(Last Updated On: January 24, 2015)
He was the undisputed ‘King of YouTube’ in 2014 with 4.1 billion hts and he has gained an outstanding 33 million subscribers, who worship the webcam ‘PewDiePie’ he uses to broadcast.
It is a fact that if Felix Kjellberg’s loyal fans created their own country, it would be the world’s 34th largest – and with more people than Hungary, Greece and his native Sweden all together.
Even though he is one of the YouTube generation’s most popular and influential people, the video blogger has selected a quiet life by the Brighton seaside together with a beautiful Italian girl he met online.
He met Marzia Bisognin, 22, in the summer of 2011 on the internet after her friend suggested she watch the ‘idiot playing video games’.
She started quite liking the idiot, who straightaway got on a plane to Italy and four years after that, their digital romance keeps on going in real life.
25-year-old Felix said on the Swedish Radio: “If there was something I learned at this point was, if there is something you want, grab it, otherwise drop it. So I went to Italy. I did not even tell anyone that I was going away. I just left home and left a note to my parents in the kitchen and told them that I could not watch the dog anymore. My deal for staying at home was that if I did not have a job. I had to walk the dog every lunch, a task I handled miserably.”
He acknowledges that it was ‘the craziest thing’ he’s ever done. However, what he got for a impulsive and nerve-racking flight to Italy – and an awkward introduction to her parents – was the couple’s first kiss.
Kjellberg added: “She was waiting with a friend at the arrivals gate. More beautiful in real life than in the videos she sent me.”
Bisognin eventually moved to Sweden and after another short stint at her parent’s home, they made up their mind to live in Brighton in July of 2013.
Since then, Felix has turned into an internet sensation with £2.6 million being his 2013 earnings, which he almost entirely earned from advertising.
However, the future could have gone another way for the 25-year-old, who once learned Industrial Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology located in Gothenburg.
Both of his parents, Ulf Kjellberg and Johanna, are successful Chief Executives of their separate companies found in Sweden.
And having learned at Goteborgs Hogre Samskola, found in one of the city’s most successful areas, he could have taken the path of a corporal life too.
Lucky for his millions of fans, Kjellberg’s goals were not the same with his classmates’ at Chalmers.
He said to Icon magazine’s Maria Lindholm: “I noticed that I had nothing in common with the rest of the people in the program. They all wanted to make a business career, to become CEO’s and stuff like that, something I had no interest in whatsoever. So I dropped out.”
Felix said to the Swedish radio: “Dropping the news to my parents that I was skipping my “dream education” at Chalmers to sit home recording videos while playing video games was not easy. My parents said that sitting at home playing video-games all day won’t bring you anywhere in life. Thinking about it now, it was utterly absurd. To get into Chalmers for industrial economics you need straight A’s, but somehow I was happier selling hot dogs and making my own gaming videos.”
Mark Studios, a company that manages around 55,000 YouTube channels, got interested in Felix’s videos. The company itself was bought out by Disney for £660 million last year.
Today, Icon magazine says that his profit margin was 97 per cent with £806,000 being paid by MAker Studios in dividends alone.
The Gothenburg-born gamer has used his global reach to gather over £660,000 for charities like WorldWildlifeFund, Save the Children and charity:water.
He said to the Swedish magazine Icon: “I’m not out to max my income. I think my viewers would call me on that right away if I did. I’ve seen other YouTubers started selling and it was a mistake.”
Under the name, PewDiePie, he commentates on video games and gives insane and hilarious reaction which is compulsive viewing, at least to his subscribers.
For the million of teenagers over the globe, linked with their friends through a headset, PewDiePie is not just a celebrity – he’s another friend.
Felix said to Wall Street Journal’s Sven Grundberg and Jens Hansegard, “What I and other YouTubers do is a very different thing, it’s almost like hanging around and watching your pal play games. My fans care in a different way about what they are watching. Unlike many professionally produced shows, I think I’ve established a much closer contact with my viewers, breaking the wall between viewer and what’s behind the screen.”
Kjellberg is an excitable and extrovert character behind the screen, but in real life, he lives a shy and retiring life with Marzia in Brighton. Marzia started her own youtube channel in 2013, however, her mere 4.8 million subscribers pale in comparison to his.
The couple was visited by the Swedish magazine Icon in their Victorian apartment’ decorated with furniture they purchased off eBay, and described the living rooms where he records as ‘an elaborate cake’.
It is Felix video logging empire’s base. The couch where he play video games is located across from the recording equipment, lightning and microphone which broadcasts his commentary and face to the planet.
He said, “Now we have settled down here with our two pugs in our apartment. We make out videos… then we watch a lot of movies together like an ordinary couple.”
He just moved to the place after fans, who he calls his bro’s, found his old address.
“We actually moved, and yes, again. We’re still in UK after all and I don’t think you bro’s need to know exactly where I live,” he said in one of his videos.
“If I wanted you bro’s to know where I lived, I’d tell you my address.”
Kjellberg is always recognized on the streets of Brighton, and while he encourages people to introduce themselves, he does not like being called ‘famous’.
“Seeing all this stuff on Facebook and Twitter worries me a little bit. Let’s take it down a notch,” he said to his subscribers.
Felix has made up his mind to never again give an interview to the media, since he lacks the need to promote the PewDiePie brand.
“I don’t do interviews. I decided about a year ago that I would stop, so now I don’t give interviews to any media,” the YouTube star said to MailOnline yesterday.
He also said to his fans while he was in an online question and answer session, “Being in the spotlight isn’t for me – in many ways I’d prefer if my channel was small.”
PewDiePie Italian girlfriend – who goes under the alias CutiePieMarzia – is the Queen of Youtube if PewDiePie is the King of YouTube.
With nearly five million subscribers, twenty-two-year-old Marzia Bisognin is a successful YouTube videographer in her own right.
Often the highest number of views are gotten by videos she and Felix do together.
A self-confessed ‘shy girl’ from Vivenza, Italy, she has used her platform to grow from ‘vlogging’ into fashion. Her Instagram account is filled with images of clothing promotions, apart from pictures of Felix and their two dogs.
An audience much younger than themselves have been brought by their clean-cut, colourful personas, however, Felix Kjellberg’s ‘career’ is not without controversy.
In spite of admitting that some of his viewers are as young as 12, he swears on a number of occasions and makes references to getting ‘drunk and naked’.
In his early YouTube videos, he even made rape jokes, for which he had to give a public apology where he said, “’I just wanted to make clear that I’m no longer making rape jokes, as I mentioned before I’m not looking to hurt anyone and I apologise if it ever did.”
Felix has dreams of making his own game in the future, however, the demand of always uploading videos for his millions of loyal fans is starting to take its toll – and fans may have to search for another addiction soon.
“I can’t be making videos every single day of the year, I’m sorry. I make everything myself and sometimes it takes a lot of time to make a video, so sometimes I have to postpone it,” he admitted to fans.
“Right now I probably won’t last more than two years. I’m putting so much time and energy into it, [I’m] getting really burned out.”