Have you heard of Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg? How about PewDiePie? Prior to 2010, Kjellberg was studying Industrial economics and Technology Management at a University in Sweden. However, he grew bored of his studies and preferred making film. In 2010, he created his YouTube account and began uploading videos of him gameplaying and providing commentary. By 2012, PewDiePie’s channel already hit 1M subscribers - which was a seemingly impossible feat back in the day.
PewDiePie continued reaching major YouTube milestones - reaching 5M subscribers in 2013, becoming the most subscribed channel on YouTube, tripling his subscriber count by 2014, and becoming the first YouTube channel to receive 10B video views.
But, it didn’t stop there. Today, PewDiePie has over 111M subscribers on YouTube and although he has slightly stepped away from creating gameplay-style videos, he still gets an average of 6.3M views on his videos. So, you are probably wondering - how much money does PewDiePie make?
If you just focus on YouTube’s AdSense, the creator’s income depends on his CPM (cost per thousand impressions). So, how much money does PewDiePie make per video? Well, if PewDiePie’s CPM is approximately $20 and the CPM rate measures the average earnings per 1,000 views then this YouTuber brings in over $1M from YouTube ad content - all those ads in the beginning and middle of the video - alone. PewDiePie’s earnings over the years from his YouTube views reached $114M views!
Throughout his years on YouTube, PewDiePie was sponsored by a number of different brands, including The Ridge, Opera, World of Tanks, and NordVPN. Due to his super high average viewership, it’s pretty clear that this YouTuber makes quite a load of cash from brand sponsorships.
Let’s take a closer look at PewDiePie’s partnerships with NordVPN, which has sponsored this creator over 300 times. On videos they sponsored, PewDiePie received over 2.5B views - that is a lot of exposure for the brand. Now, if we assume that his CPV (cost-per-view) is 2 cents, then this YouTuber made approximately $50M from just this one brand collaboration. Yeah, that’s a significant amount of money but, imagine how much money PewDiePie has made for NordVPN. Here’s one of their partnerships:
Just in case you missed it earlier, PewDiePie’s average views exceed 6.3M views so its safe to assume that many brands would ideally love to sponsor this channel - especially since he broadened the type of content he creates. Let’s use our YouTube sponsorship calculator to understand just how much a partnership placement is worth on PewDiePie’s channel.
Filling out our YouTube sponsorship calculator, you may have noticed that unlike many other calculators available across the web, we take into account projected views, placement of the ad, and YouTube category. Why? Well, these elements share a ton of information -
PewDiePie’s follower count continues to grow (competing against MrBeast’s constantly growing subscriber number) and he receives a pretty comfortable amount of views per video (to put it lightly), making it very clear that PewDiePie is quite an expensive influencer to sponsor on YouTube. According to our YouTube sponsorship calculator, an ad placement on this channel is worth $0.023 CPV. That means that with PewDiePie’s current average views, a sponsorship on PewDiePie’s channel stands between $144,112 to $201,757. So, this YouTuber’s annual earnings reach over $2M just from brand sponsorships.
Just like many many other YouTubers, PewDiePie has his own clothing line with Represent, which sells all-kinds of merch, including T-shirts, jackets, crewnecks, duffle bags, and hats.
In November 2020, the uber-successful YouTuber also launched Based, a clothing company that sells high level, wearable offline gaming equipment.” PewDiePie also owns a unisex line with his wife, Marzia Kjellberg, called Tsuki - “a brand that creates thoughtfully designed and ethically made products.” Reports claim that PewDiePie made nearly $42M just from selling branded merchandise, which comes out to roughly $8M per month.
Live streaming exclusively on YouTube:
Another income stream comes from PewDiePie’s exclusivity deal with YouTube. Back in 2020, PewDiePie made a deal with YouTube to exclusively livestream on the video-sharing platform. According to the YouTuber, “Live streaming is something I’m focusing a lot on in 2020 and beyond, so to be able to partner with YouTube and be the forefront of a new product feature is special and exciting for the future.” Although the exact amount YouTube paid for this exclusivity is disclosed, we can assume that it was a lot of money.
Now, let’s put things into proportion - not every influencer you see on YouTube makes this kind of money (so, don’t quit your day job just yet). However, over the last few years, more and more YouTubers have understood the power YouTube holds - and the doors it can open - and focused strongly on their strategy in order to amplify their paycheck. So, where can you begin? Check your YouTube sponsorship rate and reach out to us so we can help you strengthen your influencer marketing or help you begin integrating with brands.