If you haven’t been living under a rock on the surface of Mars, then you’ve probably heard of YouTube creator PewDiePie. With over 10 million subscribers and more than a 187 million views, the 23-year-old gamer is the biggest thing to come out of Sweden since IKEA, ABBA and Dalecarlian horses.
With any success story on YouTube, that “X factor” that takes a creator from marginal popularity to Psy-level stardom can’t be synthesized down to one element. In most cases, it is a mix of good content, consistency and — looking through YouTube’s top 100 subbed channels — being easy on the eyes doesn’t hurt either. PewDiePie (born Felix Kjellberg), depending on who you are asking, has a check in all three of those channel-escalating boxes, which in part is the reason why he has rapidly scaled the YouTube charts to sit at the No. 2 spot just below Smosh.
There are thousands of channels on YouTube that share similarities with PewDiePie’s, however; what makes his so different? Kick back and grab a lingon berry soda because we’re about to take a look into how PewDiePie is killing it in every possible way.
PewDiePie is Preternaturally Relevant
There was a video game released on June 25, 2013 based on the Marvel Comics character Deadpool, and while critics didn’t love it, the gaming community did. Wading through the pools of Reddit’s /r/gaming, it is easy to see that the game’s crassness and pop reference-heavy style is beloved by the gaming community at large.
Here is where PewDiePie comes into play: By releasing gameplay videos of the Deadpool title, which received “meh” reviews from critics but rave reviews from fans, PewDiePie is solidifying his status as a regular guy just like you or me; this is a creator not driven by good reviews or corporate obligations. It’s hard not to like a YouTuber who shares the same interests as you and legitimately isn’t just playing something because it is the flavor of the month.
PewDiePie is Focused
There is a debate among the YouTube community as to whether or not a creator should attempt to branch out beyond their main channel. And up until recently, the allure of multiple revenue streams from multiple channels has won out. PewDiePie on the other hand has kept things simple. He doesn’t have multiple outlets and all of his content is hosted on one channel.
Focusing your content on one channel allows creators to keep audiences’ attention in one place. If, as a viewer, you are being directed from channel to channel, site to site, there is a good chance you may be distracted by something shinier, like space cats.
PewDiePie is International
There is a vlog that PewDiePie put out back in May which details his trip to Singapore. In the video, the fine young men and women of Singapore can been seen flipping the fuck out. Based on his status as a Swedish national who now lives in England and uploads all of videos in English, PewDiePie’s reach spans the globe.
PewDiePie is also dealing with the most accessible content in the world — video games. It really doesn’t matter where you are watching from, gameplay videos are globally relatable especially as many of the games featured on the PewDiePie channel are free-to-play online titles.
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