Behind PewDiePie’s 100 Million Subscribers

Just In Case You Didn’t Know About This Man

A hot dog vendor worth more than some celebrities.

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg also known as “Pewdiepie”, the most influential and complex name to be made famous through the powers of social media. This 29 year old Swedish YouTuber, comedian, and commentator, well-known for his comedic style that garnered a lot of traction and controversy now sits comfortably at an estimated 2019 net worth of $30 million.

Although that number still seems vague as there are numerous sources, claiming they did the math right but considering how many views he has per video, as well as other sources of income he has dabbled in such as personal merchandise, a New York Times bestseller book, and a personal video game, it’s no surprise he is making millions.

So, when and how did this YouTube personality start his career to eventually gain the reputation and revenue he now has? Well, let’s go back and reminisce about 2010 YouTube. A time, where Justin Bieber still had bangs, singing while clips of Jaden Smith shadow boxing and running plays in the background, a time where a completely serious interview about intruders was turned into a very catchy song, inevitably, foreshadowing the “meme culture” we deal with in today’s social media.

In 2010, there was Felix, who just registered the YouTube account we now all know. The following year however, much to his parent’s horror, Felix has dropped out of university, now sells Photoshop art projects, and started working in a hot dog stand all in an effort to fund the content of what seemed to be a non-profitable website. Felix’s channel rapidly increased and his online following, now call themselves the “bro army” reinforced by the way Felix addresses his viewers as bros and ends each video, with a bro fist toward the camera.

Pewdiepie’s Worldwide Fight to keep the YouTube peace.

The printers have foreseen the arrival of the chosen one.

Fast forward to 2019: a year of blessings for YouTube’s most subscribed individual: Pewdiepie. In a span of a year, has been married to his long-term girlfriend Marzia Bisognin after 8 years together, successfully completed his Minecraft run (considering most of his videos have been about this game, it’s fair to say this is part of his achievements), and has of course, gained 100 million subscribers.

This marks an amazing milestone in his career as this social media personality successfully became the first individual content creator to reach this many subscribers. Though, this wasn’t exactly a surprising turn around for him, Pewdiepie has been in the lead for many years before T-series, a music record label and film production company in India known for featuring Bollywood music and Indi-pop music started getting traction on their channel.

T-series has been rapidly gaining subscribers in months, which captured the attention of almost everyone active on the platform and since no one wants to actually strip an individual’s title of YouTube’s most subscribed and give it a company who they suspect to be running bots and other software to increase their subscriber count.

This started a movement to spread out the words “Subscribe to Pewdiepie” and like wildfire the phrase quickly grew and grew, even seen on comments sections on almost every social media platform possible.

Thus, a meme was born, a meme that truly showcased how dedicated Pewdiepie’s fans are: some have hacked printers worldwide to only print the words subscribe to Pewdiepie, some fans have even bought out billboards, radio spots, vandalism, and even TV spots just to buy time, ensuring that Pewdiepie remains ahead of T-series, although both channels have been racing to be ahead, very narrowly against each other, it wasn’t until a mass shooting in New Zealand where the horrible culprit uttered subscribe to Pewdiepie while live streaming his massacre that eventually made Felix concede to T-series as he and many other content creators have felt that the meme was going too far.

It wasn’t long before T-series gained the upper hand and the meme eventually died down.

The Start of A New Genre in Entertainment

From Let’s – Play to let’s all play; the type of videos that inspired millions

Nonetheless, there is a clear cut reason why Pewdiepie still dominates internet entertainment, and that is because, he is simply not that concerned with fame. People see him as a genuine person, posting unique content that actively interacts with his age demographic of late teens and 20 year olds.

Memes, mainly pictures, that invoke feelings of humor and relatability, or can sometimes be something that is so over the top in its randomness that it’s funny. “Meme Review” a show where he showcases on his channel, the latest and most popular memes as well as the memes buried under tons and tons of internet data that deserved recognition. This show perfectly interacts, the way this generation, thinks and perceives the internet.

His success is paved by his personality that treats the people behind their monitors as actual friends, or someone they can relate with. Years ago, he gained fame by playing horror games and reacting to jump scares, this actually inspired other YouTubers to create this Lets-Play type of content.

This type of content, displays genuine reactions and chatter, which people seemed to enjoy, as there wasn’t a script, no paid advertisement, just a guy playing, reminding you of the days where you used to take turns in playing the family computer, or when you and your friends would gather around to play the early games of Counter-Strike or Halo.

The games he played were directly suggested by his fans through the comments section, which further reinforces the fact that he gains content through the active interaction with his fans. His success then, has translated to a loyal fan base, a fan base that has seen him grow, and his channel grow with him – this loyalty is what made him go against the controversies he faced and still succeed, while others before him fell because they’re fans all turned on each other.

Humans are attracted to genuine and unique people, explaining why Pewdiepie’s fanbase naturally and subconsciously flock towards him, eventually the fan base never stopped growing, leading to the momentous achievement of being the first individual content creator to reach 100 million subscribers.

