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PewDiePie: Biggest Independant YT video-maker- Lawsuits, net worth & career

PewDiePie- Biggest Independant YT video-maker- Lawsuits, net worth & career

Who is PewDiePie?

Felix Kjellberg, better known online as PewDiePie, is one of the internet’s biggest stars, with over 100 million followers and over 24 billion views on his YouTube channel.

The title “PewDiePie” is derived from the words “pew,” which sounds like a laser gun shooting, and “die,” which means “death.” Initially, his name was just “PewDie,” but after losing his first channel’s password, he returned with PewDiePie.”

PewDiePie is better known for his irreverent gaming material, filmed in a “Let’s Play” style — photos of Kjellberg playing video games while delivering an expletive-filled running commentary. PewDiePie’s repertoire has grown to include live-action and animated comedy shorts, and “let’s play” has become a hugely successful YouTube genre.

Quick Facts about PewDiePie

  • Real Name: Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg
  • Aliases: PewDiePie, PewDie, and Pewds
  • Birthday: October 24, 1989
  • Astrological Sign: Scorpio
  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5 feet, 11 inches
  • Languages: Swedish and English
  • Birthplace: Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Residence: Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom
  • Hobbies: Gaming, driving cars, video editing, tennis, golf, and sailing
  • World Records: First individual YouTuber to hit 100 million subscribers, most-liked and most-watched YouTuber of 2019
  • Tattoos: PewDiePie has six tattoos, including a Swedish church, image of a girl, and skeleton sitting on a cat on his right arm, a trumpet-playing frog and heart-shaped tattoo with an eye on his left arm, and an image of a woman embracing a skeleton on his left arm.
  • Favorite food: Pie
  • Favorite music: Radiohead, Elliott Smith, and Swedish rap such as Yung Lean
  • Favorite video game character: Sho Minamoto from The World Ends With You
  • Favorite movies: Donnie Darko and A Clockwork Orange
  • PewDiePie hates eggs
  • PewDiePie is a bestselling author, publishing This Book Loves You in 2015

Read about: Jean Muggli

PewDiePie’s Biography

Kjellberg was born on October 24, 1989, in Gothenburg, Sweden, and was raised there.

He grew up with his older sister, Fanny, and his parents, Lotta Kristine Johanna (née Hellstrand, born May 7, 1958) and Ulf Christian Kjellberg (born January 8, 1957). 

In 2010, his mother, a former chief information officer (CIO), was elected Sweden’s CIO of the Year. His father is a businessman.

A picture of PewDiePie during his school's life

A picture of PewDiePie during his school’s life

Kjellberg was involved in art as a teenager. He has said that he used to draw iconic video game characters like Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog and play games on his Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Kjellberg then moved on to the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg to study industrial economics and technology management but dropped out in 2011.

Although he previously claimed that he left Chalmers to concentrate on his YouTube career, Kjellberg explained in 2017 that he left due to a lack of confidence in his research. He said that leaving university to try a YouTube career would be “fucking crazy” in general.

He used to play computer games in his room and would miss classes to play video games with peers at an Internet café during high school. 

He purchased a tablet with the money he earned selling artwork from his grandmother’s gallery during his senior year in high school.

Kjellberg has often expressed a fondness for Adobe Photoshop, stating that he would instead focus on photo editing art for the app then go to classes.

After leaving Chalmers, he pursued this interest by entering Photoshop competitions and coming close to landing an apprenticeship at a prestigious Scandinavian advertising agency. 

He wanted to make YouTube videos, but when he didn’t get the apprenticeship, he sold limited edition copies of his photoshopped photographs to fund the cost of a machine to work on YouTube videos.

Internet Career of PewDiePie

Early Days (2010-2012)

In December 2006, Kjellberg created a YouTube channel under the name “Pewdie,” explaining that “pew” refers to the sound of lasers and “die” to death.

On April 29, 2010, after losing the password to this account, he created the “PewDiePie” YouTube channel. His parents failed to help him when he left Chalmers financially, so he supported himself by serving as a harbor captain, selling prints of his Photoshop art, and working at a hot dog stand. 

