PewDiePie Sub Count Finally Hits 100 Million—3 Reasons It Happened

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After much anticipation and support from his avid fans, fellow creators, and the YouTube community as a whole, PewDiePie’s sub count has hit the 100 million mark—the first individual YouTuber to reach the milestone. Only one other YouTube channel—a music record label called T-Series in India—has surpassed the 100 million mark, currently sitting at 109 million subscribers. As the most followed YouTuber, PewDiePie earns a reported $12 million each year.

So, how did PewDiePie get here, and how are brands capitalizing on his his ascent into the YouTube Spotlight?

PewDiePie Subscribers Show No Signs Of Ebbing

Having officially earned the label as the YouTuber with the most subscribers, PewDiePie’s reputation as the most popular YouTube creator (not to mention, the richest YouTuber) has been in effect for quite some time. YouTube recently paid tribute to his success on the platform over the years, dating back to 2011 when PewDiePie’s sub count hit 10,000.

His YouTube channel has only continued to grow, despite a few gaffes that landed him in hot water with YouTube, supporters, and sponsors, as well as a tragic event that apparently tarnished his name relatively lightly.

3 Reasons Why The PewDiePie Sub Count Reached 100 Million (And How It Will Surpass The Milestone)

Through the ups and downs, PewDiePie has remained a top YouTuber for three reasons:

  1. PewDiePie produces engaging and authentic content that resonates with viewers.
  2. PewDiePie knows how to successfully come back from controversies through genuine apologies, trust, and transparency.
  3. PewDiePie earns major brand sponsorships that align well with his interests.

In 2019, PewDiePie has been on the fast-track to recovery from past slip-ups, and the monumental achievement of amassing 100 million subscribers as an individual creator cannot go understated. To learn how exactly he achieved such a feat, we can look to his origins as a YouTuber, the fandom he acquired, and the multiple brand sponsorships he nabbed.

Who Is PewDiePie?

Felix Kjellberg, the man otherwise known as PewDiePie, is the most followed influencer on YouTube. He originally started a YouTube account in 2006, but the official PewDiePie channel came about in 2010. PewDiePie’s appeal as a sensational online personality caught on quickly, leading to his burgeoning sub count.

What Initially Caused PewDiePie’s Sub Count To Skyrocket?

As a comedian, gamer, and commentator, PewDiePie began racking up hundreds of subscribers early in his career at a time when being a “professional” YouTube creator was not widely recognized. The content format of his videos proved wildly successful, with unique energy, entertainment, and authenticity that directly fed into his ever-climbing sub count.

By 2012, he amassed 1 million subscribers. By late 2013, he reached nearly 19 million subscribers and emerged as the most-subscribed YouTuber twice during that year.

In the few years after this astronomical growth, PewDiePie’s sub count continued to swell and he accrued well into the billions of video views. In 2016, he hit 50 million subscribers while also partnering up with other popular YouTubers in an original series. The rapid acceleration would soon be met with controversies over racial slurs, anti-semitic commentary, and other loose language. Nonetheless, PewDiePie’s sub count kept climbing, gaining 7 million in all of 2017 and another 6 million in December 2018 alone.

PewDiePie Sub Count Climbs As Fans Engage With & Brands Sponsor His Content

To PewDiePie’s credit, his knack for rallying millions of fans to support him through thick and thin has enabled him to catch the attention of many brand sponsors interested in leveraging the benefits of influencer marketing. Anyone familiar with the influencer marketing industry understands that an impactful influencer campaign hinges on the authenticity of the influencer-brand partnership.

How PewDiePie Fan Engagement Propels Growing Sub Count

As with any influencer marketing campaign, meaningful engagement with fans and followers usually determines whether the partnership is a natural fit. Influencer audiences are notoriously skilled at detecting inauthentic partnerships and consequently, respond negatively to sponsored content that doesn’t align with the influencer’s non-sponsored content.

While PewDiePie’s reputation has been tainted by controversial behavior, his overall conduct and heartfelt apologies have cushioned his falls from grace. Some brand sponsors dropped him in the aftermath of his offensive language, and the PewDiePie sub count may have suffered temporary lulls, but he remains one of the most influential YouTube creators and online personalities to date.

This is due in large part to his ability to draw in viewers from all corners of the globe, generate consistent and genuine engagement, and rebound from blips with minor reputational damage. All this leads to more YouTube users hitting the red subscribe button, more engagement, and scalable growth.

This is what brands yearn for—raw, unadulterated, and authentic engagement that translates into positive impressions and potential customers for brand sponsors.

How Brands Sponsor PewDiePie On His Journey To 100 Million Subscribers

PewDiePie has been involved in notable influencer marketing campaigns over the years, especially within the gaming category. Due to his status as a mega-influencer, working with PewDiePie is not easily attainable and comes with a big price tag.

