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PewDiePie's Most Impressive Records

Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg is undoubtedly one of the most famous — and highest-paid — YouTubers and internet personalities. Almost any 12-year-old knows everything about him. He's accumulated over 104 million subscribers. He's helped draw attention to games like MinecraftGoat SimulatorFlappy Bird, and Slender. There's a reason whatever he plays is blessed with something called "the PewDiePie effect" – games lucky enough to catch his eye get a whole lot of attention from his fans.

With that kind of immense popularity, you wouldn't be wrong in thinking PewDiePie has posted some eye-popping figures, both in terms of his audience on YouTube as well as the money he's made. PewDiePie has been something of a trailblazer, after all. If any YouTuber going to set records, make headlines, and cause a little controversy along the way, it's probably going to be Pewds.

Below, we've compiled some of the most impressive milestones PewDiePie has reached during his career. The way things are going, many more are likely to come.

PewDiePie set a record for the most YouTube subscribers

It's no secret that PewDiePie is one of the most popular YouTube creators of all times. But as Tubefilter reports, he managed to beat a Guinness World Record in 2015 for being the YouTuber with most subscribers. That year, Kjellberg got 36 million subscribers. According to the stats, he gained one subscriber every 3.6 seconds, reaching a total of 23,800 new subscribers per day.

These numbers are definitely impressive. But in the following years, someone managed to perform even better than PewDiePie. As stated on Guinness World Records' official website, the Indian music channel T-Series beat PewDiePie's record on May 30, 2019, reaching over 100 million subscribers.

The competition between Kjellberg and T-Series for the Guinness title in 2019 was pretty fierce. Business Insider wrote that the controversial YouTuber published two diss tracks about T-Series and faced massive backlash as a result. According to Rogue Rocket, the Indian music channel filed a court order against PewDiePie. India then banned the two tracks from appearing on the country's version of YouTube because of defamatory language.

PewDiePie was the first individual YouTuber to hit 100 million subscribers

As The Verge reports, Kjellberg set a very impressive record late in the evening on Aug. 24, 2019. Fans were waiting for the big moment for hours and captured it using Social Blade, a web app that allows monitoring the stats of many popular creators. The following day, YouTube's official Twitter channel celebrated PewDiePie's record with a video about his previous milestones.

What was that record, you ask? PewDiePie was the first individual creator to reach 100 million subscribers. To commemorate the achievement, YouTube sent PewDiePie a Red Diamond Creator Award, which the YouTuber showed off in a vlog.

The milestone happened at a time when PewDiePie was going through several changes in his personal and professional life. He had just married Marzia Bisognin, and had resumed publishing gaming videos on his channel. The intersection of all these events led many fans to assume that PewDiePie was preparing to quit YouTube. So far, that hasn't proven to be the case.

In 2019, PewDiePie's YouTube channel had over 4 billion views

PewDiePie took home quite the prize in late 2019, becoming the most-watched YouTuber of the year after pulling in over 4 billion views. YouTube announced PewDiePie's record in its "Rewind" compilation, which mashed up the year's most important YouTube moments and featured a clip of Kjellberg showing his award to his fans.

As The Verge's Julia Alexander noted, PewDiePie had been absent from YouTube's Rewind videos in 2017 and 2018. According to Alexander, the controversial creator's inclusion in the 2019 Rewind represented "a key moment for YouTube." The company wanted to "accurately depict popular moments while attempting to step back from endorsing certain content." Long story short, YouTube wanted to give PewDiePie props while trying to keep its distance from the star.

BuzzFeed News added that Kjellberg was at the center of controversy in 2019 because of the "Subscribe to PewDiePie" meme. He originally started the meme with the purpose of beating T-Series in the run for the Guinness record, but things got rapidly out of hand when fans used it to vandalize a World War II memorial. To make things worse, a killer said "Subscribe to PewDiePie" during a mass shooting in New Zealand.