Kjellberg said that being able to make videos was more valuable to him than having a high-profile job.

Kjellberg remembered five years later, “I knew people were famous for other kinds of videos, but no one was famous for games, and I had no idea it could be profitable.

It was never a profession that I should only drop out of college to follow. It was simply something I enjoyed doing.”

In his early days on YouTube, Kjellberg specialized in video game commentary, especially horror and action games.

His early videos included commentary on popular video games such as Minecraft and Call of Duty. Still, he is most known for his Let’s Plays of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and its associated mods. 

He also started publishing weekly vlogs under the name Fridays with PewDiePie on September 2, 2011. Kjellberg’s channel had about 60,000 subscribers by December 2011, and it crossed 500,000 subscribers on May 9, 2012.

Kjellberg appeared at Nonick Conference 2012 about the time his channel reached 700,000 subscribers.

In July 2012, his channel surpassed one million viewers, and in September, it surpassed two million.

Kjellberg’s channel was named the No. 1 YouTube channel by OpenSlate in October. Maker Studios, a multi-channel network (MCN) that powers the development of the networks under its umbrella, signed Kjellberg in December. 

Before joining Maker, he worked for Machinima, a competitor of Maker. Kjellberg voiced his dissatisfaction with Machinima’s handling of him, and he hired a lawyer to get him out of his deal with the network.

Kjellberg used sex jokes in his videos early on in his YouTube career.

Kjellberg’s use of such jokes was demonstrated in a parody video criticizing his work. 

Kjellberg faced backlash for the jokes soon after. In October 2012, he discussed the topic in a Tumblr message, saying, “I also wanted to be clear that I’m no longer making rape jokes as I said before, I’m not looking to offend anybody, and I apologize if it ever did.” 

“Unlike many young gamers, he listened as fans and reviewers alike called out their negative intent and vowed to avoid making rape jokes,” the Globe and Mail reported.

“Minecraft Multiplayer Fun” is Kjellberg’s oldest video available for streaming.

The video, which was uploaded on October 2, 2010, is notable for Kjellberg’s use of Swedish commentary rather than the English language that he would later use in his films. 

As of February 2021, the video had received over 17 million views. His early videos were all Let’s Play-styled videos. “I was so timid back then,” Kjellberg says in the recordings, adding, “It was so strange to me, sitting alone in a room talking into a microphone.”

Fridays with PewDiePie is a notable collection of videos posted by Kjellberg during the early stages of his YouTube career. 

The show was a weekly departure from his Let’s Play shows, which constituted the majority of his material at the time, and starred vlogs and Kjellberg fulfilling viewer requests.

Highlight compilations of Kjellberg’s Let’s Play videos are among his most famous videos.

“A Funny Montage,” one of these compilations, was uploaded in June 2013 and remained Kjellberg’s most-viewed for a long time, with publications referencing it as such until 2018.

The rise in YouTube Career (2013-2019)

Kjellberg’s channel surpassed 5 million subscribers on February 18, 2013, and he was featured in The New York Times in April after surpassing 6 million subscribers.

Kjellberg was named “Swedish Social Star” at the inaugural Starcount Social Stars Awards in Singapore in May. He also won the award for “Most Famous Social Show,” beating out Jenna Marbles, Smosh, and Toby Turner. 

He passed Jenna Marbles to become the second-most-subscribed YouTube user in July 2013, and on July 9, he surpassed 10 million subscribers. 

On August 15, 2013, Kjellberg’s subscriber count exceeded that of the leading station, Smosh.

Guinness World Records awarded Kjellberg a certificate for being the most subscribed YouTuber. On November 1, his channel became the first to reach 15 million viewers; the next day, YouTube’s Spotlight account exceeded it in subscribers. 

In the same month, Kjellberg expressed his displeasure with YouTube’s updated comment mechanism by turning off the feature on all of his posts. On December 22, 2013, his channel surpassed the YouTube Spotlight channel to reclaim the title of most-subscribed YouTube channel.

