YouTube Video Game Star PewDiePie Earns $4 Million Per Year

He dropped out of college and started selling hot dogs; now, 24-year-old Felix Kjellberg AKA PewDiePie is a leading force on YouTube with 27 million subscribers.

Swedish YouTube phenom Felix Kjellberg, better known to gamers as PewDiePie, has 27 million subscribers and pulls in around $4 million in ad sales per year. Most of this is straight profit, according to a profile of Kjellberg published in The Wall Street Journal.

Kjellberg, 24, created PewDiePie five years ago. In December of 2012, he signed a deal with online video content creator Maker Studios, which sold itself to media giant Disney just a few months ago.

He is best known for his funny videos that aren't video game reviews, but rather "Let's Play"-style programs where he plays a title and narrates his experience. In the past two weeks alone, he's posted more than two dozen videos featuring games like Among The Sleep and Next Car Game. With the exception of one video that went up today, all of these videos have attracted more than 2 million views.

Kjellberg admits that the kind of videos he's making are, in some ways, encouraging developers to create games that are not only fun to play, but to also watch others play. "It's cool to have this kind of influence, but at the same time it's kind of scary," Kjellberg said.

Before he rose to fame as a YouTube star, Kjellberg went to college in Gothenburg, Sweden, uploading videos during his spare time. He later dropped out of school and starting selling hot dogs instead.

Where did the name PewDiePie come from? Kjellberg says the original name for his YouTube account was PewDie ("pew" for the sound of a laser gun and "die" for death), but after he lost his account password he had to come up with a new name, so he added "Pie" to it.

His prominence on YouTube is somewhat unsettling, he said. "I'm so central to YouTube now, and that puts me in the spotlight and raises a lot of questions like 'Why is he so big?'" Kjellberg said. "I'd much rather prefer to have something like 5 million subscribers."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
784 comments
ro-tangclan
ro-tangclan

You know, it's kind of funny reading all the comments saying it's rediculous they work their A off and aren't earning as much as someone who sits and plays video games all the time. Because you know what? Times change. The internet and social media has completely change the way companies and certain industries make money. You have to keep up with the times and evolve to where the most market is. There's no point working your A off 24/7 in blood sweat and tears in a dying industry that's losing public interest (for example a milkman). That's completely stupid. You either find a gap in the market and captilise on that opportunity or keep quiet and quit complaining. 


Work smarter not harder people ;)

commander
commander

What some of you fail to realize that you're a bunch of ugly bastards.


Actors earn a lot too, they're also easy on the eyes


No one wants to see your ugly ass playing games, apparently a lot of people wants to see pewdiepie, with good reason , he's a good looking guy.


Having said that, i watched 1 video of him and was quite entertained, but I wouldn't subscribe , of course I'm not a teenager but a thirty year something old ass.

TeknoBug
TeknoBug

So... why should I be working 60 hours a week for a measly $37/hr and still make less than this college dropout dbag when I could sit on my couch with a webcam and mic and stream 24/7?


What a F'd up world we're in.

zerohournow
zerohournow

ah poor guy, lets all pray he only gets 5 million subscribers and doesn't suffer all that cash he is drowning in...what a dbag.

dracos9000
dracos9000

Lol I had no idea he made so much. Good for him. I make no where near as much as him but I also know I wouldn't be able to do something like this either. Instead I will be going the indie game route.

tastemycobra
tastemycobra

I saw him first time on South Park, then I watched a few of his videos which were boring to me... Now I read that he makes millions out of that dumb videos. It is unbelievable... I have to change my perception of world. I have a construction company and I don't make so much money although I work like hell...

beermonger7
beermonger7

Ive been trying to figure out if it's too late for me to quit my job and make millions playing video games on youtube, or if I could pull it off. I would want to come up with a way to be unique, and not the usual "HURR DURR IM PLAYING SCARY GAME IM SO SCARED OMGEE HIT SURBSCRIBE PLEZ!"

off3nc3
off3nc3

This chit right here is what's wrong with today's society :) oh so sad.

dino7c
dino7c

remember when kids played video games and "watching" was called "waiting" for your turn

Dogswithguns
Dogswithguns

That's awesome for him.. but I never heard of him until a week ago. and I watch youtube vids a lot. 

packerfan7575
packerfan7575

Never seen him before. Not any more interested to now either.

