YouTube’s biggest star is testing the waters over at Twitch. Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg announced to his YouTube channel of 54 million subscribers that he would start doing a weekly stream over at Twitch as part of Netglow — a brand he’s “wanted to create.” The show, which premiered yesterday, is called Best Club and will air weekly. The announcement came at the end of a video on his YouTube channel called “YOUTUBEISOVERPARTY.”
The first episode includes Kjellberg and YouTuber Brad Smith of World of Orange. The duo talks briefly about Netglow, a crowdsourced channel they hope will offer more content than just Best Club. When Kjellberg initially announced Netglow, he likened it to his work with Revelmode — his video network that produces original shows — and the Cringemas live stream.
Kjellberg’s Twitch show comes after ongoing controversy at YouTube. Companies like Starbucks, Walmart, and GM continue to yank ads from the platform, because Google can’t ensure those ads won’t appear next to hateful, offensive content. In YOUTUBEISOVERPARTY, Kjellberg called the response “so massively overblown.”
“The reason why people love YouTube is because it’s free and it’s open and you can say whatever you want,” he said. “It’s not like television where [people tell you] ‘No you can’t say that because then we’ll do this.’ [...] It seems like YouTube is forced to turn into television at this point. That’s gonna be bad for everyone.”
The YouTuber said that he’s sympathetic to advertiser’s concerns. “I understand that advertisers need to feel like they’re spending money and it doesn’t show up on racist videos. I understand that 100 percent. Like, that’s a terrible thing.” He pointed to things becoming “bigger than they should in the media,” and that a minority of problematic videos on the platform shouldn’t affect everyone.
Kjellberg himself has felt this conflict. In the last few months, he sparred with journalists — specifically The Wall Street Journal — over its reporting on anti-Semitic jokes and Nazi references in nine of his videos over the course of six months. Shortly after WSJ’s report, Disney and YouTube both pulled their support of the star. PewDiePie’s subsequent apology largely focused on blaming the media.
Kjellberg, in announcing the show, said he’d decided to start the show “before [his controversy], so don’t read this the wrong way. I wanted to start doing streams on Twitch.” He added that he will continue to publish videos on YouTube.