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  • YouTube stars are far more popular with teens than ‘real’ celebrities
  • YouTube stars are far more popular with teens than ‘real’ celebrities
    PewDiePie (2014) ©
CASE STUDY

PewDiePie: why 30 million teens watch a guy play video games

PewDiePie is the most subscribed channel on YouTube, and its creator makes more than £2 million a year on ad sales. He's one of YouTube's elite – a new generation of hyper-influential media moguls. But why are 30 million teens watching a stranger play video games?

Location Northern Europe / Global

Scope
Swedish 24-year-old Felix Kjellberg – better known by his YouTube handle PewDiePie, or “Pewds” – is grappling with a frustration millions of people across the world can relate to: playing Flappy Bird. “Why don't you just fly like a normal fucking bird? Have you tried that?” he rages, with a grin on his face.

More than 20 million people have tuned in to watch Kjellberg scream at his iPad and swear profusely as he attempts to beat his girlfriend's high score on the viral game. “Thanks Pewds, now everyone in school is playing this game,” writes one commenter, ...

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