He should've stuck with his own name though. Sounds cooler.

vonzippa
vonzippa

Nobody "earns" 4 million a year.  Some people are (over)paid that much, but they certainly don't "earn" it.

BlazingSpeed
BlazingSpeed

Right, I didn't even know who this guy was before those stupid Gamefaqs ads (you know those unrelated to video games...) but the 4 million dollar tag combined with youtube got me.


Ad sales huh? I was thinking that PewDiePie was sponsored or something I was making some youtube ad money off of posting video game tricks and stuff but nothing like that.

Oh well, it's good to know that much money can still be made even with most video gaming companies like Nintendo practically banning money making playthrough videos.

I wonder if making videos like that fan made live action Pokemon trailer that got 3 million views in three days could compare to this guy.


I have my own Ideas (many in progress now...) about making money so stop hating people "stay out of this guys stuff and get your own stuff".



Leykis
Leykis

Beyond sickening what this ahole makes. To think there are people out there who actually work for a living and do more good for society than this pile of sh*t and they struggle to make ends meet while this jackass gets paid millions for being.....a jackass. Sick world we live in.

charlievo
charlievo

there are companies you pay and they will post on your channel an subscribes.  He paid for them, got to pay to play.  Pewdiepie did it and now he's successful, congrats to him.  Also his girlfriend play a big part of his success also.

grin89
grin89

how do you make money off youtube?

ecs33
ecs33

Look at all these haters...My God...talk about first world problems. Most here probably make plenty enough to stay happy, healthy and have the luxury to do a lot of fun things and all you do is complain that someone else is more fortunate, saying that we live in "barbaric" times..bahah. Maybe try being an average person in the middle ages and you will see how nice your life is.


If you want to be super rich, get a good idea, execute, and hope lady luck is on your side. That's ultimately what it comes down to. You will never be super rich as an employee.

tajirinere
tajirinere

man...i wish i could me some of dem Amadeus dollars. wish i had content to publish

bbuscemi1
bbuscemi1

I'm not the biggest fan of his, but I don't understand the hate that this guy receives, sure he may not be funny to you, sure he may be annoying, so dont watch his videos. Nobody is forcing you to watch it, so just dont; everybody gets so angry that whatever he does made him successful and now he gets millions of dollars. He didn't create the system, he isn't robbing  anybody, he just has a personality that many people enjoy watching continuously (a lot of people). 

TL:DR- Maybe you dont like him, other people do. Get over it. He isn't a bad person

bobbytebe
bobbytebe

Well, I understand why so many people didn't like him because he made so many swearing words and annoying. But guys, he is a comedian with his way, play video games. We can't blame him for that, just look how many views he got in 24 hours is more than 1 million. I subs him since he had about 600000 subs. It's fun to see the way he react not only to a rage games (or anything than make the player upset -_-), but in a "Let's Play" game. I can tell like To The Moon, The Walking Dead Season 1, Heavy Rain, The Last Of Us, and many more, he played it with sad emotion, especially at the ending or hard situation, that's why I like him. He can bring the viewers to feel the game even they didn't play it. And he find a way to connect with his BroArmy with the Friday With Pewdiepe and VLogs video, it's a small step ahead to keep touch with us. He's creative too, he got the #PewdsDoesEverythings idea (Do everythings that his followers told him to do), so many people enjoy it. Felix is active on charity program too dude, when he gave all his money gift from a nomination (I forget) to WWF to save the tiger. Then ask all his Bros to donate for Save The Children, Clean Water, and Cancer charity. All of them reach the target. To thanks the Bros, Felix gave a gift like Razer Gaming Laptop, Razer Headset, and many more. I think he deserves this.


