PewDiePie: Adblock Is the Real Reason YouTube Red Was Launched




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YouTube’s freshly-launched paid service, YouTube Red, is largely a reaction to the surging use of ad-blocking software, according to YouTube’s biggest star.  “I think what many people still don’t realize is that… YouTube Red exist[s] largely as an effort to counter Adblock,” PewDiePie blogged.  “Using Adblock doesn’t mean you’re clever and above the system,” the post continued.

“YouTube Red exist[s] because using Adblock has actual consequences.”


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The very giant problem, according to PewDiePie, is that YouTube still isn’t making a profit despite having more than 1 billion viewers.  “Well, despite YouTube being a huge website, YouTube still isn’t profiting,” PewDiePie bolded, while citing a Daily Mail article.  “If you read through all those bullet points, the answer behind YouTube Red’s existence becomes a lot more clear.”

“And it’s not unlikely that it will keep growing.”

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has amassed a channel following of more than 40 million, a figure that eclipses bigger ‘real world’ superstars like Justin Bieber and Rihanna.  That’s a huge amount of ads, though Kjellberg pointed to a rapid ramp-up in the use ad-blockers, and queried his own Twitter following to prove the case.  “I can also confirm with my own Google statistics 40% is a correct estimate,” PewDiePie noted.  “It’s a number that has grown a lot over the years, from roughly 15-20% when I started.  And it’s not unlikely that it will keep growing.”

“But for smaller channels, this number can be devastating.”

But is that stealing?  Kjellberg was very careful not to attack his fans, but sought instead to focus on the impact felt by smaller YouTubers.   “What this means is that YouTubers lose about 40% of their ad income,” Kjellberg continued.  “Personally, I’m ok if you use adblock on my videos.  Ads are annoying, I get it, I’m not here to complain about that.  But for smaller channels, this number can be devastating.

“Despite this, it seems that many people’s general attitude towards Adblock is very open loose.”

33 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    “YouTube’s freshly-launched paid service, YouTube Red, is largely a reaction to the surging use of ad-blocking software”

    Because adblock users like me will definitely pay to get rid of those annoying YouTube ads, eh… 🙂

    Seriously, if YouTube — and anybody else out there, for that matter — want to survive, they need to block adblockers.

    • Reluctant Adblocker

      I don’t want to run adblock software. Don’t want to deny legitimate sites a bit of ad revenue, nor increase the amount of 3rd party stuff running all the time on my machines.

      But a significant minority of sites have, over time, become so outright abusive with their advertising layouts, bogging their pages down, filling every square inch of white space, slowing browsing experience to a crawl – and devaluing the ads themselves, in the process – that the web’s become much more pleasant to use with all ads off.

      More ads means less attention per ad, less value per ad. Why can’t publishers and advertisers collectively figure that out? And popovers, auto-play audio/video ads etc.? Die.

      • Anonymous

        I could accept a few small, black-on-white, text-based ads — no flash, no images, no unusual fonts, no colors — but that’s it. And I don’t want any ads at all on videos.

        So I have two options if a site blocks me because of my adblockers:

        1) Stay away.
        2) Pay for an ad-free version.

        In most cases I’d go for #1. But a very limited number of sites are so necessary for me that I would have to pay.

        YouTube is one of them. I use it for hours every day, without any ads, and that’s the way I want it.

        But there’s no way I’m gonna pay if I don’t have to.

        • Anonymous

          …also, I can’t even begin to understand why YouTube accept this 40%+ loss of potential income, when it would be so easy to stop adblockers like me at the door.

          What’s holding them back?

          You can’t steal YouTube. First, it’s already a pirate site. Second, nobody can copy — and host — even a fraction of its data…

          • FarePlay

            Ad Blocking. The new piracy.

            “But there’s no way I’m gonna pay if I don’t have to.”

            i wonder what this anonymous tool means by “have to”.

        • Sebbie

          The main reason I started using adblock was aesthetically ugly ads, and ads obnoxiously using gross images to try to make me feel bad about aging, or weight. Don’t make your ad obnoxious to gain attention, make it aesthetically pleasing.

  2. Anonymous

    “YouTube’s infrastructure costs the company $3.8billion per year”

    And eMarketer predicts YouTube will generate $9.5 billion in ad revenue for Google this year, according to New York Times, October 22, 2015.

