A few days ago, YouTube’s biggest star PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, posted a video with an astounding declaration. At 50 million subscribers, he claimed, he would delete his channel. That amount by the way, is one never reached on YouTube. When the video was uploaded the subscriber count for the channel around 48 million. Die hard fans of video game streamer cried out in terror, while those who feel a man making millions for playing video games on the internet is an absurd notion cried out in delight. Could it happen? Would it happen? The internet lost its collective mind waiting to find out. So did it?
Of course not! We are talking about a man who has had to make a video in the past talking about how he justified making millions of dollars doing what he does. That was about 15 million over this last year alone according to Forbes. How anybody thought he would cut and run is beyond me. What Kjellberg did instead, when the subscriber count clicked over, was delete a secondary account called Jack Septiceye2. That account was relatively new and only had one video on it.
Two million subscribers is a lot of subscribers, please do not think otherwise. There are hundreds if not thousands of people on YouTube doing the same thing PewDiePie does, who would kill to get half that many as their total subscriber count. Kjellberg did it over a weekend by releasing a 10 minute troll video. He claims in the video about him deleting his account was a joke that got out of hand.
He said in the video in question “I’ve decided the only way to stop my channel from dying – I know you are going to think I am joking – but I am going to delete my channel.” I’m not exactly sure what he expected to happen. He is literally the biggest name on YouTube. He has gone on prime time late night TV shows, been the subject of articles by Rolling Stones and Forbes and done countless interviews and he thought this was going to be a small joke/prank? I highly doubt it. I believe that he knew this sort of video would get him to 50 million subscribers in a few days.
Overall, this event draws some very strong comparisons to the Discovery Channel claiming they were going to have a man eaten by an anaconda on live TV. Everybody knew it wasn’t really going to happen, but then a TV station was claiming it was; no tricks no special effects and all live.
Did the guy get eaten by the snake? Of course not, but millions of people wanted it to happen and millions more wanted something much more valuable to them. They wanted to be right. They watched for the validation. That’s what makes the money now, peoples need to be validated. I know he wont be eaten, I know he wont delete that channel. Only one way to know if you are right or not and that’s to engage. You get your validation. The companies get their ad revenue.
The generation of gamers who watches PewDiePie are the generation who believe themselves too smart to be fooled by anything . Now that hubris is being used to play them into advertisers hands. Don’t believe me? I’ll put out a list of 10 reasons why I’m right tomorrow, and let me tell now, reason 6 will blow your mind.