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YouTube signs exclusive streaming deal with PewDiePie

Celebrated and controversial internet personality Felix Kjellberg, better known by his online moniker PewDiePie, has signed an exclusive live-streaming deal with YouTube.

The move is a somewhat drastic change for the content creator who has 103 million subscribers to his YouTube channel. In April 2019, the creator shocked the internet when he announced that he would stream exclusively on upstart blockchain-based live-streaming site DLive – a decision he has gone back on after a little more than a year.

However, in that time we have seen the emergence of a talent acquisition war among game streaming platforms sparked by the surprise exclusivity deal signed by Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins with Mixer in August. Since then some high-profile streamers have jumped ship to the Microsoft-owned Mixer and others have doubled down with their commitment to Twitch. YouTube, which is trying to build up its live gaming content, has similarly signed exclusivity deals with the likes of CouRage, Typical Gamer, and Valkyrae who between them have millions of followers.

None however have the mainstream clout or infamy of a PewDiePie though. Though his videos still regularly get millions of views, his status has significantly fallen since he was a guest star on South Park thanks to a number of unsavoury controversies.

While this deal is undoubtedly a big get for the Google-owned YouTube, eyebrows will be raised about a platform which has failed to clampdown on hate speech giving a major payday to someone who has historically been accused of anti-semitism and racism.