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PewDiePie total subscribers from July 2016 to January 2020

Few individuals better represent the rise of the YouTube celebrity than Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, operating on YouTube as PewDiePie. The Swedish YouTuber is by far the individual personality with the most subscribers on YouTube, and was engaged in a tussle with Indian record label and film production company T-Series to become the most-subscribed-to channel on YouTube overall. In total, videos on the PewDiePie channel have been viewed more than 20 billion times.

While T-series won the race to 100 million subscribers, PewDiePie became the first individual YouTube to crack 100 million subscribers at the end of August 2019.

Subscribe to PewDiePie meme

   The surge in subscriber numbers from the end of 2018 onwards is attributable to PewDiePie’s “Subscribe to PewDiePie Meme“, a demonstration of his immense ability to mobilize his subscribers. In the campaign to overtake T-Series and become the channel with the most subscribers, PewDiePie’s challenge required followers to plaster words to the effect of ‘Subscribe to PewDiePie’ wherever possible, either in the physical or digital realms. Despite the obvious success of the campaign in terms of subscriptions, PewDiePie recently called for the campaign to be stopped following three major incidents. In the first a World War II memorial was defaced in New York City, and in March 2019 a gunman uttered the phrase before opening fire on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 people and wounding several more. In April 2019, the gunman who opened fire on a Southern California synagogue, killing one and wounding at least three others, also referred to the campaign.   

The rise of the YouTuber

Now a decade old, YouTube’s ability to connect content creators with massive audiences has lead (led) to the emergence of channels that rival mainstream media outlets in terms of audience size. In some cases, videos can reach 100 million views in just a matter of days . It isn’t just traditional celebrities that are finding audiences either, with unlikely stars such as Ryan Toysreview attracting close to 30 billion views, and generating significant revenue in the process.

Number of subscribers of Felix Kjellberg's YouTube channel PewDiePie from July 2016 to January 2020

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Release date

February 2020


Worldwide, Sweden, United Kingdom

Survey time period

2016 to 2020

Supplementary notes

*As of 26 August 2019. All other figures refer to the first of each month, with the exception of October and April 2017, and January 2019, which refer to the second of each month.

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