PewDiePie, the YouTube megastar whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, generated $4 million in advertising revenue last year from videos on the Google service mainly showing himself playing videogames.
The obscenity-prone 24-year-old Swedish native has more than 27.7 million subscribers on YouTube, making him the site's most-subscribed independent channel, and has notched more than 4.7 billion views to date. Most of the $4 million in ad revenue on his channel is pure profit, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The YouTube channel of PewDiePie, who calls himself "Pewds" and refers to fans as "bros" is managed by Maker Studios. Maker is the multichannel network Disney acquired this spring in a deal worth upwards of $950 million. He makes the videos from a London flat, according to the WSJ report.
However, exactly how effectively Disney will be able to tap into YouTube creators like PewDiePie remains to be seen.
Maker plans to work with all of Disney's brands, including Lucasiflm, Pixar, Marvel, ESPN, ABC and Disney itself, Maker Studios exec chairman Ynon Kreiz said at the company's Digital Content NewFronts event last month New York. The combined Internet reach of Disney and Maker Studios will be behind only Google and Facebook, according to Kreiz.
Disney was expected to lay off about 10% of Maker's 380 employees this month, Variety reported.
The $4 million he made does not include merch sales.