By Jack Peng & Aiden Neely Staff Writer
Felix Kjellberg, known as Pewdiepie on the internet, has been the number one most subscribed channel on Youtube, a platform made for independent creators, since 2013. As of January 31st, he has 83,275,336 subscribers, which he has gained through producing funny gaming videos. T-series, an Indian music channel, has been slowly creeping up on Pewdiepie’s spot. With 83,108,745 subscribers (as of January 31st) and a whole country behind them, this big corporation may be the face of Youtube very soon. Both Youtubers have been the topic of many news media sites.
Pewdiepie has been through many controversies. Kjellberg has been the topic of Vox Media numerous times, who have ridiculed Kjellberg of his mistakes. Vox Media has claimed that he is a Nazi, promoted anti-semitic channels, and has said the n-word. Despite some of these incidents being misconceptions, Kjellberg has made videos sincerely apologizing to those he had offended. However, he has raised more than $200,000 for Cry India, a charity for India’s impoverished youth. Pewdiepie’s fans have constantly advertised subscribing to Kjellberg. One Youtuber, Justin Roberts, has bought a billboard in Times Square to promote Pewdiepie. Another Youtuber, Jimmy Donaldson, known as MrBeast, has donated $100,000 to Kjellberg. Furthermore, Pewdiepie has ridiculed Youtube on their algorithm countless times, listing problems such as monetization and the trending page.
Youtubers rely on their platform to make money through advertisements placed on their videos. However, the downside is that Youtube can select who they think is advertiser-friendly. They ultimately control who makes money on Youtube and who doesn’t. Youtube has also designed an algorithm to sort through content to ensure videos are advertiser-friendly and choose which content to promote. Many viewers say that Pewdiepie has been discriminated against by Youtube. Despite him being the king of Youtube, Kjellberg often gets demonetized and he’s hardly ever on the trending page on Youtube. He was also excluded from “Youtube Rewind 2018”, that goes over the biggest trends and creators from 2018.
Regardless of whether or not Pewdiepie is about to be surpassed by T-Series, he had a long-lasting effect on Youtube’s platform and inspired many trends. He’s held his position as the most subscribed Youtuber for 6 years, and that may soon change. Youtube has become more of a corporate system with the general culture of the platform changing and old favorites being left behind. Hopefully, this culture will change to allow more independent, less mainstream Youtubers to be promoted.