PewDiePie earned over $6.8 million from selling merch

You might believe PewDiePie makes a ton of money from his YouTube videos alone. The truth is, YouTube is just a part of the equation. According to PRWeek, a study by marketing firm Purple Moon found that, in 2019, PewDiePie earned over $6.8 million in merchandise sales. That is a lot of money.

PewDiePie sells his merch through Represent.com, PewDiepie.store, and other online shops. He's launched several clothing lines, which include hoodies, T-shirts, outerwear, hats, and baseball caps. One of the clothing lines is Gaming Week 2.0 Quarantine Edition, which features black garments with red accents. Kjellberg also designed an action figure for himself to celebrate his first 100 million followers.

Business must be good, because PewDiePie is outpacing some other notable names as far as merch is concerned. The study found that YouTube channel Dude Perfect was second with $2.9 million in sales. Popular YouTuber VanossGaming came in third with an average of $2 million per year in merchandise revenue. Way to sell those shirts, everyone.

PewDiePie raked in over $1.1 million from advertising

As YouTube support states, advertising revenue for YouTubers fluctuate over time due to several factors, like the viewer's location and the time of the year. For example, an advertiser may bid higher during the holiday season or pay more for viewers in the US. With that said, data on the topic is more an estimation than anything exact. PewDiePie is still leading the charge, though, with some far off competition trailing behind.

Using the YouTube Money Calculator — and some average pay rates based on the industry — researchers at Purple Moon estimated PewDiePie made over $1 million in advertising revenue in 2019. That's a healthy amount of cash, and a whole lot more than the two channels who came in second and third place.

Number two on the list was Dude Perfect, who earned over $490,000. The third was VanossGaming, who earned over $370,000. This means that PewDiePie earned more than twice the ad revenue of other top-performing YouTubers, though based on his subscriber count — he has over 104 million followers — that shouldn't come as the world's biggest surprise.

In 2018, PewDiePie was the seventh-highest-paid YouTube star

In December 2019, Forbes compiled a list of the top earning YouTubers from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2019. Kjellberg came in at the seventh position, which tied him with gaming YouTuber Mark "Markiplier" Fischbach. Both content creators reached a total revenue of $13 million during the year.

Vlogger Gear estimated how much the popular influencer earns per video, per month, and per year. The numbers are impressive, as PewDiePie allegedly earns $21,000 per video, $940,000 per month, and $11.28 million per year. The publication also estimated that his total net worth is $30-50 million. These numbers are based upon the estimate that Kjellberg earns $7.50 every 1,000 views. They don't include sponsorships, however; just ad revenue from YouTube.

Speaking of sponsorships, Forbes said that a sponsored video on PewDiePie's channel can cost up to $450,000. The influencer may have lost out on a lot of money when he was dropped by Disney, but he got back on track by inking a few deals with some well-paying sponsors. Take that, Mickey.

One of PewDiePie's videos got 4.5 million dislikes

On Christmas Eve in 2016, PewDiePie published a vlog titled "Can this video get 1 million dislikes?" In the video, the YouTube celebrity pretended to receive a call from Google in which the internet giant revealed the key to success on the platform: more dislikes. What followed was a hilarious sequence in which the YouTuber wandered around the city on a ride-on plush octopus screaming "1 million dislikes!"

After this crazy moment, Kjellberg explained that likes aren't a key metric to achieve success on YouTube. What does matter, instead, are views and getting the fans to watch more videos from the channel. That video has 4.5 million dislikes at the time of this writing, so PewDiePie definitely achieved his goal.

Digital Trends compiled a list of the most disliked videos on YouTube, and PewDiePie's stunt reached the fourth position. Jake Paul's "It's Everyday Bro" music video sat at number three with 4.4 million dislikes. Justin Bieber's "Baby" took the second position with 10 million dislikes. YouTube's 2018 Rewind video — which got 16 million dislikes — had people clicking "thumbs down" the most.

The most-liked non-music YouTube video in 2019 was a vlog from PewDiePie

YouTube's Rewind video for 2018 wasn't just a poor performer — it was a complete disaster. It was reportedly the most disliked video of the year, leading outlets like eTeknix to slam it for feeling "too much like corporate shilling."

