PewDiePie Has Become YouTube’s Voice of Reason
Yes, PewDiePie plans on taking a break in 2020. But that’s not the important stuff he said in his latest video
Read any number of news outlets today and you’ll learn some shocking, breaking news. PewDiePie is stepping back from YouTube. “I’m taking a break from YouTube in 2020,” said PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg. “I’m feeling very tired.”
Of course, it’s something YouTube’s largest individual creator has done multiple times in the past, but the media have fixated on the notion that this is new.
Kjellberg has previously stepped away from YouTube at times when he feels that the platform is making changes in a way that harm its long-term viability, and when the need to try and get his head around changes to the platform are an added stress to the simple churn of uploading videos regularly. This 2016 video outlined some of his previous thinking:
Months later, as he closed in on 50 million subscribers — half the number he has today — he also threatened to leave the platform because he believed the site was deprioritizing his videos. “This is all a conspiracy,” he said at the time. “YouTube wants to kill my channel. It’s because I’m always complaining to them. I don’t have family- friendly content. I click-bait too much, huh? Is that it? It all makes sense…”
Kjellberg tends to use the breaks both as a way to try and recalibrate his enjoyment of the platform, which can be difficult given the punishing upload schedule creators often feel, and as a way of letting the dust settle on major policy changes. It’s one way of counteracting the idea that YouTube trends analyst Matt Gielen has previously told me creators struggle with: building their business on quicksand, and the foibles of a platform that constantly changes its platforms on a whim. The same concerns were raised by big YouTuber Adam Saleh in an interview with FFWD last week.