Between the years 2012 and 2013, Kjellberg’s YouTube channel was one of the fastest-growing in terms of new subscribers.

The channel’s subscriber base increased from 3.5 million to just under 19 million in 2013, and by the end of the year, it was adding a new subscriber every 1.037 seconds. 

According to Billboard, the channel attracted more viewers in 2013 than any other channel. It also received just under 1.3 billion video views in the second half of 2013. 

In 2014, Kjellberg’s commentaries, which were previously notorious for including horror video games, started to include games of any variety that piqued his curiosity.

“Rather than restricting himself to horror games, Pewdiepie is now deliberately playing more stuff that intrigues him,” according to Kotaku. 

He revised his video production performance in March, declaring that he would be reducing the number of uploads.

Maker Studios launched an official PewDiePie app for the iPhone in August 2014, enabling fans to watch his videos, make personalized video streams, and share them with others. 

Later that month, Kjellberg released a video in which he announced that he would permanently delete comments on his YouTube channel.

He said that most comments were spam and self-promotion and that this was not what he wished to see.

Kjellberg continued to engage with his community via Twitter and Reddit after disabling comments. He agreed to accept comments on his videos again on October 13, but only after approval. 

However, he explained that he changed his comment settings this way to allow viewers to comment on his Broarmy.net website’s forums instead. 

In a later video, he confirmed that disabling comments made him happy. Kjellberg started streaming videos of his co-hosted series, BroKen, onto MLG.tv in the same year. Kenneth Morrison, also known as Kenny, was his co-host for the show.

Kjellberg hinted in October 2014 that his deal with Maker Studios, which was set to expire in December 2014, could not be renewed.

He had shared his dissatisfaction with Disney, the studio’s parent corporation. Kjellberg considered starting his own network but decided against it. 

“I feel like I was misquoted in the WSJ, and I’m very pleased with the job that Maker has been doing for me,” he tweeted in response to news reports covering his disinterest in Maker. 

Under Creator, Kjellberg will eventually continue to make recordings. His friendship with Maker led to creating an official PewDiePie website, app, and online store to sell merchandise. 

At the same time, Kjel established an official PewDiePie website, app, and online store to sell merchandise.

Kjellberg’s account gained over 14 million new users and over 4.1 billion video views in 2014, far outnumbering any other user.

According to Social Blade, Kjellberg’s channel had over 7 billion views on December 29, 2014, making it the most-viewed channel on the internet. 

His videos reportedly received over 300 million views a month in July 2015. His YouTube account became the first to surpass 10 billion video views on September 6.

Kjellberg posted a series of videos in late 2016 and early 2017 in reaction to YouTube’s decision to rely more on a video’s watch time statistics.

Any of these videos discussed the platform-wide negative impact of the updates on content creators’ viewership. In one of these videos, he confirmed that if his channel crossed 50 million viewers, which was approaching quickly, he would delete it. 

As a sarcastic response to the evolving algorithms, Kjellberg created a video in which he asked viewers to help him hit 1 million views, which he did quickly.

He followed up with another video in which he challenged his followers to get the video to 1 million dislikes.

The video is Kjellberg’s most hated and one of the most disliked on the entire YouTube website, with over 4.5 million dislikes (as of April 22, 2020). 

Another video in which Kjellberg challenged his followers to hit 1 million comments gained momentum, with the video reaching over 5 million comments at one point. 

However, many of the comments have since been deleted, and the video has about 1.5 million comments as of April 14, 2020. 

By early 2017, he had over 3,500 videos on his YouTube page, with over 400 music videos.

PewDiepie vs T-Series

PewDiePie released a diss track against T-Series, an Indian record label, in October 2018.

The video was made in response to the fact that their YouTube channel was expected to surpass his in terms of subscribers. 

As of April 25, 2020, it had received over 245 million views. In an episode of his show Pew News in March, Kjellberg reported the 2019 Pulwama terrorist attack. 

