onsdag 20 augusti 2014

Some things, I just don't understand

PewDiePie is a 24 year old game commentator with a channel on YouTube. His real name is Felix Kjellberg. He has about 30 million subscribers* and often clocks 5 million views per 5-10 minute clip. On July 19, 2014 his channel became the most seen channel on YouTube with a total of 5.2 billion historic views, of which 3bn in just the last 11 months.

According to an article by Business Insider, when he had 20% fewer subs than today, Felix made between 1-10 million dollars per year after YouTube's fees. Suffice to say he is getting rich, doing something he really likes, and probably would do in his spare time even if he didn't get a dime for it. Wonderful. Perfect. Amazing.

This is what he does for a living:

This clip has 56m views as per today, and probably represents some of his best work. It's basically a montage of footage of various games and clips and his reactions and voice overs.

This meta-clip of old people reacting to PewDiePie has 13 million views (as per today Aug 20, 2014). They are like me. I just don't get it either.

I am not hating. I am trying to understand. I get it that he has some kind of first mover advantage, that he built a fan base early and now reaps profits from that, as well as from hype and network effects of being nr 1.

I also applaud him, he is the epitome of what I advocate; Try to have fun no matter what you do (2:23-2:30), no matter the prospects. If you have fun, you have won.

What I don't understand is how come he is still number one? After watching five of his clips, I can't see anything remotely talented or difficult in there, that millions of his subscribers shouldn't be perfectly able to do themselves. Anybody with interest in video games and some acting talent and/or drive to write some sort of a script beforehand should be able to wipe the floor with PewDiePie. There should be thousands, if not millions, both willing and able to compete with him on an at least even basis. As one woman says in the video above : "I would guess he has zero subscribers", which is close to what I would have guessed just seeing his work. Another way of putting it is that PewDiePie is sprezzatura.

Do you watch his videos? Are you enticed by the business and interested in competing with PewDiePie? Here is one of his largest competitors, Smosh, so you know what you are up against... To me, the order seems reversed since Smosh at least put a lot of work, talent and script into their videos.

*PewDiePie reached 28m subs on June 23, 2014 and then 29m on July 29, 2014. As a reference point, he became the most subscribed YouTube channel exactly a year ago on August 15, 2013, when he reached about 12m subscribers - less than half of today's base.

Regarding incomprehensible stuff. Today I got an invitation to an arts exhibition. I don't understand this picture that accompanied the invite, either. Try not to laugh. Then look at it again. Imagine you are sitting at an important meeting, and you have this picture hidden under a paper and you try to look at it without laughing.

2 kommentarer:

  1. Hi,

    I really enjoy your posts. Thank you.
    I would really like to improve your website for free in return or provide my help with anything you might need.

    Blue skies,
    Michel Cevzar

    1. Thank you, and thanks for the offer. I am well aware that my site is very basic (and unattractive) and would be happy to accept any help in improving it. I'll get back to you on this.

      The near future, however, I am a bit occupied (a translation project this week, then month end with all that implies, followed by a week in Austria)