PewDiePie Signs Exclusive Streaming Deal With YouTube

PewDiePie - Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy Youtube Gaming

The Swedish streamer is YouTube's most popular individual personality, but he's also no stranger to controversy and has had a rocky past with the Google-owned platform.

Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has signed an exclusive live streaming deal with YouTube, the platform on which the Swedish content creator has amassed a following of over 104 million subscribers.

“YouTube has been my home for over a decade now and live streaming on the platform feels like a natural fit as I continue to look for new ways to create content and interact with fans worldwide,” said Kjellberg. “Live streaming is something I'm focusing a lot on in 2020 and beyond, so to be able to partner with YouTube and be at the forefront of new product features is special and exciting for the future.”

Kjellberg's YouTube channel boasts the second-most subscribers of any page on the platform, second only to Indian media company T-Series. He is the most popular individual creator on the YouTube, racking up more than 25 billion views for his videos over the past decade.

Along with his fame, Kjellberg has also driven a fair amount of controversy. The streamer has been criticized multiple times for anti-Semitic jokes on his channel, including a 2017 video in which he paid two individuals through the app Fiverr to hold up a sign that read "Death to all Jews" on camera. He later apologized in the same video.

Last September, Kjellberg also drew headlines when he announced, and later pulled back, a $50,000 donation to the ADL. 

Despite his success on the platform, Kjellberg has had a rocky relationship with YouTube. In 2017, after the Fiverr video incident, the streamer lost a deal with Disney. Shortly thereafter, YouTube canceled a planned second season of its Scare PewDiePie show and removed Kjellberg's channel from Google Preferred, its premium advertising tier.

Earlier this year, Kjellberg announced he would be taking a hiatus from his channel. After 30 days, he returned.

As battles to sign exclusive streaming deals with content creators heat up between platforms like Twitch, Facebook Gaming and Microsoft's Mixer, YouTube has inked multiple deals with popular streamers, such as Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, in recent months.