PewDiePie, considered the world’s most popular internet star with 41.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, just launched his own video talent network, RevelMode.
The 26-year-old Swede, aka Felix Kjellberg, plays games on YouTube and his clips garner millions of views and made him the highest-earning YouTube star, taking in $12 million for the year ending June 1, 2015.
RevelMode will feature the gaming vlogger star and friends in a variety of original series in partnership with Disney’s Makers Studios, with whom PewDiePie has worked with since 2012, reports Variety.
PewDiePie’s talent roster includes YouTube celebs that together boast over 100 million subscribers across Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. The RevelMode lineup includes CinnamonToastKen (Ken Morrison), CutiePieMarzia (Marzia Bisognin), Dodger (Brooke Lawson), EmmaBlackery (Emma Blackery), JackSepticEye (Sean McLoughlin), Jelly (Jelle van Vucht), Kwebbelkop (Jordi van den Bussche) and Markiplier (Mark Fischbach).
Kjellberg is aware that the backing of Disney is a double-edged sword, challenging RevelMode’s “hipster cred,” reports Digital Trends. But he assures viewers his new network will be fan-driven and make “anything that’s awesome in the eyes of the fans.”
“I started as a gaming and digital-content fan long before making this a profession,” he told Variety. “The idea of Revelmode was built from my own experiences and will aim to bring together an Avengers-like talent squad to work and grow a business together.”
The talent squad will produce everything from “one-off videos to original series to gamey games to animatoons, music, clothes, charity drives and more,” adds Kjellberg.
In a tip to more than just fun, RevelMode said it will encourage fans to raise funds for various social causes such as Save the Children and Charity: water, Kjellberg’s first philanthropic collaborator in 2013.
Last year, PewDiePie took the No. 1 position on Variety’s Famechangers ranking of the most influential digital stars and published his first book, “This Book Loves You.” He’s set to star in an original series Scare PewDiePie, a co-production with Maker and Skybound Entertainment, producers of The Walking Dead, slated to premiere on You Tube Red this year.
“From my perspective, Revelmode is a shift in how talent can approach a digital company and work together for a common good,” says Kjellberg, in The Guardian.
Maker Studios chief Courtney Holt described the new venture as “doubling down with Felix” after reports surfaced in 2014 that Felix was ready to jump ship.
PewDiePie is now squarely in Maker Studios embrace—“the YouTube equivalent of a music label giving an artist their own imprint to sign bands they like, or a broadcaster striking a development deal with a star actor’s production company,” notes The Guardian.
“It’s going to be fascinating to see if Disney’s investment actually pays off for them,” notes Gizmodo. “Everyone’s trying desperately to figure out how to monetize internet videos on a more massive scale. And rolling up to established internet figures with bags of cash and offering to give them some of that money is a perfectly valid attempt. But that also brings us one step closer to Disney owning every bit of media we consume.”