YouTube's Highest-Paid Star Just Trolled Everyone. Here's What You Can Learn.

The reason why should be obvious, but many fell for PewDiePie's stunt.

learn more about Nina Zipkin

By Nina Zipkin • Dec 9, 2016

PewDiePie | Youtube

The joke's on us.

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, known as PewDiePie to now more than 50 million YouTube subscribers, posted a video earlier this week announcing he would exit the platform that made him famous if he reached the 50 million threshold.

The U.K.-based creator has been making vlogs and videos of him playing video games -- with jokes and commentary -- since 2010. This year, Forbes named the Swede the highest paid YouTuber, with reported earnings of $15 million this year.

In the inciting video last week, Kjellberg expressed irritation at being unknowingly unsubscribed from channels or not seeing content that he was subscribed to. He said that he first noticed that there was an issue when vlogs he released hadn't reached 2 million views.

Related: YouTube Star PewDiePie Posts Brilliant Reply to Those Outraged by His $7 Million Income (VIDEO)

After claiming that YouTube told him it didn't know what was happening with the apparent subscription issue, he also expressed displeasure with the recommendation algorithm YouTube has in place.

Kjellberg has the most subscribers of any creator on YouTube, he wrote a book that went to number 1 on The New York Times bestseller list and last year, he launched his own network, Revelmode, under the auspices of Maker Studios, the digital production company owned by Disney.

Related: YouTube's Biggest Star Is Getting His Own Network From Disney

A flurry of press coverage followed the announcement, with the central question being: What did this massively popular creator with a huge following stand to gain by burning it all down?

"You know when you make a joke, and it just blows up way bigger than you ever imagined?"

That's right. Having reached 50 million subscribers, Kjellberg deleted his channel at noon EST, Dec. 9, as promised -- but it was his second channel. He never specified which channel would bite the dust.

"Thanks for 50 million subs," the final screen of the video reads, "will delete PewDiePie at 100 million."

Sure, and I'm the Queen of England.

Related: YouTube Star PewDiePie's Firm Rakes in $8 Million Profit

So what can you take away from all of this?

Well, clearly the old adage that any publicity is good publicity still rings true. Kjellberg wanted to get to 50 million subscribers in an expedient fashion, and figured that his similarly-minded fan base would get him there. The move also allowed him to call out YouTube, while still showing how valuable his brand is to the platform.

He believed in his product and he went big. And whether you're a fan of his methods or not, you can't deny that it ended up working for him.

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Employee Experience & Recruiting

Recruiting on a Budget? Here Are 7 Ways You Can Beat the Big Companies to Top Talent

Talent can make or break a small business, which is why it's critical to do all you can to recruit the right people.

Starting a Business

Free Webinar | February 23: How Black Entrepreneurs Can Achieve Success With a Profit-First Mentality

Join us for this free webinar as two-time Emmy Award winning host of the Never Settle Show, Mario Armstrong, shares how to cultivate the mindset resilience that lead him to success. Register now →

Business News

Massive Fire At Top Egg Farm Leaves Estimated 100,000 Hens Dead. What Does This Mean For Egg Prices?

Hillandale Farms in Bozrah, Connecticut went up in flames on Saturday in an incident that is still under investigation.

Growing a Business

3 Ways to Grow a Multi-Million Dollar Drop Shipping Business

Begin with these drop shipping basics and everything will soon fall into place.