PewDiePie Remains YouTube’s Highest-Paid Star

December 9, 2016, 5:43 PM UTC
PewDiePie Book Signing For "This Book Loves You"
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg aka PewDiePie attends the book signing for "This Book Loves You" held at Barnes & Noble at The Grove on October 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
Michael Tran FilmMagic

Forbes has released its list of the highest paid YouTube stars of 2016—and Swedish vlogger PewDiePie remains in the top spot.

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has turned the lighthearted and often crude videos he produces for his 50 million subscribers into a $15 million paycheck over a 12-month period that ended in June, Forbes reports. The 12 Internet celebrities on the list, including Canadian-born rapper-singer-dancer Lilly Singh and the American duo who run the web-based comedy channel Smosh, earned a combined $70.5 million—a 23% increase from last year’s total.

PewDiePie has been in the news recently for threatening to delete his hugely successful channel in a 10-minute rant against the video service posted on Dec. 2. He took issue with many of YouTube’s product and content changes, which he said has caused his videos to perform poorly.

The YouTube star isn’t the only one complaining about the decline in activity on his channel. Other long-time video bloggers have also said they are being treated badly by YouTube, despite generating huge amounts of traffic. A number of YouTubers have said that the site changed the way it displays videos in November to show more recommended videos and de-emphasized the subscriptions that users already have.

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