PewDiePie Will Delete His YouTube Channel Today
[Update] PewDiePie has deleted a secondary channel to fulfil his promise.
[Update] True to his word, PewDiePie has deleted his channel, except it isn't his main channel. Instead he has deleted a secondary channel called Jack Septiceye2, which had considerably fewer subscribers and videos.
[Original story] Felix 'PewDiePie' Kjellberg has vowed to delete his YouTube channel at 5 PM UK time on December 9.
Kjellberg previously published a video lamenting problems with the way YouTube surfaces content. Recent changes to the platform have led to the "Recommended" feed being given more prominence than a user's subscription feed, which has been relegated to a sidebar option.
Many well-known YouTubers such as h3h3 Productions have discussed how this has resulted in a drop in activity and viewership since users aren't able to immediately tell when the channels they are subscribed to have published content. In some other cases people have also been unsubscribed from content creators inexplicably.
He also noted the shift away from personalities in favour of trending videos, which often feature clickbait titles or thumbnails and diminish the value of personality-led content. These supposedly viral videos have been given more exposure on the front page of YouTube and in areas where videos are suggested.
"It feels like a kick in the face when they make changes and don't tell anyone about it," Kjellber said. "Because this site means so much to YouTubers like me and everyone else ... It's something that we worked really hard on and I don't think they understand.
"And like I said, this is not just affecting me, it's affecting other YouTubers and creators that you care about. YouTube is trying to kill my channel. It's clear if you watch my analytics, it's all going down there and I think my videos are better. I think they're really funny and it seems that you guys enjoy them as well so it's a shame that it's going in this direction."
Kjellberg's solution is to start from scratch: "The only way to stop my channel from dying is, I know you're going to think I'm joking right now, but I'm going to delete my channel. I swear to you, at 50 million subs, a huge landmark coming up, a huge deal, never been done before, no-one's even close, I am deleting my channel.
"I will delete my channel once PewDiePie hits 50 million. I think it's gonna be pretty fun, I'm excited to delete my channel and start fresh with a new shitty channel probably. I won't quit YouTube, I'll just delete the channel."
Understandably, the response to Kjellberg's decision has been a mixture of skepticism and disbelief, given that he has spent six years building the audience is the most well known YouTuber in the world. However, there may be method to the madness as, by starting a brand new channel, he would essentially cull the dormant and inactive subscribers. In turn, this would mean his new followership would only be people actively engaging with his content, which improves the visibility of his videos on YouTube.
will delete tomorrow 5pm gmt— pewdiepie (@pewdiepie) December 8, 2016
PewDiePie hit 50 million subscribers on December 8 and, posting on Twitter, he confirmed the account will be deleted, as promised.