PewDiePie, who's never afraid of a little YouTube controversy, decided to take matters into his own hands. The creator parodied YouTube's 2018 Rewind video with a vlog titled "YouTube Rewind 2018, but it's actually good." According to eTeknix, this vlog was the most liked non-music video on the platform, with over 7 million likes and a like percentage of 99.09%.

Do you know how hard it is to get almost everyone to agree on something? It's really, really hard.

"YouTube Rewind 2018, but it's actually good" featured the best memes of the year and some of the most popular content creators, including Ninja, Alinity, and Markiplier. All the included clips were accompanied by PewDiePie's diss track, "B*tch Lasagna." The PewDiePie version of Rewind may not have been the squeaky clean showcase YouTube put forward, but it's hard to argue with the results. People definitely preferred PewDiePie's take over YouTube's to a shocking degree.

PewDiePie's book was a bestseller

Online video isn't the only domain PewDiePie seems to have conquered. Did you know he's also dipped a toe into printed media?

The website Independent reported that Kjellberg struck a deal with the publishing company Penguin Books in 2015, releasing a graphic novel titled This Book Loves You. The book is a collection of witty aphorisms and jokes from the YouTube star, accompanied by beautiful graphics. According to PewDiePie, the book offered him a chance to do something a little different.

"This book is a great chance for me to reach my audience in a new way," PewDiePie said. "The original idea actually came from my fans via Twitter, so I really think they are going to love it."

Not surprisingly, The New York Times listed This Book Loves You as the top seller in the young adult category.

Many fellow YouTubers talked about PewDiePie's book in their vlogs. In addition, beauty influencer Shane Dawson featured This Book Loves You in a video titled "Making Fun of YouTuber Books." He found it confusing, to say the least.

Gen Z is more likely to recognize PewDiePie than Elon Musk

Are you familiar with Steph Curry, the professional basketball player? What about Elon Musk, the co-founder of Tesla and founder of SpaceX? These are very famous people who have legions of fans and are followed constantly by the press. Both, it may surprise you to learn, aren't as well-known as PewDiePie to a certain demographic in the world.

Business Insider analyzed a survey from the market research company Morning Consult, and found out that, among those in Gen Z, PewDiePie had better name recognition than both Curry and Musk. The YouTuber also had the same amount of name recognition as another basketball star, LeBron James. The same amount. Wow.

Ninety-five percent of the Gen Z men interviewed recognized PewDiePie, and the same percentage recognized James. However, the YouTuber got a better favorability rating than the NBA player. Sixty-two percent of Gen Z males had a favorable view of PewDiePie, while only fifty-five percent reported a favorable view of James.

Think about that for a moment. PewDiePie, who's had his fair share of controversy, is viewed in a more positive light by this demographic than a popular pro basketball player who's never had a major scandal. Whatever PewDiePie's doing, it seems to be working — at least for a small number of people.

PewDiePie is capable of gaining subscribers even when he's on hiatus

In December 2019, PewDiePie announced in a video that he was planning on taking a break from the platform in early 2020.

"I wanted to say it in advance because I made up my mind," he said. "I'm feeling very tired."

For a full-time YouTuber, taking a break or a holiday is not as easy as you might think. "Creators are encouraged to pursue a quantity-over-quality approach if they want to achieve success on YouTube," PhD researcher Zoe Glatt told The Guardian. This means that consistency is one of the key factors that influence a content creator's revenue.

Nevertheless, PewDiePie's channel actually gained subscribers during his 30-day break. Express UK analyzed the YouTuber's stats with the Social Blade tool and found out he added 1 million new subscribers during his absence. On Jan. 15, when PewDiePie started his break, he had 102 million subscribers. On Feb. 7, when Express UK published the article, he had 103 million subscribers.

Maybe you'll want to credit the increase to the news coverage of his break. Maybe momentum ensured he'd keep gaining subscribers regardless. It's still a remarkable feat to record a gain without adding new content. If anyone could do it, though, it's PewDiePie.