Before carrying out the live-streamed Christchurch mosque killings, the assailant said, “Remember lads, subscribe to PewDiepie.”

Kjellberg sympathized with those affected by the incident and accused the media of giving him unwanted attention.

He later clarified on Twitter that he was not attempting to comment on the India–Pakistan relationship. 

But rather on the more precise sense of T-series pulling artists’ songs from its YouTube channel in response to political pressure from the MNS isolate Pakistani artists.

The New York Times speculated that his involvement in the killings was just a ruse by the news media to pin the blame on him, thereby exacerbating national tensions.

T-Series surpassed Kjellberg in subscribers to become the most-subscribed YouTube channel on March 27, after momentarily winning the title several times in early 2019.

Kjellberg released another diss track music video titled “Congratulations” on March 31, ironically congratulating T-series on receiving the cover.

As part of a partnership with streaming service DLive, he revealed on April 9 that he would live-stream exclusively on the platform. 

In July, the two parties reached an unspecified deal, but his videos remained blocked in the country.

T-Series allegedly obtained the agreement after the High Court of Delhi ruled in T-Series’ favor.

Relationship

After Pewdiepie discovered that editing and uploading videos gave him much more satisfaction than his college coursework, he dropped out in 2011 to concentrate on creating videos and selling prints of his artwork and photoshopped photographs.

PewDiePie met his future wife, Marzia Kjellberg (née Bisognin), a former Italian YouTuber when Marzia contacted PewDiePie to tell him how much she loved his posts. 

They began dating shortly after, and she moved to Sweden in October 2011 to be with him. (Before relocating to Brighton, PewDiePie and Marzia shared a house in her native Italy.)

Marzia became a YouTuber in her own right in 2012, specializing in beauty and fashion videos.

Until she declared her retirement in a video in October 2018, Marzia’s channel had over 7 million viewers.

PewDiePie proposed to Marzia in April 2018, and the two married in a small ceremony at Kew Gardens in London in August 2019. 

Wedding picture of PewDiePie and Marzia Bisognin

Wedding picture of PewDiePie and Marzia Bisognin

PewDiePie and Marzia share their home with two pugs named Edgar and Maya and a hedgehog named Dogy. 

They picked Brighton as their home because of its excellent internet access and accessibility to the ocean.

Net Worth of PewDiePie in 2021

According to Social Blade, Kjellberg earned between $140,000 and $1.4 million from YouTube sales in March 2014.

The Wall Street Journal estimated in June 2014 that Kjellberg made $4 million in 2013. On Reddit, Kjellberg reported that the numbers were similar to what he got. 

Kjellberg’s production firm, PewDie Productions AB, posted profits of 63.7 million SEK ($7.5 million) in 2014, according to the Swedish newspaper Expressen in July 2015. 

Kjellberg’s income was characterized as “important” and even “remarkable” by media outlets in 2015. With a record $12 million, Kjellberg was ranked first on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest YouTube stars in October 2015.

Kjellberg was rated the highest-paid YouTuber by Forbes in December 2016, with annual revenue of $15 million.

Kjellberg has claimed that most YouTube content creators rely on external advertising streams rather than YouTube’s ad model, which he claims is unreliable, inconsistent, and unsafe.

According to Forbes, Kjellberg’s earnings fell to $12 million in 2017, making him the sixth highest-paid YouTuber of the year.

According to Forbes, Kjellberg’s earnings would have been higher if he had spared the backlash from advertisers caused by the controversies around his videos in 2017. 

Kjellberg has expressed his displeasure with extensive media coverage of his earnings, saying that he is “tired of worrying about how much [he makes] and that media outlets should now focus on the funds he raised for charity.

It’s sporadic for any YouTube producer to speak about their earnings publicly, not least because YouTube does not allow it.”

With an annual revenue of $15 million in 2016, Forbes called him the highest-paid YouTuber. His net worth is expected to be $40 million by 2020.