Sorry for long comment, but many of you disrespect him. We, BroArmy, are not immature fans. Call us crazy if donate money for cancer patients is wrong. Think about it.


Sorry for my bad English too, Brofist :D

blackace
blackace

Yeah, this guy is annoying and swears like every other sentence. i don't see the joy in watching this crap, but I can understand why a bunch of immature teens would be watching this. My stepson would watch garbage like this and enjoy it. Anyone else would avoid this guy like the plague.

RKO_Viper
RKO_Viper

*Looks at comments below*


Haters gonna hate.

klugenbeel
klugenbeel

People watch this Euro-trash? He's more annoying than Russell Brand, and that's hard to top.

bluefox755
bluefox755

This guy is just brutal, I tried to watch one of his videos, I think it was Last of Us Let's Play, I couldn't last more than 30 seconds. He is just beyond annoying. I don't have anything against him personally, as I don't know him, but it's just baffling to me that anyone can stand to watch this guy.

whakyZ86
whakyZ86

I've only watched maybe 5 videos, but i'd be lying if i said he didn't make me guffaw on numerous occasion.  the video that springs to mind is the one where he plays Goat Simulator.  no small amount of laughs there

Vienreich
Vienreich

We have close to a billion fellow human beings in severe poverty, and here we have a dude fooling around in front of a camera making millions.  It makes me puke, that I'm living in such barbaric times. 

kind9
kind9

@off3nc3Yes, social media is a problem. Also kids being raised with cell phones attached to their faces. Parents, give your kids books ffs.

hippystank
hippystank

@Leykis What a terrible person he is for being inventive enough to pave his own path through life........

zerohournow
zerohournow

@charlievo ya, his girlfriend is a real trooper, sticking with him and all those millions...

galagya
galagya

@ecs33 Well, first off I have to disagree with this statement:
"Most here probably make plenty enough to stay happy, healthy and have the luxury to do a lot of fun things[...]"

Most people are not upper class, or even upper-middle class, let alone live in luxury. Personally, I am below the legal poverty level. That is just me of course, but I would guess others posting here aren't as well off as you'd think. There are WAY more people on the lower end of the spectrum in this case... it's nothing like how it used to be, where the average household(family or not) was doing just fine most of the time, or more than fine. There is an enormous(& imo disgusting and insulting) gap between the haves and the have-nots.& about their complaints on the subject, well I think that it is definitely more related to what I just said than anything to do with "first world problems". They are not as worse off as some, of course not. But they still struggle. I myself have been homeless. So don't assume their opinions don't matter just because they can feed themselves, y'know? Just what I think, anyway. You can ultimately assume what you want if you so choose. That is certainly your right.

The issue truly lies in how these super rich people get their money. They do not earn it, & it stands to reason that those who work more, bring more to the table, should share in the riches as well. & the person this article is about is a phenomenally appropriate example of this.

Here's something to compare it to really quick, off the top of my head: everyone helps build a shelter. There are 5 men.

& I will be the first to quickly admit that there are probably plenty of flaws, curiosities, and contradictions with the above comparison. But it is a mere example I made up on the spot to try & help explain things better. Hopefully it helps a bit, but if not, feel free to ignore it. Don't take it too seriously, & PLEASE, don't assume it is the basis of my argument in any way, shape, or form.

I could elaborate but I feel like this is getting way too long already; isn't it? I'll drop it now, but if you have any questions/comments/concerns regarding my response, fire away, I guess. I rarely log in or even browse around this site so no promises on my return here, but still, I'll try & remember. In any case, hope you all have a good one, & tc.

kind9
kind9

@bbuscemi1 The dude is objectively and certifiably NOT funny. If you've ever seen a real comedian at work I think you'd know this. 

Do you know he made a video where he literally sat there swearing at a toilet in a video game?

