Video platform goliath Youtube has created its fair share of new media superstars over the years. How wealthy is the man regarded as being the poster child for success on the platform?
Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, is not a billionaire. The exact figure of his wealth is unknown, but estimates put his net worth in the region of $20 to $50 million, making him one of Youtube’s wealthiest content creators.
Despite still being far out of reach of ever calling himself a billionaire, PewDiePie is one of the wealthiest of all the independent homegrown stars on the platform. This is thanks to his position as one of the perennially popular figures on the site.
The King of YouTube
If you’re unfamiliar with the figurative ‘king’ of Youtube and are wondering how he is so wealthy, it’s all to do with his unique brand of charisma and comedy, traits that have helped him reach the top. Even more importantly, traits that have helped him stay there.
It’s the staying power that has allowed the Swedish born Youtuber to accumulate his vast wealth. Whilst he has had peers on the platform that have been able to draw similar viewing figures, there are almost none who have been able to do it for the same length of time and with the same level of consistency.
Starting From the Bottom
Not the product of becoming an overnight sensation or being propped up artificially by sponsors and networks, PewDiePie’s popularity and wealth was built slowly and steadily. A decade long career, nurtured from humble beginnings as a fledgling channel making commentaries over video games.
Although he still goes back to his gaming roots fairly regularly, much of PewDiePie’s content is mainly driven by his personality and sense of humor. It was this sense of humor that amassed him his following in the first place, attracting fans that have stuck with him through the years, growing and maturing as he did.
Youtube as a Revenue Source
The early days of Youtube would see money being made through the accumulation of views and the resulting ad revenue. This business model has been a rollercoaster throughout the years, with the earnings seeing various unexpected dips, with lows so severe that they have been dubbed an ‘adpocalypse’.
With copyright claims abound and companies refusing to have their brands associated with inappropriate content, the methodology of old that earned people like PewDiePie their initial core audience of fans became obsolete. This opened up a variety of different ways to monetize popularity, from crowdfunding all the way to brand deals and sponsorships.
Adaptability seems to be the key here, the ability to change trajectory if the trend or style of video that is hot at that moment suddenly dies out or loses viability. This really stresses the importance of the idea of alternative revenue streams, something that becomes very clear when examining some of the other biggest movers and shakers on the platform.
Youtube’s Other Biggest Earners
Alongside PewDiePie, there is a score of other creators that have managed to strike gold on the platform. Although not necessarily ‘new blood’, none of the other creators rubbing shoulders with PewDiePie on the top of the earnings list have been in the game as long as he has.
The channel “Ryan’s World” comes immediately to mind when thinking of other top earners that could compete with PewDiePie, if not exceed him, for total money earned. This channel was launched as a review channel for children’s toys, hosted by the eponymous Ryan Kaji.
Kaji was well suited to appeal to the enormous potential of the children’s demographic of Youtube, seeing as he was a child himself, and the kind of content that he was creating was so family-friendly. The subject matter and the style managed to net him multiple deals with brands operating in the same space.
The often controversial Jeffree Star is another big name, producing content equally as dissimilar to the aforementioned two Youtuber’s as humanly imaginable. Star earned his Youtube fame as a beauty guru, successfully using his following to drive sales for his own line of cosmetics and beauty products.
There are many others who carve alternative paths to equal levels of success, proving if nothing else that the formula for success hasn’t been defined by PewDiePie or any of its other, successful creators.