UPDATED 14:53 EST / OCTOBER 30 2015


PewDiePie says ad blockers are partly to blame for the creation of YouTube Red

Felix Kjellberg, the YouTube mega-celebrity better known as PewDiePie, has proven that it still possible to succeed in web video without being a multinational media corporation, but the Swedish 26-year-old said that making a living off of YouTube is not easy, even for YouTube itself. According to Kjellberg, that is why YouTube launched its recently announced YouTube Red subscription service, which allows users to pay a $10 monthly fee for an ad-free experience and access to some types of premium content, including Kjellberg’s own “Scary PewDiePie” show.

“So how come YouTube, an ad revenue website decided to switch to include payed services?” Kjellberg recently wrote on his Tumblr. “This might seem insane, especially since YouTube comes from the ad giant Google.Well, despite YouTube being a huge website, YouTube still isn’t profiting.”

Kjellberg pointed to Daily Mail article with the headline “YouTube is losing money even though it has more than 1 billion users.” He explained that a primary cause of this is the widespread use of ad blockers, browser extensions that are capable of hiding advertisements, including those played before videos on YouTube.

According to an informal poll Kjellberg conducted with his Twitter followers, around 40 percent of his viewers use some form of ad blocker, and he said that this number is consistent with his own Google statistics.

“Personally, I’m OK with if you use adblock on my videos. Ads are annoying, I get it, I’m not here to complain about that,” Kjellberg said. “But for smaller channels, this number can be devastating.”

He explained that many users seem to have a very loose attitude toward ad blockers without considering how they affect content creators who rely on ad revenue.

“I think what many people still don’t realize is that: YouTube Red exist largely as an effort to counter Adblock,” Kjellberg said. “Using Adblock doesn’t mean you’re clever and above the system. YouTube Red exists because using Adblock has actual consequences.”

He added,”Now, there are questions remained to be answered about YouTube Red. Like: How much of YouTube Red’s $10 actually goes to it’s creators?Will YouTube Red actually be beneficial for smaller channels? Is the $10 price actually justified? These are all important questions about YouTube Red. But right now, it’s more important that we understand what the actual problem here is.”

Screenshot via PewDiePie | YouTube

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