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YouTube cancels PewDiePie original content and preferred ad status over anti-Semitic row


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

February 14, 2017 | 3 min read

YouTube star PewDiePie has been further abandoned by his corporate partners, with YouTube now cutting ties with the Swedish creator - the platform's most watched with around 40bn views.



Earlier today, it emerged the artist had been dropped from the roster by Disney’s Maker Studios in response to a series of anti-Semitic videos he posted over the last few months, two of which were entitled ‘Death To All Jews’ and 'Hitler Did Absolutely Nothing Wrong'.

Now, bereft of backing from the content studio, PewDiePie now finds that his primary platform for his content, YouTube, has abandoned him, reports the Verge.

A YouTube statement reads: "We’ve decided to cancel the release of Scare PewDiePie season 2 and we’re removing the PewDiePie channel from Google Preferred."

Despite being the platform’s most subscribed creator, YouTube has served ties with the Swede, bringing about the cancellation of the second season of his original show, ‘Scare PewDiePie’ – initially projected to be one of the more appealing pieces of exclusive content to air on YouTube Red.

Further harming his commercial gravitas is the fact that YouTube has delisted the creator from its Preferred advertiser status, which would typically generate higher revenues than generic targeted pre and mid-roll ads.

Ellie Reed, head of digital at M&C Saatchi S&E, said: "With the recent news headlines, brands are certainly in a cautious mindset and any YouTube content that crosses the line is bound to set alarm bells ringing. PewDiePie, has been the undisputed king of YouTube for a number of years now, holding the most subscribed account on the platform as well as being amongst YouTube’s highest earners.

"He's no stranger to controversy but it does seem that he made a judgement which will lead to financial repercussions. It is likely that brands who have previously tendered six figure sums for brand inclusions in his videos will take a step back from partnering with him, at least for a while. However, his other revenue streams such as passive pre-roll revenue that he collects from ads running on his channel through YouTube’s algorithm may not be as affected.

"As with other YouTubers who have previously fallen from grace, such as KSI during his teenage years, this unfortunate joke may be only a temporary set back.

"Ultimately a great barometer of real world impact of PewDiePies mistake will be the reaction of his own audience. Until his fans start unsubscribing from his account and his viewing numbers drop, his personal brand will continue to hold media value."

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