PewDiePie fans lost its YouTube crown to India's T-Series after the battle that started over six months ago
It was 2017 when the world saw a resurgence in India’s Internet realm as a large number of YouTube users revolutionised a spat between two highly-popular channels into a patriotism-driven war. Sweden-based YouTuber Felix Kjellberg who kicked off his channel PewDiePie eight years ago, was in a neck-and-neck competition with T-Series, one of India’s biggest music labels, to become the YouTube channel with most subscribers.
There has been a series of indecisive moments when T-Series shortly overtook PewDiePie but the former finally dethroned Kjellberg’s channel to become the most-subscribed channel on YouTube.
On Monday, April 1, T-Series overtook PewDiePie to have the highest subscriber base on YouTube. PewDiePie had about 92.08 million subscribers as compared to T-Series’s 92.12 million at the time of press. But why did it become so relevant lately?
Ever since the Internet in India got cheaper and faster, courtesy Reliance Jio, a large horde of digitally challenged people entered the world of online streaming, which primarily comprised of listening to music on YouTube. According to IFPI’s Music Consumer Insight Report 2018, a significant 47 per cent of music consumption is on YouTube. India is not dissimilar to the rest of the world where YouTube is the primary source to stream music.
Being a premier music label, T-Series has a huge catalogue of Bollywood music videos, as well as regional music which is equally popular in India. T-Series steadily saw a rise in its subscriber base, so much so that it reached a point where PewDiePie, YouTube’s most-celebrated star, sensed a threat.
We’re on the brink of becoming the world’s biggest @YouTube channel. We can make history. We can make India win. Subscribe to @TSeries #BharatWinsYouTube https://t.co/izEu8dzHdf pic.twitter.com/dJumzHwADa
— Bhushan Kumar (@itsBhushanKumar) March 6, 2019
Felix Kjellberg, who runs the channel, went ballistic and asked his fans to help him stay on top as the most-subscribed YouTube channel. PewDiePie fans have gone to great lengths to make sure this battle can never be won by India’s T-Series. In fact, the promotional efforts carried out by PewDiePie fans got out of hand, including an incident where some fans hacked a large number of printers across the world to remotely print out messages telling people to subscribe to PewDiePie.
T-Series, on the other hand, kept quiet until recently when owner Bhushan Kumar roped in Bollywood celebrities to urge people to subscribe to the channel to “make India proud”. The trifle scaled to an astronomical war between the two channels to become the most-subscribed YouTube channel.
PewDiePie posted a video accepting the defeat and trolling T-Series for winning the contest with the help of Bollywood songs. He even made a ‘diss track’ again to congratulate T-Series mockingly and stated it got the victory by selling ‘pirated tracks’.
The trolling of T-Series did not stop there. Infuriated with the defeat, the fans of the channel took to social media platforms to roast Bollywood (and even India). Of the videos that are now amassing the Internet, the fans can be seen spewing critical statements against India’s corporate entity, Bollywood, and largely the user base without which the war would have been pointless.