4:36 AMPewDiePie becomes the first individual YouTube creator to hit 100 million subscribers
Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has outperformed 100 million endorsers on YouTube, turning into the primary individual maker to do as such.
Kjellberg has been one of the best designers in the stage’s history, molding what occurs on the site and broadening his venture into a book bargain, syndicated program appearances, and sponsorships. Be that as it may, his acclaim has been hampered by discussions like utilizing bigot language and hostile to Semitic symbolism.
The subscriber milestone arrived nearly nine years after the publication of Kjellberg’s first video, though his rise has been particularly sharp and turbulent in the last year: his channel grew rapidly from around 65 million subscribers last August as he and his fans engaged in a race with another channel, the Indian music label T-Series. It started facetiously and came to include sometimes racist language from supporters that led to the subscriber race being referenced during a mass shooting.
From 2013 until a few months ago, Kjellberg’s channel held the title for most subscribers on YouTube; he was overtaken by T-Series in March, but he remains tens of millions of subscribers ahead of any other creator. T-Series became the first creator channel to pass 100 million subscribers earlier this year.
Although having 100 million subscribers doesn’t translate to 100 million viewers tuning in to every video, Kjellberg undeniably has one of the biggest audiences on YouTube, and the choices he makes directly shape what happens on the platform. When he first started his channel nearly a decade ago, he helped revolutionize gaming on YouTube. More recently, his channel has looked more like a variety series, with Kjellberg running through memes, commenting on YouTube culture, and reacting to other videos.
The milestone was hit late Saturday night, and the moment was captured by fans and other YouTubers using analytic site Social Blade’s real-time subscriber counter. The official YouTube account tweeted out a celebratory video congratulating Kjellberg shortly thereafter, highlighting other milestones from his career on the platform, including his time as a Let’s Play YouTuber and even a reference to Kjellberg’s feud with T-Series.
Kjellberg called the milestone “an unreal achievement” in a tweet on Monday morning. “I don’t feel worthy, but I’m forever grateful,” he wrote. In a video ahead of the milestone, Kjellberg thanked his subscribers and expressed awe at the coming achievement. “I still don’t believe it,” he said. “Before YouTube I was that weird kid with no friends, and suddenly there’s so many people who enjoy what I do.”
Major creators like James Charles, Jacksepticeye, Anthony Padilla, MrBeast, Craig Thompson, and even The Room director Tommy Wiseau congratulated Kjellberg on Twitter. Many of them spoke about growing up watching Kjellberg, speaking to how intertwined he is with YouTube as a culture.
PewDiePie is a YouTube staple, albeit a controversial one both on and off the platform. The last couple of years have seen Kjellberg reckon with global criticism for publishing a video that featured anti-Semitic imagery, the use of a racist slur during a gaming live stream, and making offensive comments in a diss track against T-Series. Kjellberg has apologized over the years, but he’s still confronting the consequences.
YouTube canceled his YouTube Red series, Scare PewDiePie, in 2017, following the use of anti-Semitic imagery in his video. He was also removed from Google’s top-tier ad program, Google Preferred. Kjellberg said it’s been “a rocky road” for his channel in his recent video reflecting on the milestone.
“Looking back now, I kind of feel very stupid about it, and how a lot of it wasn’t worth it,” Kjellberg said. “Basically, I’m sorry for all the bad things I’ve done. I just want to play Minecraft.”
Kjellberg has seemed to struggle with his impact on his audience. At times, he’s used it to urge his fans to donate to charities, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years for Charity: Water, Child Rights and You, and others. But he’s also amplified anti-Semitic rhetoric to potentially dangerous effects, as Vox pointed out.
The last couple of months have seen Kjellberg transform his channel to focus once again on Minecraft. The videos, sometimes reaching more than 20 minutes in length, play out like episodes in a TV series. Kjellberg said making them has brought him more joy than anything else he’s worked on, according to a number of his recent videos on the subject.
It’s a little ironic, and it perhaps says something about how cyclical YouTube is, that after surpassing 100 million subscribers and approaching Kjellberg’s 10-year anniversary of being a creator, the PewDiePie channel has returned to gaming. Kjellberg noted this in his vlog, saying, “It feels like I’ve come full circle with the channel now, coming back to gaming.” Minecraft isn’t going to keep viewers coming back forever, but for now, he says he’s happy making “uplifting content.”
Reaching 100 million subscribers became an endgame for so many fans. The fact that it happened amid a major shift on his channel — and personal events, like his marriage last week — has led people to speculate that Kjellberg is preparing to leave YouTube. Kjellberg said recently that he’s looking forward to some time off and taking his first serious break in years, but he plans to stick around.
“I still really enjoy YouTube, and I have no plans of quitting,” Kjellberg said. “I do think it would be good for me to take a break at some point … it would be nice to not have YouTube on my brain for the first time in 10 years.”
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