who subscribe to his YouTube channel), made up of his 'Bros'.[29][54] He typically performs a 'Brofist' at the end of each of his videos.[30] At the Social Star Awards, PewDiePie greeted his fans personally despite security warning him against doing so.[55]

Early in his YouTube career, Kjellberg used rape jokes in his videos. Criticisms of the use of these jokes stirred controversy, and on 25 October 2012, Kjellberg posted a Tumblr message, stating "I just wanted to make clear that I’m no longer making rape jokes, as I mentioned before I’m not looking to hurt anyone and I apologize if it ever did."[56] Additionally, The Globe and Mail stated "unlike many young gamers, he listened when fans and critics alike pointed out their harmful nature, and resolved to stop making rape jokes."[57]

Andrew Wallenstein of Variety heavily criticized PewDiePie, following becoming the most subscribed channel, describing his videos as "aggressive stupidity" and "psycho babble."[58]

In June 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that PewDiePie earned $4 million in 2013.[59][60] PewDiePie confirmed on Reddit that the figures were roughly around what he actually earned.[61] On the topic of his earnings, PewDiePie has that he is "extremely tired of talking about how much I make. In the very few interviews I’ve made, it doesn’t matter how long we’ve talked to each other, the headline is still just about my paycheck."[62]

PewDiePie's channel is under Polaris, a gaming network, part of Maker Studios, a multi-channel network that drives the growth of the channels under it.[63][64][65][66] His channel also appeals strongly to younger viewers, a group Google refers to as Generation C for their habits of "creation, curation, connection and community".[63] Other articles have documented that 95% of gamers engage in watching online videos related to gaming, providing further insight on PewDiePie's rise in popularity on the internet.[57][67]

PewDiePie previously expressed his disdain with Machinima, a rival YouTube network that he had been signed with prior to Maker Studios.[68] Feeling frustrated with how Machinima treated him, PewDiePie hired a lawyer to free him from his contract with the network.[69]

In October 2014, PewDiePie began hinting at the possibility that he may not renew his contract with Maker Studios, once it ends in December 2014.[70] Reports that covered this information also added that PewDiePie expressed his frustrations with Maker the studio's parent company, Disney; PewDiePie was quoted saying, "The fact that Disney bought Maker Studios doesn’t really change anything for me. If I ask for help, they reply, but that’s all the contact we have. We’ll see what happens."[69] Rather than re-sign with Maker, PewDiePie has mulled the option of launching his own network, although he has declined to provide in-depth details on the subject.[61][71] However, in light of news outlets reporting the gamer's disinterest with Maker, PewDiePie tweeted, "I feel like I was misquoted in the WSJ and I'm really happy with the work that Maker has been doing for me."[72]

Charitable drives

PewDiePie has used his influence to be involved in charity fundraising drives. In an interview with the Swedish magazine Icon, he has expressed his desire to continue these drives as time goes on, and also credited John and Hank Green as two individuals who gave him the idea of making unique videos for charity. These videos are purchased by game manufacturers and advertisers, for prices ranging up to $50,000.[61]

In February 2012, PewDiePie ran for King of the Web, an online contest. He lost the overall title, however still became the "Gaming King of the Web" for the 1–15 February 2012 voting period.[73] During the following voting period, PewDiePie won and donated his cash winnings to the World Wildlife Fund.[74][75] He has raised money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.[13][74]

PewDiePie also began a "Water Campaign" charity, where his fans could donate money to Charity: Water (an organization that brings clean drinking water to people in developing countries), in honor and celebration of reaching 10 million subscribers. PewDiePie also contributed one dollar to the charity for every 500 views the video announcing the campaign accumulates, up to a maximum of $10000.[76] PewDiePie had the goal of raising US$250,000, however at the end of the drive, the amount raised was $446,462.[74][77][78]

In June 2014, PewDiePie, announced that a fourth charity drive for "Save the Children" raised over $630,000, surpassing a $250,000 goal.[79]

Marketing campaigns

Beginning in April 2014 and spanning into August, Kjellberg, along with his girlfriend Marzia, began a marketing campaign for the Legendary Pictures film As Above, So Below.[80][81] Kjellberg's videos for the marketing campaign included a miniseries featuring him participating in the "Catacombs Challenge". The challenge involved Kjellberg searching for three keys in the catacombs to open a container holding "the Philosopher's stone."[82] Kjellberg and Bisgonin's videos were able to earn nearly 20 million views.[83] Maker Studios, which PewDiePie and Marzia are represented by, brokered the ad deal between the two and Legendary Pictures.[82]

Influence on video games

PewDiePie's commentaries had a positive effect on indie games, such as McPixel; developers of the game stated, "The largest force driving attention to McPixel at that time were 'Let's Play' videos. Mostly by Jesse Cox and PewDiePie."[84] PewDiePie, along with characters from Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which PewDiePie renamed and made characters within his own commentaries were referenced to by a McPixel level designed in his honor.[85] Additionally, in the video game Surgeon Simulator 2013, in the Alien Surgery stage one of the organs is called "Pewdsball" in honor of PewDiePie.[86][87]

Although games featured on PewDiePie's channel have reportedly increased sales, the gamer has stated, "I just want to play the games, not influence sales."[88]

Radio host

On 3 June 2014 Sveriges Radio announced that Kjellberg was chosen to host his own episode of the Swedish radio show Sommar i P1.[89]

Due to the international popularity the episode was recorded in both Swedish and English. The Swedish version was broadcast 9 August 2014 in Sveriges Radio P1, and when the broadcast started the English version was published online.[90] The English version was made available on a dedicated server with extra capacity to avoid crashing the Sveriges Radio server.[91]

The link to the Swedish version of the broadcast was shared over 3,500 times, and the link to the English version was shared about 49,000 times.[92]

Personal life

PewDiePie is originally from Sweden,[1] although he later moved to live with his girlfriend, Marzia Bisognin (whose online alias is CutiePieMarzia), in her native country, Italy.[7] Bisognin is also a popular YouTube personality.[93]

He moved to the United Kingdom in July 2013 for better Internet connectivity.[94] PewDiePie is the son of former KappAhl CIO, Johanna Kjellberg, who was 2010 CIO of the Year in Sweden.[95]

Awards

Year Award Show Category Result Recipient(s) Ref
2013 Starcount Social Star Awards Most Popular Social Show Won PewDiePie [25][26]
Sweden Social Star Award Won [27]
Shorty Awards #Gaming Won PewDiePie (tie) [96]
2014 Teen Choice Awards Web Star: Gaming Won PewDiePie [97]
4th Streamy Awards Best Gaming Channel, Show, or Series Nominated PewDiePie [98]

See also

References

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External links