YouTube star PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, is among the most popular channels on the video-sharing platform. Since creating his channel back in 2010, his videos of gaming reactions and cultural commentary, his account has garnered 109 million subscribers, making him the largest YouTube account. Given those stats, it comes as little surprise that PewDiePie boasts a whopping net worth.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, the 30-year-old YouTuber has a net worth of $40 million, and he brings in large sums of cash every year. In 2013, the outlet named PewDiePie the highest-paid YouTube star on the planet with earnings of $12 million. His earnings were even higher in 2014 when he raked in $14 million. In 2015, he earned $9 million. He made $15 million, $12 million, $15.5 million, and $13 million in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively, meaning that he has pulled in more than $73 million pre-tax off his YouTube empire since 2013.
Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, in October 1989, the YouTuber can credit his massive net worth to his successful channel. He got his start on YouTube in 2006 when he created an account named "Pewdie," taking inspiration from the sound a laser makes. Those early videos focused on him playing video games like Call of Duty and a few vlogging videos. After he lost his password to his account, he created a new account, PewDiePie, on April 29, 2010. On that account, he focused on Call of Duty, Minecraft, and various other horror and action games. When he began to play the game Amnesia, he struck success, and by 2012, he became the most subscribed YouTube channel with 5 million subscribers.
His channel's success led him to sign a representation deal with MCN Michinima, and later, he signed with Makers Studio. He also began receiving media attention, causing his channel to skyrocket in subscribers, helping him bring in even more cash. In 2015, he released his own game called PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist. He has also released a book as well as a song, Coco. He also charges $450,000 for a single sponsored video. In 2016, Forbes named him the highest-earning YouTuber, with his annual income reaching $15 million.
PewDiePie's success has been marred in controversy, however. In 2017, he faced fierce backlash after he posted nine videos containing anti-Semitic or Nazi imagery. In one such video, according to a report from Vox, he hired two men in Sri Lanka to hold up a sign reading "Death to all Jews" and paid another man to dress up as Jesus and say, "Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong." Although he eventually apologized for and deleted the videos, claiming he was trying to prove people would do anything for money, he lost two major partnerships, including Disney-owned Maker Studios. He was also expelled from YouTube's Red platform and the Google Preferred program. Forbes reported that the controversy and the subsequent repercussions potentially prevented him from topping that Gaming category that year. He has faced numerous controversies since.
PewDiePie's channel boasts 109 million followers at the time of this posting, which still cements his place as the most-subscribers YouTube channel. That title is currently threatened by the Cocomelon channel, which boasts 105 million subscribers.