PewDiePie Signs Exclusive Live-Streaming Deal with YouTube Gaming

Lawrence Kim
May 6, 2020

He became the first individually owned YouTube channel to reach 100 million subscribers in 2019 and now has over 104 million.

Mr Kjellberg said returning to YouTube was a "natural fit" as he looked for new ways to connect with fans.

He found success playing and commenting on video games, posting daily videos for several years.

The Swedish streamer said late previous year that he would take "a break" from YouTube broadcasting, saying he was "very exhausted".

YouTube has snapped up streamer Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg in an exclusive streaming deal, despite the company previously severing ties with the streamer over anti-Semitic comments.

With such impressive numbers, it's understandable that PewDiePie would partner with YouTube instead of another streaming platform, even though he had a brief partnership with DLive.

He gained 822,000 followers on the new platform.

Kjellberg is going exclusive at YouTube as online gaming and video streaming has surged overall as people staying home due to the deadly pandemic turn to the internet for entertainment.

"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", he said.

PewDiePie has remained a controversial figure. In recent months, YouTube has inked similar exclusive pacts with game creators including CouRage, Lachlan, LazarBeam, Muselk, Typical Gamer and Valkyrae.

The shifting sands of the streamer world have seen a number of big-name streamers declare themselves for one platform or another: Ninja, Shroud, and King Gothalion committed themselves to Mixer, while DrLupo, timthetatman, and LIRIK re-upped with Twitch.

Before that, he was shunned by YouTube and Disney over videos containing anti-Semitic insults or Nazi references.

Mr Kjellberg accepted the material was offensive, but said he did not support "any kind of hateful attitudes".

"Though this was not my intention, I understand that these jokes were ultimately offensive", he said.

In September 2017, he apologized for using a racial slur in an expletive-laden rant against an opponent during a live-streamed computer game. In August 2013, PewDiePie's channel became the most-subscribed YouTube channel in the world. PewDiePie apologised for the incident. "Those [racist and antisemitic] comments were not in line with our values and we took action at the time, including suspending his inclusion in our premium ad program", a spokesperson said. "Were he to violate our policies today, we'd take action accordingly just as we would with any other creator".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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