PewDiePie (real name Felix Kjellberg) has overtaken Smosh as the most subscribed channel on YouTube, nearing 12 million subscribers less than a year after hitting 2 million. PewDiePie’s channel is dedicated to gaming, in particular the 23-year-old Swede's commentary on video games as he plays them.
PewDiePie has not been building a business out of web video as long as the Smosh duo of Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla, whose proprietary website remains a model for YouTube creators. Yet Kjelberg has been scaling the subscribers charts faster than anyone else, passing the Smosh duo by a couple thousand Thursday night. As of this posting, the channel had 11.92 million subscribers.
"When I started my YouTube channel in 2010, I never imagined that one day it would be the most subscribed channel in the world and that I would be a part of such a great community," Kjellberg said in a statement to TheWrap.
PewDiePie joined Maker Studios network earlier this year and is a centerpiece of its rebranded gaming channel Polaris.
"He is a great example of how a YouTube content creator can amass a worldwide follwing due to passion and creativity, and his large subscriber base showcases the loyalty and strong connection he to his 'bros,'" Maker Studios president Ben Donovan said in reference to the name adopted by Kjellberg's rabid fans.