For the last few months, there’s been a tense and close contest between two YouTube channels for the most subscribers. Pewdiepie, made famous through his Let’s Play series, currently has the crown and has done since 2013. Despite various controversies over the years, he has regularly innovated his content enough to appeal to his huge audience. He has never been clean cut or politically correct enough to be championed by YouTube the way other channels have – hence his lack of exposure through projects such as YouTube Rewind in the last few years.
His competition, T Series, is an Indian Channel founded back in 2006 that didn’t start uploading content until late 2010. It boasts that its India’s largest Music Label – with two videos on the channel from megastar Guru Randhawa eclipsing one billion views. Part of the channels success can be accredited to the growing demand for online content in India, with more of the population starting to use and access the internet due to the improvement of internet infrastructure and 4G rollout.
It was predicted that in October 2018, T Series would overtake Pewdiepie if their number of subscribers continued growing at the same rate. This was alarming for many content creators; as it showed the amount of money being put into channels by corporations to try and ensure they had the biggest reach possible. It would mark the end of an era in many ways, T Series would be the first corporate YouTube channel to eclipse all other content creators and for many big names, enough was enough.
Logan Paul, who experienced a meteoric rise to fame from his vlogs last year, added a tracked link in one of his videos to subscribe to Pewdiepie. The American vlogger said for every new subscriber that goes through the link, he will donate 1 Swedish Krona to charity of his choice. Pewdiepie has been critical of Logan in the past, however this issue is clearly bigger than either of them and shows the direction of community based social media platforms if corporations have their way.
Pewdiepie has gained over 5 Million subscribers in the last month as the YouTube community come together to beat T Series. At times the gap between the channels has been as small as 30,000 – as it stands, Pewdiepie is now nearly one million subscribers ahead but the battle is far from over.