Better known by his phonetically troublesome online handle "PewDiePie," Kjellberg has turned online video game streaming into a massively lucrative venture. According to the Wall Street Journal, the PewDiePie brand now attracts more than $4 million each year in ad revenue, thanks to the 27 million subscribers who follow Kjellberg's YouTube channel, where the 24-year-old frequently uploads videos of himself playing (and swearing at) various games.
Kjellberg attributes his success not to dumb luck or having capitalized on the streaming games trend at the exact right moment, but to a more personal touch that comes through in his videos. "Unlike many professionally produced shows, I think I've established a much closer contact with my viewers, breaking the wall between the viewer and what's behind the screen," he told the Wall Street Journal. "What I and other YouTubers do is a very different thing, it's almost like hanging around and watching your pal play games."