How PewDiePie Dominated YouTube While Breaking the Rules to YouTube Growth

How PewDiePie Dominated YouTube While Breaking the Rules to YouTube Growth

He’s the new breed of celebrity bringing social
media success into mainstream stardom. Video game megastar. Guiness book of world records as the most
subscribers… internet’s biggest star. My name is Pew… You know my name Bi – Welcome to Psych IRL
my name is Donna and this is probably one of the most requested youtubers that I always
get from you guys. It says please make a video on pewdiepie! I asking this 4th time now. I will eat Brinjal. What’s brinjal? PewDiePie also known as Felix Kjellberg not
only has changed the face of gaming, but has done so breaking what I think is the most
important rule every YouTube growth guru preaches, sticking to one type of content. If you’ve ever looked into growing your
YouTube channel, you’ll know one of the most important rules, is to pick a niche. Focus on one particular passion that you have. It’s important that you niche down. Having a focus niche is a lot more powerful
than having a general channel. Despite this rule, being caged in a niche
has caused a lot of youtubers to feel unhappy about their content. Smosh being part of a company has put all
my creative decisions through a filter of what’s appropriate for the smosh brand as
deemed by the company. I need to feel that happiness again. I need to be doing what makes me happiest
to wake up each morning. Right now that’s for me to do things on my
own again with complete creative freedom. but breaking away, oftentimes leads to a loss
of viewership. Though Felix has broken the number one rule
to youtube growth, he has managed to continue to keep his audience engaged, and reign number
one, as the most subscribed creator on the platform. So, does this mean we should throw away every
piece of advice Tim Schmoyer has given us? Not necessarily. In fact, PewDiePie started off doing niche
content, Let’s Plays. Now he wasn’t the first to upload this type
of content to YouTube, but he has popularized it by putting his own personality on the genre. In the beginnings of Let’s Plays, many were
more tutorial like in nature. So basically if you step in the wrong direction,
they shoot arrows at you. Felix started uploading videos in 2010 but
unlike his predecessors, he was more inclined to share moments within a game rather than
teach someone how a game works. Everybody dance now! His format makes the viewer feel like they’re
hanging out with a friend. On the surface, this doesn’t seem like it
would be enough to warrant the number of subscribers he has. In fact, a number of figures from traditional
media have even expressed how baffled they are at why individuals would watch someone
else play a video game. YouTube launched a new video network yesterday
where you can watch other people play video games. For real. The whole network. It’s called the we should all be very ashamed
of ourselves for failing as parents channel. And you can tell from the ratio of the likes
to dislikes, everyone but Jimmy Kimmel understands what makes PewDiePie so engaging. I think the best way to understand why so
many people watch Felix’s videos is to compare it to the fact of why so many people watch
sports. The majority of sports fans will never play
at a professional level, so why do they watch? Well, it can be boiled down to a couple elements. The first is knowing the challenges. Sports fans have often played the game or
they know the rules to realize, how challenging a victory may be. Because of that, fans are eager to see how
someone else would navigate the situation, and the same can be said for video games. Players search a particular game, stumble
upon Felix, and become curious to see his reaction to a particular event in the game. The second element is, community and camaraderie. Upon understanding the difficulty of the challenges,
you begin to root for your team to beat the other. Soon you realize other individuals have those
same feelings as well. This not only applies to wanting to see Felix
succeed, but it applies to the whole realm of Esports. And PewDiePie has played this niche
so well. He’s entertaining, he’s genuine, and he’s
likable. Okay I want to get up there. Yes. Right there. Right there? Yes! I want to get a shot up there. That thing? YES!!! ugh. So people aren’t good at keeping niches because
they’re people. People are individualistic and they have many
characteristics about them. Large companies that specialize in digital
content such as BuzzFeed and Smosh are great at sticking to their niches. They rarely face any sort of “burn out”
because there’s a number of writers and cast members who are easily dispensable if
they ever feel like stepping away from their niche. Individuals on the other hand who are for
the most part in charge of their own content, feel stuck when they have to stick to one
particular topic. It’s one reason I think, creators make an
“honest video”. Sometimes, youtubers feel like they have to
stick to one style of content in order to make the viewer happy, and it is a legitimate
concern. In these “honest videos”, the creator
reveals to their audience how unhappy they are with their current content. To appease this unhappiness, they announce
a change in content. A type they feel happy making for themselves,
rather than content that just pleases the audience. I’ve mentioned this in multiple videos before,
but fans are for the most part understanding and look forward to seeing future videos. Though the new content will make the creator
