PewDiePie may be the biggest YouTube star but he wants to spread his wings on a different platform
Imagine being one of the most influential people on the internet. Would you stay forever on the platform that made you famous or would you like to test something new? Maybe you should follow the example of YouTube star “PewDiePie” -aka Felix Kjellberg- who announced on his channel that would start a weekly show on Twitch, the Amazon-owned streaming platform. The name of the show is Best Club. But, why now? What made Felix to start a show on Twitch?
As most of you know PewDiePie has over 50 million subscribers and his videos have many millions views. This popularity is translated into money. Lots and lots of money, But, YouTube is under scrutiny for a long time and major companies like Starbucks and Walmart don’t want to advertise their products and services because they don’t know where theirs ads will appear. And Google can not ensure that the ads will not end up next to offensive content.
Kjellberg said on a video about YouTube:
“The reason why people love YouTube is because it’s free, and it’s open, and you can say whatever you want. It’s not like television, where everything is behind executive producers and people saying, ‘No you can’t say that! Because then we’ll do this!’ It seems like YouTube is forced to turn into television at this point. That’s gonna be bad for everyone. You want YouTube to continue being a free platform. I want YouTube to continue being a free platform. I understand that advertisers need to feel like they’re spending money and it doesn’t show up on racist videos. I understand that 100%. That’s a terrible thing. But the whole thing is just so massively overblown.”
And let’s not forget that PewDiePie was also involved in another controversial fight between the media (and specifically The Wall Street Journal) and YouTube. According to a report from WSJ Felix Kjellberg made Nazi references and anti-Semitic jokes in some of his videos. Apparently this is a no-no. And maybe PewDiePie’s apology was enough for some but Disney and YouTube don’t support the internet star anymore.
Now, you may think that this outcome made PewDiePIe to jump into Twitch but according to him this is not the reason. He decided to do this show “before [the controversy], so don’t read this the wrong way. I wanted to start doing streams on Twitch.” Kjellberg will not quit his channel and he will continue to upload videos because he still has more than 50 million subscribers.
PewDiePie is famous enough to make money and find success in other platforms, but what about the “smaller” channels? Without the support of advertising how will they survive? Time will show about their fate.