JohnTheLyrical
JohnTheLyrical

@BIGFELLAH26  some people have they ways of living dude...the laws of nature...Felix is just one of those phenomenons..shit i aint mad at him..truth be told he's alright.

ecs33
ecs33

@Vienreich  No...barbaric times are when everyone is mandated the same mediocre salaries. First world probems, bro.

bluefox755
bluefox755

@Vienreich I don't like the guy either, but do you have a solution? Perhaps we should take his money? And everyone else's that you or someone else deems is making "too much".

Comduter
Comduter

@hippystank @Leykis Pave his own path?  He tapes himself behaving like an annoying coked up nutjob while playing video games and he very luckily cashed in on it.

joosh292
joosh292

Why is it that you live in poverty. Both my dad and I have gone to good colleges and graduated with 4 year degrees in accounting and both have jobs that pull in 450k a year. Atleast thats what I pull in and he probably makes more. But why cant you. All our college debt is paid off. So dont say anything about debt because getting a good job will pay it off. He makes money off of something thats not hard, but instead of hating on him how about you get a job that pays high. Most people who complain about this dont even apply to jobs with high incomes with no confidence of getting the job.

joosh292
joosh292

Why is it that you live in poverty. Both my dad and I have gone to good colleges and graduated with 4 year degrees in accounting and both have jobs that pull in 450k a year. Atleast thats what I pull in and he probably makes more. But why cant you. All our college debt is paid off. So dont say anything about debt because getting a good job will pay it off. He makes money off of something thats not hard, but instead of hating on him how about you get a job that pays high. Most people who complain about this dont even apply to jobs with high incomes with no confidence of getting the job..

defil3r
defil3r

@Comduter @hippystank @Leykis  Why are you people so jealous! Why can't you just be happy for people who got lucky and made it! It's not his fault that you yourself didn't make it. You are the reason what's wrong with this world...

galagya
galagya

@joosh292 You cannot get a high income job without having a degree. Colleges charge money. A lot of money. It's a no-win situation when you grow up in poverty. I live in poverty because I do not have the degree to pull in 450k a year. Ignoring debt altogether, I do not have the means to go to college at all. I got my GED early, and I am unable to live my life working my two jobs and also borrow money and go to school(not that I have time anyway). You make 450k a year? That is very good on you. I am happy for you! & I am happy for your father. I was not "hating" - just saying it how it is. It is a fact that you are well off, and that being so well off is not likely, at all. It is not the norm, by any means, to "pull in 450k a year". I am glad you live such a great life. I don't know you, I mean, why would I personally hate or even dislike you? But do not say you deserve it more, or you just tried harder. That is absolutely insane. I have actually tried to go to college, and I got accepted, got a loan... and guess what? I was forced to work overtime randomly, not able to make classes(coz I have nobody to bail me out personally or pay my bills, y'know, so of course I have to pick the job(currently surviving) over college(living well in the future)). It sucks, and there really is no way out. It is like that for most people.

Maybe if colleges were less about money, too... maybe if jobs and colleges would work together. Maybe if things were less bias in various areas. Maybe, maybe, maybe, who knows what could change things. But this is how the world really is. I understand that you don't see it that way, but that is because you have obviously not experienced it. You live a good life. I really hope it stays that way for you forever, & I wish you the best of luck. But you simply do not understand, & it's because you have not seen it, lived it, felt it. I hope you never have to.

tc, stranger.

Comduter
Comduter

@defil3r @Comduter @hippystank @Leykis Where did I say or even imply that I was jealous of him?  I wouldn't even want to make a living doing what he does.  How are we "the reason what's wrong with this world"?  What are you even talking about?  I shouldn't be quick to judge him personally though.  He seems like a nice guy.  Hopefully he puts his money to good use (philantropy, etc.)

joosh292
joosh292

@galagya @joosh292  You can still get a decent paying job through 4 year community college, and the tuition can even be completely loaned and paid off through 10 plus years.

defil3r
defil3r

@Comduter @defil3r You did not say it directly! But based from your post saying he's annoying coked up nutjob says something about what you are feeling. The reason i say people that can't be happy with one person making it and being "jealous" is one of many reason a lot of bad things happens in this world.

galagya
galagya

@joosh292 @galagya Ah yes, I agree, decent paying. But nowhere near 450k, at all. More like maybe 30k average.