Pewdiepie’s Equipment and Gear

What you need ain’t exactly going to be cheap

Pewdiepie also ensures top quality equipment in his videos which he showcases in some videos from 2011-2019. Here are some of the high-end gear he uses for his videos:

Starting off with Pewdiepie’s own

Blue Spark SL Large-Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone

This is a microphone that practically screams high quality; from the pure metal and chrome design, to its intricate and clearly expensive packaging, you’d know this was made to be reliable and long-lasting. It even comes with its own shock mount, a device that minimizes the vibration being picked up by the microphone from the table or in Pewdiepie’s case, the vibrations from his boom arm– considering how much Pewdiepie slams his table during segments or how much he moves around during recordings, it’s no surprise how valuable a shock mount is to his work.

As mentioned earlier, the microphone is all metal, so it’s relatively heavy, I’m not sure how much it weighs exactly, maybe about two pounds, so if you’re planning to attach this to a boom arm like Felix does in his videos instead of just putting it on top of a table, you might need a sturdy one that could support its weight.

Lastly, it comes with its own pop filter, those round things you see musicians use that kind of looks like a flat sieve attached to their microphones, those are called pop filters. While sieves separate solid food from liquid food, a pop filter “filters” out “popping noises” caused by fast moving air into the microphone (I know I used its own name to explain it, that’s not lazy writing, I just can’t think of any other way to explain it). Pewdiepie doubles his pop filters mainly because the “P” sound he makes in his intros, where he says the name “Pewdiepie” causes significant popping noises thus he doubled his filters so our ears don’t implode a few seconds after clicking on his videos.

This mic also has its own “focus mode” which essentially focuses the frequencies it picks up from the mid-high frequencies while simultaneously boosting the low ones. The mode is mainly just a nice feature to have, the difference isn’t that significant or immediately noticeable but it does provide slightly better sound quality than its default mode.

A YouTuber named Podcastage has also tested this microphone’s ability to pick up keyboard noises, which is common for gaming YouTubers who record themselves playing a video game or for those who record in front of a computer like reaction channels, so naturally, the keyboard noises is a little difficult to avoid for some people; but, for this microphone the keyboard noises are significantly minimized. His review also provided a distance test, the audio quality from far away is an important factor for Felix as he usually does his videos standing up and moving around his studio, not gluing his mouth to the microphone. From the review, the microphone still provided clarity from a few meters away.

Though, Pewdiepie has admitted many times that he has no knowledge when it comes to microphones and he simply bought this one because it has a huge “Blue” label but is ironically colored red; This and the all-around aesthetic the microphone radiates, made him buy this microphone. He has admitted though that the microphone isn’t a perfect fit for him because he screams a lot in his videos but nonetheless, the hipster inside of him made him spend a couple of dollars – for a man with millions in his pockets, we can’t blame him for spending money on things he thinks is pretty.

Next up is his keyboard:

CORSAIR Strafe RGB MK.2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

A mechanical keyboard common for people who like to play games on their computer, like Felix. Now, to those who don’t know what a mechanical keyboard is and how different it is to a regular keyboard, a mechanical keyboard is basically a better keyboard; it is customizable, durable, easy to maintain, also makes a satisfying clicking sound every time you press a key, ensuring you don’t press longer than you have to.

A mechanical keyboard has physical switches under each key (hence the clicking noise) which makes it easier for a key to bounce right back into position after each key pressed while a regular keyboard uses a rubber dome underneath, so sometimes the keys get stuck so if you’ve ever had a letter repeat itself endlessly and then scramble to fix a certain key before your document is filled with 20 pages of the letter “a”, chances are you have an ordinary keyboard and it’s time to actually buy a new one.

Felix doesn’t use an ordinary mechanical keyboard though, the particular one he has is silent, meaning he has all the pros of a mechanical keyboard without the cons. This also has the added benefit of not interfering with the audio for his videos, because mechanical keyboards are so loud, microphones can easily pick up the clicking noise they make and thus, potentially ruining audio quality.

Aside from YouTube use, this particular keyboard also has dedicated volume controls, a little quality of life upgrade that allows you to never look at a game’s audio menu ever again. It also has an impressive macro playback, meaning all the settings you use for your computer can be saved by the keyboard.

So if you have specific configurations for your games like for example, pressing “W’ initiate combo number 1, or pressing the number “3” lets you immediately close all your applications. It’s an amazing feature that allows you stop adjusting your settings every time you boot up a game, and also makes a lot of things easier.

Apart from the cool lighting effects it could show, this computer has an extra USB port, a cool feature that lets you stop squatting down to your computer to plug in a flash drive.

Remember, Pewdiepie does most of his videos standing up so an extra USB port is actually great for someone who uses the computer standing up.

