The YouTube sensation that is PewDiePie has attracted nearly 30 million subscribers to his channel on which he essentially plays video games and lets people watch him. It’s a simple concept, but one that reportedly nets the Swedish entrepreneur $4m per annum in advertising sales.

Felix Kjellberg’s story is straightforward: as a geek with a penchant for video games and showing off, he decided to film himself playing some popular titles. When his target audience – mostly young teenagers – cottoned on to his playful, often goofy online persona, the phenomenon started. Now The Wall Street Journal are publishing profiles on him.

PewDiePiePewDiePie attends the Social Star Awards in May 2013 in Singapore. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

"Unlike many professionally produced shows, I think I've established a much closer contact with my viewers, breaking the wall between the viewer and what's behind the screen," he said. "What I and other YouTubers do is a very different thing, it's almost like hanging around and watching your pal play games. My fans care in a different way about what they are watching."

He is 24-years-old and only started his enterprise 5 years ago, but now attracts $4m per year in advertising sales, of which the vast majority is profit, given the one-man nature of his show. 

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But his prominence on YouTube does unsettle him: "It's cool to have this kind of influence, but at the same time it's kind of scary," Kjellberg said. "I'm so central to YouTube now, and that puts me in the spotlight and raises a lot of questions like 'Why is he so big? I'd much rather prefer to have something like 5 million subscribers."

His good looks, huge earnings and desirable working day could put PewDiePie in line for some seriously jealous glances, but those who know him often describe the young self-starter as humble and down to earth. And he regularly turns down the chance to do interviews, despite huge interest from around the globe. He is also involved in a number of charities, giving generously to Charity: Water Campaign, WWF and Save The Children. 

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