happy, they aren’t entitled to the same amount of views they received from their old
videos. So, when content isn’t up to par as viewers
would like, they stop watching. Of course, people are multifaceted. We’re all individuals with depth, but personal
branding is powerful. Most people can be summed up in a single word
or sentence. Martha Stewart, cooking. George Washington, 1st US president. Bruce Lee, Martial Arts. Will Smith, Fresh Prince of Bel Air. And it’s not to say, that this is all these
people equate to, but it’s how most people outside their circle perceive them. Imagine if Will Ferrell replaced Leo in Titanic. I’m flying Jack. So, when viewers subscribe to a creator, they
are subscribing to that particular brand. When that brand changes, viewers often leave. I don’t want to get stuck. This elevator looks fancy though so I feel
like we won’t get stuck. R. Pewdiepie has changed his content multiple
times and yet he’s still a likable person. “Forced Positivity” was a video Felix
uploaded that had a number of people on the internet, on his side. He explains how he played some games such
as Happy Wheels while putting on a “positive” facade. When the cameras were off, he felt unhappy
because it was a game he didn’t want to play, but it was one his audience wanted to
see. He adds another point where he states in order
for him to keep making videos, he has to be more honest with his content and create things
he wants. I think you can tell if I’m not really having
a good time playing games. You can see that. So that’s why I don’t play a lot of games
that I use to play and my fans are kind of mad at me for it. There’s just no way to win. If I play I lose. If I don’t play, I lose. So I might as well just go and be selfish
and think about me. Because yes it is my job to entertain you
guys. If you guys are entertained with me playing
happy wheels then maybe I should just shut up and do it, but I also think you guys don’t
want a fake version of me. And this mindset is seen throughout PewDiePie’s
video archive. You see him changing his content from time
to time. There are gameplays, sit-down videos, vlogs,
PewNews, and meme reviews, but his viewership is excellent. Few creators can do this without a drop in
numbers. Change is inevitable as YouTube grows, so
creators do have to adapt, but there is a proper way to do it. The “proper” way to make a change to your
content is to create a seperate channel for your new niche. For example, when bad press began to circulate
in the prank genre. RomanAtWood heavily focused on family vlogs
on a 2nd channel. In time, his vlog channel surpassed his prank
channel, and it seems as if won’t be uploading to his prank channel any time soon. But Felix didn’t do this. He did have other channels in the past, but
his focus is and has always been on his main channel, and he has uploaded multiple types
of content to it. Look we made it to the rooftop. Is this view worth it? From my past videos, I always say that the
reason why a lot of these youtubers stay relevant is because of personality but what actually
does that mean for PewDiePie? It’s so easy to boil things down to personality,
but to me what separates Felix from the other gaming content creators is that he is one
of the first to unapologetically be himself, and prove the hollywood image of gamers to
be wrong. Alright major stone shield potion should be
oh I’m going to have again. You can’t go to the bathroom. You’re stacking saunder armor. It’s okay. Mom! Bathroom. What? Bathroom. Bathroom. In media, the gamer archetype has always been
someone who is portrayed as “geeky”, “socially awkward”, and “lazy”. For the first time, PewDiePie portrayed the
gamer as a normal guy and even someone that can make a lot of money doing what they love. Actual gamers could finally relate to someone,
and Felix has been one of the first people to push it mainstream. In the rise of gaming content on YouTube,
most creators made gaming content because it was trending and could grow their channel. Sure, gaming was fun for them, but it wasn’t
really a passion. Felix has drawn video game characters ever
since he was in kindergarten. It’s clear to see that this is something
that’s more than just a hobby to him, and when he decided to upload something other
than game play, that personality was consistent. It was there. He is and has always been himself whether
he’s doing Meme reviews or doing a let’s play. And it’s that simple. Viewers love when he plays games, but they
also want to hear his thoughts and opinions about more. I was met with a lot of criticism, a lot of
angry fans that said “oh you’re not playing amnesia. you’ve really changed” or “you’re not playing
this game anymore. you really changed”. And I was really ready for my channel to come
down crashing. And then that would be it. But at least I would be fulfilled. At least I would be happier. It took some time but eventually I broke through
and all of a sudden I had people loving what I was doing because there actual passion behind
it. And it also had the opposite effect that I
thought my channel would go down but it did really well either way. My advice to a lot of youtubers and entertainers
is do what makes you happy. If you lose some fans in the process I think
in the end it will be worth it and I think a lot of us need to stop taking our own personal
health after whatever it is we’re doing.


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