He’ll still likely make at least $7 million this year that we'll include when we calculate our Highest-Paid YouTube List for 2017. That’s because his biggest moneymaker, the advertising on his widely watched YouTube channel, will continue to bank seven digits.
“He would get a check for the rest of his life with his library of content,” one industry insider said of Kjellberg’s YouTube clips, which made him $10 million last year from ads playing during videos, FORBES estimates. “Even if his viewership declined tremendously, there would still be enough that he would generate a meaningful amount of money.”
When traditional stars make offensive or racist comments, they get put in Hollywood jail: studios don’t cast them, brands end endorsement deals and networks take them off air. But since the anti-Semitic clips came to light, his subscriber count has actually grown to some 53.2 million.
It’s a viewership advertisers covet. Gamers like Kjellberg have more potential to monetize their work than other YouTube content creators as their videos are often longer and thus provide more opportunities for advertisements.
Disney And YouTube Red Cut Ties With PewDiePie After Anti-Semitic Posts
Still, his earnings will decline. Advertising will be harder to come by now that Kjellberg is not part of the Google Preferred program, which offers brands access to YouTube channels popular with millennials. According to another industry insider, the cost per viewer of his ads will decrease now that he isn’t part of the program. (Cost per viewer is based on a complicated YouTube algorithm involving engagement, overall viewership and other metrics.)
For a short time, advertisers taking part in YouTube’s general advertisement auction may also choose not to advertise with him, so as to not be associated with his comments.
Such effects are likely only short term. With his following, it is unlikely advertisers will totally desert him. “There were advertisers that sponsored Hitler events during World War II,” says Eric Schiffer, a branding expert at Reputation Management Consultant. “You’ll always find someone lacking morality that is trying to make a buck.”