PewDiePie’s brand collaboration roster includes GFUEL, Volvo, LG, Mountain Dew Disney, as well as Archero and Cheetah Mobile—both campaigns run by Mediakix.

By the standards of top tier influencers, PewDiePie does not endorse that many brands. However, he has recently struck more brand deals with the intention of having genuine brand relationships.

10 Steps Brands Should Follow To Partner With Influencers

Crucial to executing an influencer marketing campaign, brand sponsors must follow some basic steps in order to partner with PewDiePie, or any influencer for that matter:

  1. Understand your audience and know who you’d like to target
  2. Set goals and determine which KPIs you’ll use to measure campaign performance
  3. Identify the social media channels that make sense for your campaign’s goals
  4. Determine your campaign budget
  5. Spend time researching and vetting the right influencer(s)
  6. Reach out to influencer(s )and familiarize them with your brand / product
  7. Communicate campaign goals and expectations with influencer(s)
  8. Craft a rock solid influencer agreement
  9. Allow influencer(s )to exercise creative freedom and to have input on campaign strategy
  10. Ensure sponsored content is properly disclosed and transparent

Closely following these guidelines can enable brands to collaborate with the likes of PewDiePie and ultimately elevate their brand. While the PewDiePie sub count continues to accumulate more faithful followers, many brands will clamor at the opportunity to work with PewDiePie on creative, high-ROI influencer campaigns. Just keep in mind that brands whose mission aligns with that of an influencer’s and whose brand/product influencers actually believe in will have a better shot of developing a healthy influencer relationship.

How Much Will PewDiePie’s Sub Count Continue To Increase?

With the trajectory of PewDiePie’s sub count on a steady incline for the last several years, we have little reason to think it won’t continue to grow. If PewDiePie maintains his influence through engaging entertainment, authentic sponsorships, and constantly-evolving material, more YouTube users will subscribe to his channel. In turn, this will fuel his content’s success, even on a platform that continually undergoes algorithm changes and updates.

Furthermore, as the epic battle between PewDiePie and T-Series carries out, buzz about PewDiePie’s sub count will likely reinforce its growth. And if PewDiePie continues to partner with brands for unique influencer campaigns while diversifying his content, his numbers will inevitably grow. By 2024, expect to see the PewDiePie sub count reach well over 200 million.

We look forward to tracking the outrageous growth of PewDiePie’s sub count and subsequently, his immense influence for years to come.

Case Study: PlayStation Influencers Plug Into Virtual Reality Headset

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Instagram & YouTube Influencer Marketing Case Study: PlayStation Marketing Teams Up With Tech & Gaming Influencers

For the most part, influencer marketing and gaming go hand-in-hand. Leading gaming influencers—whether they’re Twitch streamers, YouTubers, or stars at the top of professional esports—are becoming centerpieces of influence in a booming market. Gaming influencers are trusted by their fans to a strong degree, making them perfect candidates for brand endorsements.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed, least of all by brands and marketers looking to tap into that all-important Millennial demographic. You don’t need to look far to find influencers and creators of all disciplines being employed to promote various brands, from mobile games to chocolate to underwear.

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PlayStation generally has its finger on the pulse when it comes to marketing and is no stranger to influencer marketing. With 18 million followers on its main Instagram and 38,000 followers on its regional Canadian account, it makes perfect sense to leverage the following and garner some positive engagement for the brand.

PlayStation Marketing Goes Small To Hit Big With Gaming Community

With buzz surrounding the announcement that Sony is currently working on a new gaming console to succeed the PS4, maintaining goodwill within the gaming influencer community will be a major objective in the run-up to any potential launch.

PlayStation VR, the company’s flagship virtual reality headset, remains high on the agenda as the company’s most important periphery. This campaign, aimed exclusively at a Canadian audience, leveraged smaller-tiered influencers—often employed by brands because of their propensity to drive higher relative engagement rates—to head up their push.

Goals

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  • Increase awareness of the PlayStation VR headset
  • Drive engagement with its regional Canadian account
  • Use tech influencers to bridge the gap between tech audiences and gamers

Approach

  • Channels: Instagram and Youtube
  • Influencers: Canadian tech and gaming influencers, including mid-tier, micro-, and nano-influencers.

Preview Of Influencers

Themes

In keeping with longtime campaign messages that PlayStation has employed for several years, the themes of this effort reflect an emphasis on gamers and positive gaming experiences with their products:

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  • With the exception of one, all the influencers uploaded two posts for the campaign.
  • All but one of the posts were images, with one short, looped video being the exception.
  • Influencers used the hashtags #PlayStationVR, #ITriedPSVR, and #PSVR, while also tagging @PlayStationCA.
  • Each marked their posts as #sponsored or #ad or used Instagram’s paid partnership tag.
  • Captions ranged from short blurbs showing off the headset to longer captions featuring brief VR game reviews.

