Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg, the star of YouTube’s most subscribed channel, may leave web media company Maker Studio and parent company Disney to start his own network.
PewDiePie signed on with YouTube network Maker Studio, which also distributes TotalBiscuit and Yogcast, in December of 2012, and Maker Studio was acquired by Disney earlier this year for $500 million, with additional performance-based payouts of $450 million.
In a recent interview with Swedish magazine Icon, PewDiePie expressed frustration with Maker Studio and Disney. His contract with the company will end in December, and he doesn’t sound interested in renewing it.
“The fact that Disney bought Maker Studios doesn’t really change anything for me,” he said. “If I ask for help, they reply, but that’s all the contact we have. We’ll see what happens.”
He added that he’s been thinking of starting his own network, but that he doesn’t want to talk about it in detail yet. “I’m in touch with a couple of people who I think would be so right for this. I’m eager to get it all up and running. So far, all the networks have been managed in such an incredibly poor way, it’s embarrassing really. I’d like to help other YouTubers.”
In September, PewDiePie partnered with Major League Gaming to premiere new content on its video streaming platform MLG.tv.
With over 31 million YouTube subscribers, PewDiePie brings in about $4 million in ad sales a year.