PewDiePie: No. 1 in #Famechangers Digital Star Ranking

Pewdiepie Famechangers Youtube Star
Jeff Minton for Variety

Variety ranked the top 12 stars in the digital world as part of its #Famechangers issue. For more of the rankings, click here.

Every time Felix Kjellberg sinks into his leather swivel chair and puts on headphones to play videogames, he’s joined by friends. Tens of millions of them.

The 25-year-old Swede is known to the YouTube world as PewDiePie, a handsome, high-energy gamer who uploads Let’s Play videos that show him playing as he offers raucous, expletive-filled commentary. The genre has nearly 500 million viewers worldwide, according to research firm SuperData.

Jeff Minton for Variety

 
“YouTube breaks the barrier between the audience and the creator,” Kjellberg explains, in assessing the reason why he’s so popular. “They feel a connection to the one they’re watching. It’s almost like you’re hanging out.”

Indeed, on-camera, PewDiePie acts like he’s spending time with a friend. He begins each video introducing himself in a high-pitched, goofy voice, drawing out the vowels of his YouTube moniker, then delves into the videos, everything from reviewing the popular smartphone game “Flappy Bird” to testing out “Minecraft” to playing “Cards Against Humanity” with his dogs.

Kjellberg may act like the silly friend next door, but his reach is global; he gets recognized halfway around the world. “I remember the first time it really shocked me was in Singapore, where there were hundreds of people waiting in the lobby because I had tweeted a picture of me being at the hotel,” Kjellberg says. “It really caught me off guard.”

He still knows how to cause a stir. In December, he had a voice cameo as himself in an episode of “South Park” (“#Rehash”) that satirized the popularity of Let’s Play videos. And when it was revealed earlier this month that he made $7.4 million in 2014, the ensuing uproar prompted him to upload a video defending himself.

Jeff Minton for Variety

 
Any way you look at it, that’s not a bad payday for someone who dropped out of college five years ago, and sold hot dogs to try to earn enough money to buy a computer. Not losing sight of where he began, he tries to help aspiring YouTubers, giving shout-outs in his videos to bump their traffic.

And PewDiePie’s influence is expanding beyond YouTube. His volume “This Book Loves You,” will be released Oct. 20. The work features comical advice, such as, “Don’t be yourself. Be a pizza. Everyone loves pizza.”

For PewDiePie, it’s all about creating amusing content. “My purpose is to entertain,” Kjellberg says. “I go all out in the time that I have.”

PewDiePie by the numbers

(Click here for large preview.)


*Data provided by Tubular Labs

Top videos:

Most watched:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRyPjRrjS34

Total views: 67.4 million

Most commented:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXzpw0J5ZgI

Total comments: 327k

Most recent:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejTbigS7C2U

Total views: 1.9 million

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  1. Hazza says:

    PewDiePie is the best in the WORLD!!!!!! how Dare you but a X mark on him!!!

  2. Nyarpoi~ says:

    Same as Little Bunny I’m Here cuz of Game Theory, odd how the cover is diff only on pewds

  3. Little Bunny says:

    From what I heard from a YouTube channel called Game Theory, they are treating Pewdiepie like a piece of trash.

  4. Could kindly explain why is there an “X” on pewdiepie, and why does he have a small “#1” glove?

  5. Zack Richtenstein says:

    Could kindly explain why is there an “X” on pewdiepie, and why does he have a small “#1” glove?

  6. PewDiePie is my absolute favorite persons in the world, he is not for everyone though, I mean he swears, and makes sexual jokes, but I don’t care, I just look at the games he plays and the reactions he makes! I absolutely LOVE him!! he is pewdipie insperation!🇸🇪❤️❤️

  7. VampKisses says:

    In response to this magazines choice of coverage for this topic I believe that there are other Youtubers out there that do more for their fan’s than themselves . I believe we should be talking about them and what they have done for the people who have supported their channels . Pewdiepie is a self centered brat and doesn’t do anything for his fan base . To me he’s not someone that should be looked up to.

    • Nothing says:

      Well, he did make lots of charity, like bringing pure water to amounts of people who needed, with the help of his fan base, what really, you want he to do? (sorry about the bad english :V)

      • Do some research to save yourself from sounding ignorant. Felix has raised over well over one million dollars for charities and donated over $200k of his own money. Show me your unselfish youtuber who has done that.

  8. Susy says:

    He brings something for everyone. I mean if you’re not a male/gamer then you can watch him cause he’s beautiful and funny.

  9. Andrea says:

    At this point, it’s weird to find someone who doesn’t know him, of course if we don’t count babies.

  10. Barrels says:

    Wow pewds you hae a prettry strong neck in order to hold so many medals :D

  11. Don't know georaphy. :D says:

    “The genre has nearly 500 million viewers worldwide” How is this possible there are only 10 millison people on the earth.

    • Anonymous says:

      The world you live in is very small… There are 7.15 Billion people in the world, If you need proof you can google it like I did.

  12. Ogitu says:

    he not think about the money, he is thinking how to become fabulous :v

  13. Ogitu says:

    from no one to some one.. goo pewdiepie,, we love’s you

  14. Vanaan says:

    Honestly, i don’t think he deserves some of the fame he gets because it feels like all of his reactions are overdone anymore for the popularity and Iv’e never seen any of the money he gets go to helping charity lately.

  15. Brozipang says:

    Isn’t this the same “variety” that basically called him a bilthering idiot a while ago?

  16. Bree says:

    I’ve been watching Pewds for 3 years already, and I NEVER get tired of him. Such a great guy. He always makes me feel like I’m in a room with a friend playing games, which is awesome. I am so happy for everything he’s accomplishing in his life, and glad to be a part of it.

  17. brofist says:

    Download the official PewDiePie app in the App Store and Google Play Store! They’re awesome!

  18. Sophia Hoenig says:

    I FRICKING LOVE FELIX!!!! HE MAKES ALL OF HIS FANS LAUGH AND HE TAKES HIS TIME AND ACTUALLY WANTS TO COMMUNICATE AND CONNECT WITH HIS BROS…. HE MAKES US (ME) FEEL SPECIAL!!! WHAT I LOVE ABOUT HIM THE MOST IS THAT HE ISN’T STUCK UP, SPOILED AND SELFISH LIKE MOST CELEBRITIES OUT THERE! HE DONATES TO CHARITY AND HELPED MILLION OF PEOPLE IM SO PROUD OF HIM! HE DESERVES RESPECT AND LOVE! I LOVE YOU PEWDIEPIE!
    Sincerely
    One of Pewdiepie’s biggest fans (bros)

  19. anonymous says:

    I dont understand why his videos are so popular.

  20. Pewdsbro says:

    You go Pewds! :D I am so proud of you and what you have accomplished. You’ll always be the most fabulous person to me. :D Love you! *brofist*

  21. winwinwebdesign says:

    This is amazing! But the demographics suck – why do they show views by month instead of years?

  22. Sara says:

    Congratulations pewds!! so happy for you!

  23. Pewds is my Senpai says:

    I love Pewds, he’s the best in the world <3

  24. Sarah Weck says:

    Pewdiepie IS AWESOME!

  25. Lana says:

    Congrats Felix! See how far did you go :D We love you an we’ll always be with you! Stay awesome! FOREVER BRO!

  26. Johanna says:

    An excellent article – well-written, focused, clever.

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