    Now, YouTube claims to pay 55% of that ad revenue to the content owners.

    So could anyone please explain why YouTube paid less than $1.5bn — not per year, but in total — to content providers since 2005?

    (YouTube confirmed its $1 billion payout since its launch seven years ago to Billboard, October 14, 2014. I’ll post the link in a comment below.)

    • Anonymous

      Also, it’s important to understand that the approx $1 billion YouTube paid in total since day one covers direct payments to content owners as well as ContentID compensations for illegally uploaded files.

      “Since it was acquired by Google in 2006, YouTube has paid out more than one billion dollars to the music industry through licensing deals that give rights holders a share of advertising revenue. That figure, Kyncl says, is going to double soon”
      SOURCE: YouTube’s Robert Kyncl, Northwestmusicscene, June 17, 2014.

      “We’ve paid out to the music industry over the last several years over a billion dollars,” said vice president of YouTube content Tom Pickett during a panel session at the Midem music industry show in Cannes this week”
      SOURCE: YouTube’s Tom Pickett, The Guardian, February 3, 2014.

      I’ll post the links in a comment below.

  3. There is something...

    Part of the problem is that ads on web medias keep growing and becoming really annoying. I never minded a few banners, but now it seems that many medias have far more ads than content, and those ads are pushed down our throats more and more aggressively. I never used and adblocker until this year, but have been forced to as I got really tired of the amount of ads. Some Youtube vids now don’t only have ads at the beginning, but also banners popping during the video, forcing you to click to remove it if you want to see a clean screen.

    Bottom line is: when you abuse with ads, you get backlash from the users. Discreet and well thought ads will have far more chance to get my attention than those forced advertisement technics. I don’t click and certainly never buy a product from an ad that pissed me off…


    I saw twenty minutes of web use earlier this year without ads blocked, running a brand new machine. The web was unusable in the face of the overwhelming load of ad crap thrown at me.

    If people want to see adblockers as depriving somebody of money, consider this: I have never in my life purchased anything based on advertising. I would never click any of those ads in the first place. The premise is flawed from the gitgo for a large number of web users.

    • Anonymous

      “I saw twenty minutes of web use earlier this year without ads blocked, running a brand new machine. The web was unusable in the face of the overwhelming load of ad crap thrown at me.”

      :), same here…

  5. Anonymous

    I just watched some pewdiepie clips for the first time. WTF is the shit? 40 million subscribers? You are kidding me.

    • Anonymous

      “WTF is the shit?”

      Don’t say that — nobody would use YouTube if it were limited to music.People come because you can find anything you want, including the occasional clown.

      • FarePlay

        Not just another Clown, “WTF”. Actually, there’s a little more consequence than just a solitary clown. Watch any of the top 25 streamed shows on YouTube and talk to us about UGC. And talk about surrounding oneself with stupid mediocrity or less.

        None of this crap will be watched again 2 years from now, yes there will be the same kind of popular “clown” shows, but none of this content will be watched again. It’s throwaway content for a throw away generation.

        You get what you do and don’t pay for…..

  6. Layne

    Ive been a niche content creator since 2007… I’ve noticed a HUGE drop in revenue over the last 18 months. It’s most likely because adblockers as 70% of my views come from desktop based browsers. That being said, I really hate ads and have no problem using AB’s. I use the internet to get away from to constant bombardment of ads shown on network television.

    • Anonymous

      “It’s most likely because adblockers as 70% of my views come from desktop based browsers”

      Mobile adblockers got a huge boost with IOS 9, too.

      My guess is that 90% of all devices block ads in 2017.

  7. matt

    i find it amusing hes saying hes doing it for the video creators Who knew that sitting around and playing video games was such a rewarding profession? Clearly PewDiePie – because the YouTube star reportedly made just under $7.5 million in 2014 alone. “I know I complain about the comments a lot, but it’s my main way to communicate with you bros. I go to the comments and it’s mainly spam. It’s people self-advertising. It’s people who are trying to provoke.