Results

Combined Results: 9 posts total

Social Reach

  • Instagram followers targeted: 200,894
  • YouTube subscribers targeted: 941,882

Instagram Engagement

  • Likes: 12,728
  • Comments: 230
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 3.64%

YouTube Engagement

  • Views: 28,322
  • Likes: 1,324
  • Comments: 368
  • Engagement rate (overall average): 3.19%

Karl Conrad Shows Off Snazzy System

Karl Conrad, a YouTuber boasting half a million subscribers on the platform, is known for his vlogs demonstrating all kinds of tech—from phones to TVs to laptops. In his highest-performing Instagram post, Conrad shows fans a custom orange PS4 with a VR headset in full view.

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In the caption, he praises the large catalog of games available to him and asks his 72,000 followers what their favorite VR game is. He incorporates all the associated PlayStation tags, in addition to an #ad tag at the beginning. He garnered 3,490 likes and 117 comments for an impressive engagement rate of 5%.

Tyler Stalman Imagines Childlike Wonder

Tyler Stalman, a professional photographer approaching 200,000 followers on YouTube, is a tech vlogger who places an emphasis on reviewing camera gear in addition to hosting his own podcast.

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In his post, Stalman wonders what his 12-year-old self would have thought of the VR headset in a positive reflection of the tech. He again uses the hashtags consistent with campaign along with a #sponsored tag. Stalman got 2,536 likes and 19 comments from his 53,200 Instagram followers for an engagement rate of 4.8%.

The Girly Geek Straps On VR For Fans

The Girly Geek, also known as Erin, is a writer and blogger is a nano-influencer with an Instagram following of just under 10,000. She frequently posts about games and gaming culture for her fans.

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Her post features her trying out the VR with a copy of Skyrim in-hand. Her caption, like the others, is personalized, with her talking about enjoying the experience she’s had playing the game in VR. She is consistent with the campaign hashtags and singles out @PlayStationCA with a ‘thank-you.’ With 354 likes and 17 comments, she accrued an engagement rate of 3.8%.

Conrad Shows Subscribers Custom Setup In YouTube Vlog

Two of the influencers took the campaigns to their YouTube channels (the other being Justin Tse), with Karl Conrad giving his fans a vlog about his custom PlayStation and his VR setup.

He again touted the extensive library and mentioned the sponsorship with PlayStation, linking to the official VR site page. With 500,000 subscribers, his view count for the video of 9,725 is relatively low. It’s worth noting, however, that the total likes and comments on the video was 890, meaning an engagement rate among viewers of the video of 9.2%. In terms of average video views though, he performed well under his normal range of 50,000 views per video.

Takeaways

  • PlayStation marketing primarily employed tech and gaming influencers for the campaign to garner interest in their flagship piece of gaming tech.
  • PlayStation influencers were all mid-tier or lower, suggesting an attempt by PlayStation to drive solid engagement at a smaller scale than larger influencer marketing campaigns.
  • Tech influencers often have strong authority among fans for their knowledge of peripheries, making them the ideal cheerleaders for PlayStation’s VR set campaign.
  • Cross-channel promotion on Instagram and YouTube proved to be valuable in showcasing the PlayStation VR to a wider and more varied audience.

Top 5 Influencer Marketing Fails: When Influencer Marketing Goes Wrong

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Influencer Fails: Learning From Influencer Marketing Gone Wrong

Despite flourishing as one of the hottest industries in the digital marketing space, Influencer marketing is still a relative newcomer in terms of practices and strategy. As platforms, brands, creators, and even governing bodies attempt to define this new landscape, mistakes are bound to occur.

After apparent teething issues which have yet to be fully solved, the FTC has been spending its efforts revising and evolving its guidelines to accommodate modern advertising on digital platforms. This is primarily in response to campaigns deemed to be sailing close to the wind with regard to ethical advertising standards.

Unfortunately for brands and influencers, this won’t always save them from committing poor decisions and influencer marketing fails in this as-yet unrealized world. Lack of judgment has been prevalent with influencers, some seemingly doing their best to torpedo their online careers, but brands must be careful too in order to avoid common pitfalls and legal issues.

Whether it’s a brand lawsuit or an influencer scandal, it seems like one controversy or another is right around the corner in this industry. Knowing the do’s and don’ts of an influencer marketing campaign; using a robust strategy for your brand; understanding a rapidly evolving environment—these are vital to keeping your campaign from derailing.

