PewDiePie – Comic or Joke?


When the Wall Street Journal does an Article on you – Have you made it to the big leagues?

PewDiePie is a ‘YouTuber’ and has the number one subscribed channel on YouTube. Boasting over 27 million subscribers its reported that he makes over 4 million a year off of the youtube ad revenues. The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday detailing his business. So which gives him more credibility? The nod from the WSJ or the 27 million followers?

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg otherwise known as PewDiePie started his Youtube Channel specializing in ‘Let’s Play’ videos.  These videos are interesting to people who play video games as an alternative to official reviews.  The video’s record the player and the game screen as they play through various parts of the game.  Viewers get a new perspective of the game and in the case of PewDiePie a hefty dose of commentary.  One of the most frequent things you will hear in my house is ‘OMG what was that <crazy laughter here>’ followed by ‘Turn that down or put in your headphones!’  I often walk into a room where my son is watching videos and do a <very poor> imitation of the really annoying laugh of PewDiePie.  But, still my son loves to watch the videos, and apparently so does 27 million other people.

I would have never thought that ‘Lets Play’ Videos would be a legitimate business model, but it seems to have done pretty well for PewDiePie, and other ‘You Tubers’.  The Wall Street Journal reported that PewDiePie made over 4 million last year.  This would have all come from ad revenue from Youtube.  The way that works is this:  Google sells ads to marketers and as people view the videos the YouTuber gets a piece of the ad sale.  If a viewer clicks on the ad – then Google charges more to the advertiser and the Youtuber gets a percentage of that.  As I write this, PewdiePie posted a video 1 day ago that already has over 1.6 million views.  You can do the math.

I can still wonder though what the appeal is for watching a video of someone playing a game and screaming at it as they encounter things.  I have always enjoyed playing the games myself – watching someone play it takes away some of the enjoyment for me.  But then again, I am not a 12 year old boy.  When the boys gather at my house, they are often talking about this video or that video or conversely huddled around a computer watching one of the videos.  They say he is funny – but to me Funny is John Oliver, Dennis Miller, Big Bang Theory – not someone yelling at their computer screen (and consequently into mine).  So is he a Comic or a Joke?    I am guessing he doesn’t care – isn’t it every man’s dream to sit around playing video games all day, goofing off and doing crazy stunts – and consequently never having to grow up?  This is exactly what PewDiePie is doing – and more power to him for it.  However, as the mom of a PewDiePie fan, I get to convince my son that not everyone gets to live this dream – he needs to go find one of his own.

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