Felix Kjellberg, better known to his fans as PewDiePie, is a YouTube phenomenon if ever there was.
The 25-year-old Swede reportedly picked up a staggering $7.4 million last year from his online antics, which consist primarily of recordings of himself playing video games and swearing a lot.
Since launching his channel in 2010, PewDiePie’s videos have brought in 37.7 million subscribers (Taylor Swift only has 15 million!) and generated 9.4 billion video views. So goodness knows how much he’s earned in the last five years.
The online star has said in the past he makes more than enough from his channel’s ads and chooses not to do many product placements.
Money, money, money
After Swedish newspaper Expressen earlier this week published an estimation of his YouTube-generated income, PewDiePie, who says he gives a decent amount of his earnings to charity, posted a video on his channel responding to not only the report, but also the resulting deluge of messages from angry and not-so-angry Web users.
“Money is a topic that I’ve purposely tried to avoid for the five years that I’ve been making videos because I just feel like it’s not important to anyone and I just want to make entertaining videos,” PewDiePie tells us in a video that’s picked up close to a quarter-of-a-million views in just eight hours. So, yes, even that particular production is turning into a nice little earner for Kjellberg.
He continues: “Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t hate money. I’m not going to pretend like it doesn’t matter to me because it matters to everyone, but when I started doing YouTube I was in college, I was on a student loan, I couldn’t even afford a proper computer that I could record gameplay on. So I was lucky, I managed to sell some artwork that I made online and that’s how I was able to get started.”
The YouTube star says that when news broke earlier this week about his colossal earnings, many people were “very angry, they thought it was unfair; they thought I just sit on my ass all day and I just yell at the screen – which is true – but there’s so much more to it than that.”
He adds that “to see so many people being upset about this whole thing is just sad.”
Wrapping up, PewDiePie thanked his fans for their support.”It really does mean a lot and I’m just happy doing this. I’d be doing it even if I was still not as big as I am.”
Whatever you think of the content of PewDiePie’s videos, it’s hard not to admire the guy for his single-handed achievement in creating the world’s most popular YouTube channel. If you haven’t already, you can check out his work here.