Swedish gamer PewDiePie tops YouTube's video charts
Swedish gamer Felix Kjellberg - aka PewDiePie - had the world's most-watched YouTube channel in the second half of 2013, racking up 1.28 billion views on Google's video service.
Kjellberg ended the year with 19.9 million subscribers on YouTube, but in the first three weeks of January 2014 that total has increased to 20.8 million, according to stats published by online video industry site Tubefilter. His videos were watched more than 224 million times in December alone.
The PewDiePie channel launched on YouTube in 2009, but its most rapid growth came between 2012 and 2013. Kjellberg's videos are a mixture of game walkthroughs, humour and enthusiastic swearing.
"I'm just a guy from Sweden who likes to laugh and make other people laugh," as his YouTube profile puts it.
Kjellberg is represented by Maker Studios, one of the multi-channel networks that have emerged on YouTube in recent years, running networks of channels, cross-promoting them and signing sponsorship deals with brands. The company claims its network attracts 4.5 billion monthly views with more than 340 million people subscribing to its channels.
Tubefilter's monthly charts between July and December reveal that PewDiePie was followed by Turkish music channel MU-YAP (1.17 billion views) and musician Miley Cyrus (924.5 million views) in the overall rankings.
Musicians accounted for seven of the 10 most popular YouTube channels in the second half of 2013, with Katy Perry, One Direction, Rihanna and Thai music channel GMM Grammy joining MU-YAP and Cyrus in the upper reaches of the rankings.
US chat show The Ellen Show was the seventh most popular channel in the period, while another games channel, Sky Does Minecraft, ranked ninth. These top 10 channels registered 7.25 billion video views in that time.
The charts also reveal a wave of popular children channels, with five notching up more than 200 million views in the second half of 2013.