    “It’s all this stuff that to me doesn’t mean anything. I don’t care about it. I don’t want to see it. It’s been bothering me for so long now. I’ve been trying to find solutions to it, and trying to find ways to make it better, and I’m just sick of it, so I’m going to turn the comments off forever. ”

    I go to the comments and it’s mainly spam. It’s people self-advertising.
    PewDiePie said he hopes his subscribers understand his decision, and pointed out that he would be communicating via Twitter and Reddit henceforth.

    The announcement comes as the internet celebrity announced that more than 30 million people have subscribed to his channel.

    PewDiePie has gained tremendous popularity over the past several years by publishing various Let’s Play videos online. Publishers and developers are beginning to note the commercial impact of his videos, with games featured on his channel often climbing in sales.

    skate 3, for example, has remained in the UK top 40 chart all year despite being released in 2010, primarily because PewDiePie continues to publish videos of the game. Publisher Electronic Arts decided to capitalise on this deal by printing more copies of the game.

  8. MikeB

    Yeah like this is going to stop me from using adblock.
    Oh, and “downloadable” vids as a reward for shelling out 10 bucks?
    Guess what, any user with a brain can learn how to install userscripts that allow them to download vids.
    Oh wait, the main type of people tossing money at youtube are going to be brainless normies and kids annoying their parents. It’s a shame really, I was having a good day until I remembered those two types of people exist.

      • Robert Jensen

        take monetization out of the equation and what incentive do people have to even make anything other than home videos. you’re apparently a user without a brain!

        • MikeB

          Do you honestly think that I don’t know that?
          I am not going to view ads for products that I am not going to buy/click/whatever.
          They’ll just get a patreon or a similar type account anyway like everyone else is nowadays.
          Besides, why would I watch something made by someone who only wants to make money anyway? If someone’s not going to make vids simply because they’re not getting paid they don’t deserve a single cent or view.

          • renon

            so you support a paid subscription model, or more accurately, in your case, theft. if everyone is like you and blocks ads, free youtube, along with a any other website that relies on ads to function, will no longer exist. its that simple. only kids with enough free time or trust funds will be putting anything out there. all the talent will cost money, and there are people out there (in the 1%) that can afford the quality content, leaving us 99% with crap.

            thats the world you and your generation is creating with this I’m entitled to everything for free attitude. you will remember the day when you could just suffer through some ads and not have to pay for anything. the 1% is not relying on income from ad based sites or from viral youtube videos. its people struggling to make a living. so your actions just make the gap even larger by denying these people of any sort of money. just you do not have to look at an ad.

          • Anonymous

            “if everyone is like you and blocks ads, free youtube, along with a any other website that relies on ads to function, will no longer exist. its that simple”

            They’ll be replaced by smarter services. That’s not a problem.

    • Goose

      “Normies”? Did somebody recently watch Mother Goose Rock N’ Rhyme?

      Either way, it’s a trippy kids movie and fun to watch with a good buzz going.

  9. renon

    People are idiots. Ad-blocking is going to equate to paid services. The only reason things are free is because revenue can be had through ads. The world is full of morons. Ads are not that invasive to the point that the internet will no longer be free for everyone and we will go back to a paid subscription model.

  10. Markus Hansall

    Honestly, I don’t understand why everyone is so up in arms about this. You either die a free service, or live long enough to become a payed subscription platform.

    As far as the ads go, they were there long before YouTube RED and if you’re in the 99% of people that will not be opting in for their ad free plan, then it will still remain the same for you, exactly how it was before it even came out. Maybe the content creators aren’t too happy about this, but from the viewers end, nothing has changed. The content will still be there and you are not being forced to purchase anything…

    What they need to do with all of this money that YouTube RED will be making them, is find a way to put an end to fake views. Websites like that sell YouTube views are making the search results turn all funky… Many may think fake views do not do anything, but having a high retention watch time helps videos to rank higher in search results… i.e. people can rank their garbage videos above ones that are actually of good quality… So unfair to honest content creators.

    Also, YouTube, how about fixing the comment sections? Half the time I leave a comment it doesn’t even show up…

  11. watery

    Pewpewdie is such a hypocrite, if you watch his previous interview of how much he made, and what he said. Like some of the comments said, ADs become intrusive and abusive to the point that it slows or prevent you from browsing the internet. Why would i wait 1:30 seconds of an ad, for video that doesnt have good content, or something that is only like 5 minutes long. Youtube red, was designed to prevent adblock plus from working, There are other adblocks out there.