Swedish YouTuber, self-proclaimed comedian, game streamer, and controversy magnet Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg – better known by his online persona PewDiePie – has hit the 100 million subscribers mark on YouTube. In doing so, PewDiePie has become the first individual creator to reach the elusive 100 million subscribers mark on his eponymous YouTube channel, which is only the second YouTube channel to enter the 100 million subscribers club after Indian music label and movie studio T-Series breached that mark earlier this year. YouTube congratulated its most valuable individual vlogger by creating a short video commemorating his journey over the years. Kjellberg undeniably has one of the biggest audiences on YouTube, and the choices he makes directly shape what happens on the platform.
When he first started his channel nearly a decade ago, he helped revolutionize gaming on YouTube. More recently, his channel has looked more like a variety series, with Kjellberg running through memes, commenting on YouTube culture, and reacting to other videos. Kjellberg called the milestone “an unreal achievement” in a tweet on Monday morning. “I don’t feel worthy, but I’m forever grateful,” he wrote. In a video ahead of the milestone, Kjellberg thanked his subscribers and expressed awe at the coming achievement. “I still don’t believe it,” he said. “Before YouTube I was that weird kid with no friends, and suddenly there’s so many people who enjoy what I do.”
YouTube canceled his YouTube Red series, Scare PewDiePie, in 2017, following the use of anti-Semitic imagery in his video. He was also removed from Google’s top-tier ad program, Google Preferred. Kjellberg said it’s been “a rocky road” for his channel in his recent video reflecting on the milestone.
“Looking back now, I kind of feel very stupid about it, and how a lot of it wasn’t worth it,” Kjellberg said. “Basically, I’m sorry for all the bad things I’ve done. I just want to play Minecraft.”
Reaching 100 million subscribers became an endgame for so many fans. The fact that it happened amid a major shift on his channel — and personal events, like his marriage last week — has led people to speculate that Kjellberg is preparing to leave YouTube. Kjellberg said recently that he’s looking forward to some time off and taking his first serious break in years, but he plans to stick around.
“I still really enjoy YouTube, and I have no plans of quitting,” Kjellberg said. “I do think it would be good for me to take a break at some point … it would be nice to not have YouTube on my brain for the first time in 10 years.”