YouTube signs exclusive deal with PewDiPie

PewDiePie

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PewDiePie will return to making videos for YouTube after a year’s hiatus.

Videomaker PewDiPie has signed an exclusive agreement for streaming on YouTube.

PewDiPie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, had amassed over 100 million followers in 2019 when he suddenly announced that he would be leaving the platform.

He said returning to YouTube was a “natural adaptation” as he sought new ways to connect with fans.

The deal comes three years after Google-owned YouTube has entered into a separate deal with the video maker on anti-Semitic posts.

The 30-year-old Swedish vlogger started posting videos on YouTube in 2010. They were shown to play and comment on the video games he played.

It has a particular success with its comic reaction to horror games. From there he extended to videos on a wide range of topics, including interactions with other YouTubers and his followers.

In 2019 PewDiPie announced that it would no longer make videos for YouTube and instead create content exclusively for Dlive, a live streaming platform that promised better financial returns for its content creators. At the time PewDiPie said he was taking a break from YouTube because he felt “very tired”.

Streaming wars

His return to YouTube comes when video streaming collides with other platforms for the most famous video creators. Sites like Twitch and Mixer have signed exclusive agreements with players in live streaming to increase the audience.

Earlier this year YouTube signed Valkyrae, Muselk and LazarBeam players on their platform.

In a statement, PewDiPie said that live streaming is an important part of his decision to return to YouTube.

“Live streaming is something I’m focusing on in 2020 and beyond, so being able to collaborate with YouTube and being at the forefront of new product features is special and exciting for the future,” he said.

Controversial comments

As PewDiPie’s popularity has grown, controversy surrounds it too.

In 2017, PewDiPie released a series of videos that include Nazi images and anti-Semitic messages.

The posts made him lose deals with Disney Maker Studios and YouTube Red, the company’s premium subscription platform. Being removed from YouTube Red meant that he could still post videos on his YouTube channels but would earn less for advertising.

Later that year, he used the word N during a live stream and praised a white supremacist in a separate video. PewDiPie apologized for both incidents.

During an awards ceremony in 2019, he pledged to give $ 50,000 (£ 40,177) to the Anti-Defamation League, a group that fights anti-Semitism and hate speech. But he later canceled that promise saying he would instead donate to a charity he was “personally passionate about”.

In a statement Google, the parent company of YouTube, said that PewDiPie’s previous comments “were not in line with our values.”

“If it violated our policies today, we would act accordingly just as we would any other creator,” said a company spokesman.

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