Next up on the gear Pewdiepie uses is yet another microphone. A microphone that is expensive but definitely worth it:

Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone

This is a condenser microphone, like the previous mic mentioned because condenser microphones are amazing at picking up more delicate and quiet sounds while their counterpart, dynamic microphones are great for loud sounds such as live concerts and such. I won’t talk about how many hertz it could pick up or how it could take certain frequencies since I find it too difficult to explain and I actually want my readers to finish reading before overloading them with stuff they might never remember again.

Anyway, to put it simply, this mic is just better. Again, from Podcastage’s review: It’s got good sound quality from a few meters away and picks up minimal keyboard noises, it’s just an all-around better microphone and Pewdiepie definitely bought this not because it looked good (though it does look great) but because this is a better microphone for studios such as the one he records at, and also offers better sound quality.

This does cost about 700 dollars so it isn’t cheap but if you do want to improve your audio clarity, this is definitely worth picking up. It does not come with its own shock mount though unfortunately and a pop filter, and the packaging is slightly a little bland looking (I know that doesn’t matter much but I find it worth mentioning because I wouldn’t throw away a box that proves I bought something worth 700$ so it has to look good).

Not much could be said about this microphone aside from it understandably within Pewdiepie’s price range and a better quality than previous microphones he had to use.

Also, we have Pewdiepie’s headphones:

Sennheiser RS 170 Digital Wireless Headphones

Wireless with a sleek elegant design, easy to charge and definitely very high quality audio. The receiver for the headphones can also support up to 4 people listening from the same source with dynamic bass and surround sound listening mode.

Apart from the sound quality, the headphones are also extremely comfortable and very easy to charge, and by easy to charge I mean just set it on top of the receiver and it automatically charges no buttons or plugs needed almost like charging wirelessly signifying just how far we’ve actually reached with technology.

It also has ridiculously high range, somewhere between 80 meters to 100 based on a review from The Thing of the Name, this means that you can essentially clean your entire house including your back yard and front yard, walk your dog, chat with the neighbors, while still listening to whatever music you prefer. I may be exaggerating though, but it still is possible if you don’t have a giant house with 50 hectares of land.

This is an amazing headset, and definitely recommended for everyone, despite its price.

Pewdiepie has only mentioned though that he uses this because again, he records himself standing up and moving around so he finds it convenient for the type of content he makes.

Now that Pewdiepie has his own line of custom headsets, that he uses only found on his website, this headphones were an excellent alternative before he had a deal with Razer, the company that makes the headsets with Pewdiepie’s name and logo.

Pewdiepie’s Other Types of Gear

When I first started YouTube, I was in college, on student loans, I didn’t even have enough enough money to buy my own computer. – Pewdiepie

Now in terms of his own desktop computer, his CPU is just an absolute beast (his words, not mine). Felix has mentioned that starting out in YouTube he has spent almost all of his money for his computer and has spent hours and hours on customizing and improving every bit and part of his computer to keep up with recent games.

He no longer customizes his own PC right now because Origin and Maingear have offered to give him amazing computers – computers that are custom built with his logo inside the CPU and a “Pepe the frog” meme on each of the cooling fans.

It’s a little hard to explain how powerful these computers are, but they could probably play any PC game right now on the highest settings with no problems for hours and hours, that’s how powerful they are. Having a good computer obviously requires good maintenance and Felix spends extensive time for all his equipment and even built a custom server cabinet for his gear, like a mini fridge that had dozens of wires connecting each gear and every gaming console available on the market.

The computers he uses are available on Origin and Maingear for everyone to experience, it is a little heavy on the pockets, but definitely worth it as it just maximizes computer performance and allows for extreme efficiency in any computer tasks. Do take note that this computer is for work that requires a lot of power, so if you’re looking to do typing jobs or light video games, it’s definitely a bad idea to spend so much on this type of computer.

Last one is the one that is the most famous, and most sought after gear that has marked itself as Pewdiepie’s most essential. I’m talking of course the star of the meme “but can it do this”, a chair with reclining abilities that allows the person to actually lay on their back. This is a customized chair from a company called Clutch, this chair went on to become a very popular meme mainly because it’s a 300 dollar gaming chair with its only advantage against other chairs was of its feature to let people lie down, fans are confused whether or not this is actually an important feature but nonetheless, a little upgrade in quality of life when you’re at the computer and need a little ten minute break.

Whatever gear Pewdiepie uses, he has built everything from small beginnings, from cheap microphones to aesthetically pleasing microphones, and to microphones that actually have amazing quality.

From headphones with a cord, to wireless ones, and now custom built headsets. From working at a hotdog stand to save up building his own custom built PC, to actually getting sponsored with a very powerful one.

Pewdiepie has come a long way, and from the very beginning he has established great equipment that are essentially 50% of what makes his content what it is. If he never spent a single cent, or refused to spend more than he wanted to, the sound, audio, and even the lighting would have suffered immensely.

It’s a little hard to believe but Pewdiepie has gained 100 million subscribers off amazing equipment that he was not afraid to spend his money on; he did not rely on how funny he was or how creative but instead also dedicated some time to invest on good equipment that would last in the long-run and would elevate the quality of his videos.

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