But in my situation, it was a community college. How do you explain that? It happens to tons of people. It's the norm. People cannot balance staying alive without these WAY low income jobs(& man do I mean low, your 450k sounds like superstar cash to poor people like me, I'm serious), and they can barely handle their bills, let alone take on loans. & for those who do qualify(kinda off topic, but: sadly many shouldn't qualify, frankly... definitely take a look into that some time, for more related info(if you're interested) - about how people are roped into school loans and stuck in debt because of them), the time thing is still a major problem. For my classes, I could only get the loans if I took on a certain amount of credits to be fulfilled. I had to push my hours back at work to balance it just enough and before I knew it, I couldn't pay my bills. Mathematically, I had thought beforehand that it should have worked. However, I had extra problems from going to school that were unforeseen, and I never expected school to be so expensive apart from paying for classes and books. I had to cover things like gas for transportation(there is a carpool system but I live in a rural area, and so there was only one in place and I never did get accepted into any/form any, because people were simply too spread out for anything to be efficient most of the time), and choose studying over any extra hours at work(keep in mind that failing(as in, getting poor grades) is simply not an option in this situation - it only causes more debt and less chances for future self-improvement). As I said before, I ultimately had to choose one or the other. It really is just not as simple as people think it is, sadly. I am proof of that. I definitely do not make 450k a year. Luckily, I do live in my own place now, and pay my bills. I have two jobs currently, and am trying to figure out a way to both pay for serious medical work that needs to be done ASAP(for my current health, as in for me to continue working and, well, living properly), and to pay off the loan that was a part of the first try that didn't work. I am balancing it all best I can, but I am making extremely slow progression. It's a matter of surviving for the "99%" people, or whatever you wanna call them. The majority, the lower class. I am not saying any of this because I enjoy talking about myself, by the way! I feel a bit silly being this open to a stranger. I just think I may be a very good example of... er, I guess rather... in contrast to you. Again, no resentments. We are just very different, and we understand different sides of life. My "luxeries" are way different than yours, I am sure. My idea of over the top. My idea of school, jobs, making money, and how much people need to live on. I'm sure I have a ton of ideas that are different from yours, just because we both grew up in, and currently live in, different types of environments.

By the way, I tend to type as I think, you see. So I apologize in advance if my writing(typing, words, whatever) is a bit difficult to comprehend, even after rereading, haha. Even I have trouble when I do take the time to proofread.

Like I said before - no resentments, in any case, & I wish you the best of luck. Keep up the good work, & living the awesome life you live. Be grateful for every day! Oh, & happy holidays, if you happen to be celebrating anything.

akirababe
akirababe

@joosh292 @galagya  You don't get it lol you missed the point... The point he's making is he can't afford to live while he's in college.  Yes, there's student loans and whatnot, but there's no loan to live off substantially.  He had to work to afford to live while he was in college, but couldn't afford it unless he took the overtime hours periodically, which cost him classes and grades. My husband had the same problem.  He missed classes to go to work so he could pay for cost of living and got put on academic probation, at which point he basically threw his hands up and said "f*ck it" and just worked full-time for various dead-end jobs. He even tried getting into jobs that promised they'd take you further, but they never pan out. The only way you get a promotion in these places is when your own boss leaves.  I guess for someone who had a silver spoon in his mouth and who had parents pay his way it's hard to grasp... But there are those of us who are walled in and unable to break free of poverty level.  You have to have money to make money, basically.
Here's an article that might help you understand a little better; http://www.slate.com/articles/life/family/2014/12/linda_tirado_on_the_realities_of_living_in_bootstrap_america_daily_annoyances.html