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PewDiePie urges fans to sign up for YouTube Red to defend creators from ad blocking

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Felix Kjellberg, who goes by the online moniker "PewDiePie," asked fans today to sign up for YouTube's new monthly subscription service, YouTube Red, to better support online video creators. YouTube Red costs $10 a month, and Kjellberg said in a blog post on his website that smaller video channels on the platform are suffering due to rising rates of ad blocking. On YouTube, he noted that, according to his Google analytics, around 40 percent of users are utilizing ad block software when watching his videos. According to analytics company PageFair, which publishers use to measure the cost of ad blockers, the rate of ad blocking has risen 41 percent globally.

Kjellberg gained fame on YouTube through so-called let’s play videos, which feature the now-26-year-old playing video games and responding to fans. His channel is now the number one most subscribed to channel on the platform, and he makes most of his money — millions of dollars per year — thanks thanks to the kind of video advertising now displayed only on YouTube's free tier.

But he says it's not about his own revenue stream, though; rather, it's about supporting the platform and supporting creators. "Personally, I’m ok with if you use adblock on my videos. Ads are annoying, I get it, I’m not here to complain about that," Kjellberg wrote. "But for smaller channels, this number can be devastating." Kjellberg made sure to point out, however, that his new horror-themed online TV show Scare PewDiePie is exclusive to YouTube Red.