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The Money and Business of YouTube

With the recent termination of Pewdiepie’s Maker Studios, Inc. contract and YouTube Red show, some are railing against the ‘politically correct’ culture that they claim did him in. “Pewdiepie was just joking with all the antisemitic references in some of his videos,” they say.

But that of course is not the whole story, is it? Pewdiepie makes antisemitic references because he knows some people are sensitive to it, especially in America. Clearly his fans dont care and/or they get his humor. So as long as he entertains them, no harm no foul.

Pewdiepie is a business man and he knows ‘controversy’ generates interest, views and makes him money. That is why some of his videos highlight how people are always talking about him. He is proud that he is discussed often and probably uses that fact when negotiating his business deals.

Traditional media covers Pewdiepie because he is the most popular YouTuber and they get additional pages views etc. when they write about him, especially if he criticizes them in one of his videos.

Maker Studios, Inc. and YouTube are in business too. They have business dealings with Pewdiepie because they thought it was good for business, and once it stopped being good for business or their main business interests, they told him to get lost.

Pewdiepie’s business partners temporarily let him go because he was bad for business. He was not censored. 

They made a business decision. They did not cancel his YouTube channel. He can still make his antisemitic jokes and curse up a storm all he wants. They just can not be associated with him right now, because it would hurt their more important business interests.


In Batman: The Dark Knight, the Joker said: “It’s not about the money, it’s about sending a message.” But the number one priority of any business is making money. 

Maker Studios, Inc. and YouTube are severing ties with Pewdiepie because temporarily he is more trouble than he is worth. He does not generate nearly enough revenue for them to deal with the bad press that could show up at their doorsteps.

It is interesting that they did not ask him first to apologize, before unceremoniously dumping him. You never know how really small you are in the grand scheme of things until the actual people who rule the world contact one of your business partners and ask them about you.

Once the traditional media starts paying attention to you, and in Pewdiepie’s case it was the Wall Street Journal, your traditional business partners/associates will respond negatively, if your actions hurt business.


I don’t want to see you on the six o’ clock news.

I don’t think his business partners really cared what Pewdiepie did or said until he was bad for business. They supported him 100%. YouTube had his channel in Google Preferred which apparently offers YouTube’s advertising partners the most popular YouTube channels in the 18-34 demographic that offer ‘brand safe content’ on YouTube.

Brand safe content? What the what? What? Brand safe? What part of Pewdiepie was brand safe? The Antisemitism or the cursing?

Pewdiepie was good for business right up until February 2017, almost 7 years. Now he is bad, ’cause business 101. Hypocrites.

Hypocrisy: We only have morals when other people (mainstream media) are watching. Otherwise, have at it young man…

Final thoughts on Pewdiepie and Google Preferred:

As a struggling YouTuber, the whole Google Preferred thing is quite interesting. I am intrigued if the other top 1% YouTubers will ask YouTube about this? Pewdiepie had a really sweet deal with YouTube. He could do or say whatever he wanted and it didn’t affect his money. Still Google Preferred.

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