This is Felix Kjellberg, giving us some major real talk about his success—and it’s wonderful.
It’s might seem strange to see Pewdiepie, the king of YouTube, speak so frankly here. But after seeing so many articles floating around in the past week about the reported $7.4 million he allegedly made on YouTube in 2014, he felt he needed to respond to a lot of the hate he’s been getting recently.
“Money is a topic that I’ve purposely tried to avoid for the five years that I’ve been making videos,” he says. “I just feel like it’s not important to anyone. I just want to make entertaining videos.” This might seem like a dismissal that is pretty easy to make if you’re rich, but it’s at this point in the video that Pewdiepie starts talking about his early days. There was a time when he even he had trouble paying rent and couldn’t afford a computer of his own, he reminds people, so it’s not as if he doesn’t know where people are coming from, too.
“I took whatever job I could get, which was to work in a hot dog stand,” he recalls. “I was the happiest I was at that time,” he says. It was during this period that he started making videos. For fun. He says he didn’t know there was money in it at the time. The rest, as we know, is history.
“So whenever it comes out how much I made a certain year, people just get so shocked. A lot of people also were very very angry. They thought it was unfair, they thought that I just sit on my ass all day and I just yell at the screen all day...which is true! But there’s so much more to it than that.”
“I understand that haters gonna hate, right? But, I don’t know. I really think money doesn’t make you happy. I am just as happy as I am now as I was [when I was selling hot dogs.]”
“[Money] doesn’t change much,” he says.
Pewdiepie then goes on to read a few specific comments he saw floating around, and it’s hilarious. This one, for example:
“I think that’s what is cool about YouTube—that anyone could technically do it,” Pewdiepie responded. “Surely, if I didn’t exist, there’d be someone to fill my place.” Then Pewdiepie goes ahead and actually encourages the commenter to try the whole YouTube thing out, because who knows? Maybe he would strike gold, too.
In response to this one...
He laments that life isn’t fair, but also encourages people to support the entertainers they believe in, because that’s the only way those content creators will get paid.
My favorite part of the video, though, has to be where he takes everyone to task for talking about how much money he makes, but not the boatload he’s raised for charity, too. He’s got a point—but it’s harder to gripe about Pewdiepie using money for good, I guess. It’s also pretty easy to forget just how much work the entire YouTube thing takes.
Really, you should give it a watch. Pewdiepie is famed for being unhinged while playing video games, but he’s a person, too—and this is one of the rare videos where you can see that shining through.