The controversies

If you’re a PewDiePie follower, you’re probably well aware of the scandals he’s started or is currently interested in.

1. The Rape Jokes Controversy

He used rape jokes early in his YouTube career, which drew a lot of backlash and hatred from his fans.

In a Tumblr update, he discussed the topic, writing, “I just wanted to make clear that I’m no longer making rape jokes.” As I previously said, I have no desire to harm anybody, and I apologize if I have ever done so.

2. The Disney Fanfiction Controversy

He enraged Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in late 2015 after reading romantic fan fiction about the characters in the Disney film Frozen.

3. The Anti-Jews Racial Controversy

He used a racial slur in a video he posted in January 2017.

In another video, he featured two Fiverr workers holding a sign that read, “Death to all Jews.”

He later clarified that his purpose was not to offend Jews but rather to demonstrate how bizarre the website was. Felix and the other two people expressed regret for their behavior.

Maker Studios terminated his contract as a result of this incident. He was also cut from Google’s promotional network. The forthcoming season of PewDiePie’s YouTube series Scare PewDiePie was canceled.

4. The Anti-Black Racial Controversy

During an outburst with another Livestream player in September 2017, Felix used the derogatory insult “nigger.”

Given his status as an influencer, he posted a brief video to apologize for the words he used.

5. The Twitch Controversy

In a video from May 2018, he used the word “Twitch Thots” when watching a female Twitch streamer’s compilation.

6. The Demi Lovato Controversy

PewDiePie made a meme of Demi Lovato’s face in July 2018 to highlight the singer’s drug issues.

The meme went viral at the same time Lovato was admitted to the hospital following an opioid overdose.

Internet consumers, Demi Lovato followers, and people who are grappling with addiction all slammed him. He also expressed regret for the incident.

7. The Big T-Series Controversy

Felix released a diss track named “T-Series Diss Track”—Bitch Lasagna in October 2018 in response to the Indian record label T-Series surpassing his channel in terms of subscribers.

Newspapers called it racist. After T-Series obtained a court order from the High Court of India, his video is still blocked in India.

8. The Big T-Series Controversy 2.0 plus Pulwama Terrorist Attack Controversy

He discussed the 2019 Pulwama terrorist attack in an episode of his show “Pew News” that he posted in 2019.

As a result of the political parties’ injustice, T-Series removed many songs by Pakistani artists from its YouTube page.

On Twitter, PewDiePie explained that he was not attempting to comment on the India-Pakistan relationship, but rather on T-Series’ unique sense of deleting artists’ songs from its YouTube channel.

Awards and Nominations

DATE AWARD CEREMONY CATEGORY
2013 Starcount Social Star Awards

5th Shorty Awards

Most Popular Social ShowSweden Social Star Award

Gaming Award

2014 Teen Choice AwardsGolden Joystick Awards Webstar: GamingGaming Personality
2015 5th Streamy AwardsGolden Joystick Awards Best Gaming Channel/Show/SeriesGaming Personality
2019 Teen Choice Awards Choice Gamer

Social Media Presence

PewDiePie is highly influential across social media sites.

His videos can be seen on his PewDiePie YouTube page, which has over 110 million subscribers and over 4,100 videos.

With over 7,808,000 followers, he has a confirmed Facebook page with the same name.

@pewdiepie’s Instagram account has over 21.8 million followers. You can see his everyday life and plenty of sweet wedding pictures and couple photos of his wife, Marzia.

He has a Twitter account with his name on it, but he never uses it.

He created it to prevent false accounts from being created under his name. About the fact that he hasn’t posted, he already has over 179.5 thousand followers on Twitter.

He also has a Tumblr website, where he goes by the handle “officialpewdiepieblog.”

Under his tag, he has a checked Twitch account as well as a Mobcrush account.

On MySpace, he’s known as officialpewdiepie.

So there you have it: all the details about Felix Kjellberg, a.k.a. PewDiePie, and why you should watch his videos if you haven’t already! And let us know if there is anything we missed.

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Last modified: May 15, 2021
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