Gamer Felix ‘PewDiePie’ Kjellberg may not be the biggest star on YouTube any more – that’s now a five year-old toy reviewer called Ryan – but he’s likely the highest earning YouTuber.
Kjellberg’s company reported revenues of $8.6m for 2015, up 18% on the previous year. His relative low production costs meant the 26 year-old Swede’s company reported a net profit of $8.1m. That should ease the pain of having recently been named in an FTC settlement over misleading advertising for one of the games featured on his channel. Those kinds of partnerships are key to PewDiePie’s revenues, as they are for other prominent YouTubers however: while several hundred million views on his channel every month will be generating a decent income from advertising, it’s brand partnerships where the real money comes in. Kjellberg was also one of the first stars commissioned by YouTube to make an original series for its YouTube Red service when it launched in the US.