Last year, Felix Kjellberg made a report $7m+. How does he manage it and does he deserve it?
Perhaps unsurprisingly the media at large have condemned PewDePie for making such a crazy amount of last year. How can a guy scream at a computer and have money pour in?
His subscribers and the YouTube community at large came to his defense. As the planet's largest channel it shouldn't be a shock that he has earned so much through ad revenue, sponsorship and countless other media investments. He is, based purely on numbers, the biggest channel on YouTube. Bigger than anyone or anything out there and has more each than some UK TV channels. People don't make this comment about Hollywood film stars - Robert Downey Jr made approximately $75m in the 12 months from June 13 to June 14. Did he deserve it? Maybe we should even be asking whether he worked as hard as Felix to make his cash.
People in my experience have one of three issues with the millions made by Felix:
1. They don't understand how he makes his money.
There's a few avenues here. He makes money off off advertising played before his videos on YouTube. He gets millions of views on each of his videos and uploads daily. Making some assumptions, let's just say he gets 1p per ad served (which isn't unrealistic) and one in ever 5 views gets charged with an advert. Average that out across the year and that generates £730,000 - and that's a very reserved estimate as some of his videos easily make more than 5m views.
He can also enters in brand partnerships with games or sponsors who can pay him a fee (just like any celebrity endorses a product). Some people are not too happy about this but it's the nature of the beast, deal with it. I understand if someone talks about something and doesn't acknowledge the official sponsorship but that's something else entirely.
2. They generally just think he is stupid/not funny.
Well done. An comedian on YouTube is portrayed as an idiot by people who do not enjoy his content. Sounds a bit like any entertainer, no? People have differences of opinions on what's funny all the time. Pewds' style is quite subversive and weird. If you don't get it, you really don't get it, but he is playing to an audience who feedback what they do and do not enjoy. You can see in multiple videos (even below) that he is clearly intelligent and knows the business he is in. You didn't coincidentally become the biggest on the planet.
3. They are jealous because he is doing something he enjoys.
Good on him. I mean, what a bastard, but good on him for actually making it work.
I think the issue comes from people simply not being able to comprehend that it's even possible to "make money from videogames" in this way. This thought process has been had before with multiple applications. Is X worth that much money? Should they be paid that much? Some people agree and others think it is grossly unfair.
Due to this information coming out, all kinds of stories about YouTuber's working on promotions and passing it off as their own views has caused a bit of a problem. There are multiple accounts of "people" saying that YouTubers (including PewDiePie) don't play games for free. PewDiePie has come out directly and said he only plays what he enjoys - that's not to say there is no money involved, it just means he is being honest and his judgement isn't being clouded by cash.
I know a small studio who developed a game which PewDiePie played on his channel. There is no way they would be able to afford the costs for someone so famous, It was played because he enjoyed it and because he fancied having a go. That's it.
It's his job. He just happens to be very good at it. The best in the world in fact.
If someone starts being better and earns less, I'll come back to a conversation about fairness. If you need any more convincing check out this video by the man himself. It kind of sums up why he is popular.