Well that was fast.
Just six days after the world’s top earning YouTube star Felix Kjellberg announced he would delete his YouTube channel PewDiePie when it crossed to 50-million-subscriber mark, PewDiepie crossed the 50-million-subscriber mark. The achievement was officially reached around 4:37PM ET on December 8, 2016.
😱😱😱 @pewdiepie HIT 50 MILLION! 😱😱😱 pic.twitter.com/O5bZEVYxIe — instantdotme (@instantdotme) December 8, 2016
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And, as of the time of this writing, the PewDiePie YouTube channel still exists, though not for long. Kjellberg just tweeted he’s going to delete his channel at 5PM GMT (12PM ET) on Friday, December 9, 2016.
will delete tomorrow 5pm gmt — pewdiepie (@pewdiepie) December 8, 2016
My initial guess was that the channel would survive at least throughout the weekend. That’s because Kjellberg has previously planned and already announced a fundraising live stream set for broadcast on YouTube.com/PewDiePie. The event is dubbed Cringemas, will feature a handful of Kjellberg’s friends and fellow YouTube stars (including Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, KickThePJ, and Cryaotic) soliciting donations for the HIV/AIDS-fighting charity (RED), and will exist across two four-hour events set to stream on Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10 from 1PM ET to 5PM ET.
But it now looks like PewDiePie might use the deletion of his channel to drive viewers to a new destination and drum up some publicity and attention for his charitable efforts. If there’s one of many things we’re certain about Kjellberg, it’s that the guy really likes giving back.
This whole hullabaloo started when Kjellberg vowed to delete his channel on December 2, 2016 after voicing his frustrations with the current state of YouTube. Namely, something’s up with the video sharing site’s algorithm that’s accounting for a 30% to 50% drop in views for a lot of creators and YouTube is seemingly not providing very satisfying reasons as to why. Kjellberg also said he’d rather start over and build up a smaller, more engaged audience than have a massive subscriber base where each video only receives views equal to roughly 4% of those subscribers. (At about 50 million subscribers, the channel is still seeing a rough average of two million views per video, which equals out to 4%.)
PewDiePie reached 50 million subscribers probably way earlier than Kjellberg expected. At the time of the announcement, PewDiePie averaged about 22,727 subscribers per day, which would’ve put the channel at 50 million subs sometime around December 20 or 21. But in the five-or-so full days since Kjellberg made the seemingly serious vow his channel’s averaged roughly 100,000 to 120,000 subscribers per day.
No word yet on what would happen to PewDiePie’s massive content library if he does go through with deleting his channel, though members of his Bro Army are doing their best to save it.
@Zombey @pewdiepie We’re downloading everything from his channel all videos thumbnails and titles. pic.twitter.com/lVcbxdxtLJ — Alex Francolini (@AlexFrancolini) December 7, 2016
Kjellberg is spending at least some of the next several hours celebrating before putting his channel out to pasture. Here is the dude dabbin’ in front of some fireworks.
50 MILLION pic.twitter.com/lusXQCorF5 — pewdiepie (@pewdiepie) December 8, 2016