PewDiePie ‘Would Love to Be Number Two’ on YouTube
You’ve probably heard of Felix Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie, purely due to mathematical reasoning. The guy has over 31.3 million subscribers on YouTube, making him the top creator in terms of subscribers on YouTube, with numbers two and three needing approximately 10 million to catch up. However, as Kjellberg told Rhett & Link this week on “Ear Biscuits,” he’d much prefer ranking as number two.
Kjellberg began his rise to the top, one could say, back in July 2012, when he reached 1 million subscribers (having been on YouTube since 2010). This manifested as a more than fleeting growth when, two months later, Kjellberg’s subscriber base doubled. However, Kjellberg’s channel didn’t stop growing there. Later, in a matter of just one year, he went from having 3.5 million subscribers to 19 million.
It was at about 2 million, though, that Kjellberg started to note the magnitude of his fan base. “After a while I realized I can make a video saying, ‘Okay, guys, I’m going on vacation now, I won’t be making videos for a week,’ and there will still be people complaining there’s no videos there,” Kjellberg explained. In other words, he felt like no matter what, “I can’t reach all of my audience.”
Also, while Kjellberg noted that “it’s a big responsibility, having so many people watching you” he also admitted that seeing numbers online don’t necessarily give you the best impression of their real-life correspondence, especially when he’s not necessarily “going out in the streets and getting mobbed.”
Still, being number one on YouTube puts him undeniably in the spotlight…hence his recent decision to turn off the comments on his channel becoming a big news item. “That made me feel like, okay, why do so many people care that I turned off the comments?” Kjellberg asked. “To me, it’s not even that big of a deal, but apparently now that I’m in the spotlight, people pay attention to what I do in a way that I never imagined. I don’t want people to care in that way.”
So why did Kjellberg turn off the comments? As we know, commenting on YouTube is extremely easy — anyone can do it, and Kjellberg had a lot of “anyones” posting drivel beneath his videos (i.e., “haha,” “ok,” “cool”). “By turning off the comments and making people have to reach out to me in a different way, it cuts out that fat,” he explained. “All of a sudden, I got comments from people that took the extra effort to write something thoughtful and meaningful.”
Kjellberg did admit that the decision to say goodbye to comments wasn’t an easy one, but he also didn’t mean for it to be any kind of major statement, which it seemed to become once the media got ahold of it. His ultimate decision simply had to do with how Kjellberg wants to interact with his fans, and having a connection with these fans remains a top priority for the YouTuber.
As for the “power” Kjellberg has gained due to his mass following on the video platform, he prefers to refer to it in quotation marks, making light of his position. However, he has decided, “Why not use that ‘power’ for something good?” Thus, he’s promoted charities such as Save the Children and Charity: Water, rallying his bros around some good causes.
Overall, Kjellberg never got on YouTube seeking the level of attention he’s garnered. “I would love to be number two,” he told Rhett & Link on this week’s “Ear Biscuits.” By the looks of the numbers, it doesn’t seem like this is going to happen for him anytime soon.Tags: charity: water, Ear Biscuits, Felix Kjellberg, PewDiePie, Rhett & Link, save the children, youtube, YouTube Creators