The production company of Felix Kjellberg, the YouTube megastar known as PewDiePie, generated a pretax operating profit of about $8.1 million last year on revenue of $8.6 million, according to an annual report filed in Sweden.
Pewdie Productions AB reported an 11% increase in operating profit for 2015, versus 63 million Swedish kroner ($7.3 million) the year prior, with sales rising 16% compared with $7.4 million (63.7 million SEK) in 2014, as first reported by Swedish tech-news site Breakit.
PewDiePie, whose oeuvre centers on gameplay videos and comedy sketches, is the No. 1 most-subscribed YouTube creator with more than 46 million followers on the platform. But Kjellberg in past interviews has complained about the economics YouTubers are subject to, noting that YouTube takes a 45% share of ad revenue and multichannel network partners take a 50% split of the remaining pie. Kjellberg is affiliated with Disney’s Maker Studios.
Meanwhile, PewDiePie has leveraged his large online fanbase to raise more than $1 million for various charities, including Charity: Water and Save the Children, over the last several years. Earlier this year, he announced plans to launch Revelmode in partnership with Maker Studios, an entertainment network featuring original scripted series starring gaming personalities, as well as games and merchandise. Part of Revelmode’s charter is philanthropic, to encourage fans to donate funds to various social causes.
Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission identified PewDiePie as one of the social influencers Warner Bros. paid to promote a video game in 2014, with the agency alleging the studio didn’t properly disclose the arrangements. In a video response, PewDiePie insisted he did nothing wrong, noting that the video in question disclosed the sponsorship in the description section (while the FTC said such disclosures were not sufficient notice to consumers).
In addition to maintaining his YouTube channel, Kjellberg starred in original reality-spoof series “Scare PewDiePie” on the YouTube Red subscription service, produced by Maker and Skybound Entertainment.