We’re going to examine some of the biggest influencer marketing fails the industry has had the misfortune of witnessing, as well as how they could have been avoided. These instances will likely serve as reminders that influencer marketing can be a volatile field. Continue reading “Top 5 Influencer Marketing Fails: When Influencer Marketing Goes Wrong”

30 Top Gaming Influencers To Follow In 2019

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30 Top Gamers Have More Than 340M Subscribers Across Major Gaming Platforms

By 2021, the global gaming market is expected to exceed $180 billion in revenue—a 30.6% increase from $137.9 billion in 2018. In the last few years, gaming has grown more significant on existing platforms like YouTube and Facebook, but it has also spurred the creation of dedicated livestream gaming platforms, like Twitch and Caffeine.tv.

Even staying up-to-date on gaming terms has proven crucial to understanding the industry’s growing value. As a result, the gaming community has evolved to include a wide variety of gaming influencers in different gaming niches.

From the top female YouTube gamers and the overall top gaming YouTubers, to the top female Twitch streamers and most followed Twitch influencers, online gamers have established an impressive cross-platform presence. As these gaming platforms duke it out, most gamers are maximizing their presence across multiple gaming platforms.

As the gaming industry landscape diversifies more, brands interested in partnering with the leading gaming influencers need to keep up with the changing tides. To help, we’ve collected a list of the 30 top gaming influencers in 2019 (nine of which are females) who reach more than 340 million subscribers on their top gaming channels:

  1. PewDiePie
  2. VanossGaming
  3. Markiplier
  4. Ninja
  5. Jacksepticeye
  6. DanTDM
  7. KSI
  8. SSSniperWolf
  9. W2S
  10. Syndicate
  11. TFue
  12. IHasCupquake
  13. Shroud
  14. tsm_myth
  15. Gaming With Jen
  16. LDShadowLady
  17. Aphmau
  18. Summit1g
  19. Tim The Tat Man
  20. Dakotaz
  21. Riot Games
  22. Pokimane
  23. DrDisrespect
  24. DrLupo
  25. Little Kelly Minecraft
  26. Nightblue3
  27. ImaQTpie
  28. LIRIK
  29. StacyPlays
  30. KittyPlays

Continue reading “30 Top Gaming Influencers To Follow In 2019”

The YouTube Pedophile Problem: Is YouTube Adpocalypse Part II Upon Us?

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What Is The YouTube Pedophile Controversy?

The Lowdown:

  • Mainstream awareness of videos featuring young children, sexualized by congregations of predators viewing and commenting on them in plain sight, caused a furor among the YouTube and larger media community.
  • Major brands like Nestlé, AT&T, Disney, and Epic Games boycotted YouTube by pulling advertisements from the platform.
  • YouTube responded with a series of drastic measures aimed at fixing and preventing the recently exposed YouTube pedophile scandal.
  • YouTube creators have had mixed and charged reactions, with many fearing the resurgence of a YouTube Adpocalypse.

The Timeline:

  • February 17, 2019 – Matt Watson uploaded a video investigating the comments of pedophiles on videos of children.
  • February 20, 2019 – YouTube initially responded by disabling comments on millions of videos, terminating channels of users who left inappropriate comments, and reporting offenders to law enforcement.
  • February 22, 2019 – YouTube said that any videos featuring kids that received offensive or predatory comments could be demonetized while also introducing a new algorithm that would be more effective in deleting those comments.
  • February 28, 2019 – YouTube further escalated its response by stating they’d automatically disable comments on videos featuring children under 18 years of age.
  • March 1, 2019 – YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki explained that the mass suspension of comments on videos of minors is a trade-off for young creators as YouTube prioritizes child safety.

Continue reading “The YouTube Pedophile Problem: Is YouTube Adpocalypse Part II Upon Us?”

How The Beauty Transparency Movement Is Impacting Influencer Marketing

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Influencers Are Championing The Beauty Transparency Movement

What Is Beauty Transparency?

“Beauty Transparency” Defined

Beauty transparency is a phrase that refers to ethics and truthfulness of the beauty industry as it relates to customer knowledge. The beauty industry encompasses the sales of all cosmetic products including makeup, haircare, skincare, and fragrance. This industry has long been criticized for its opaqueness, meaning that consumers have little access to critical information about industrywide practices like the quality of ingredients, retail markup, and manufacturing process. In addition, the beauty industry has been criticized for being closed off to minorities in terms of product offerings and choice of models.

Major Themes Of Beauty Transparency Movement

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As customers demand to know more about their beauty products, there has been a push for increased transparency from both brands and influencers. Some of the major themes of the beauty transparency movement include: Continue reading “How The Beauty Transparency Movement Is Impacting Influencer Marketing”