While PewDiePie’s war with T-series is seen as the native creator standard-bearer up against a corporate entertainment interest, the latter has been tapping into the creativity of independent YouTube creators.
It has been a neck and neck race between Indian film production house and music label T-Series and a YouTube channel run by a Swedish-born vlogger/gamer Felix Kjellberg to become the most subscribed channel on the video-sharing website.
While T- Series leading the race on Thursday with 90,465,532 subscribers, PewDiePie followed closely with 90,455,390 subscriber count. Although for a short time but T-series did overtake PewDiePie and became YouTube’s biggest channel.
On Friday morning, PewDiePie led the race with 90,698,769 subscribers against T-series which had 90,669,152 subscribers.
While PewDiePie may be ahead of T-series for now when it comes to the number of subscribers, it lags behind in terms of number views. The music label has more than 65 billion views overall to date for its music videos which is three times PewDiePie’s count of less than 21 billion lifetime views for “let’s play” videos, vlogs and comedy sketches.
The rivalry between the two channels has only made PewDiePie and T-series the two most-subscribed channels on YouTube.
The music label’s growth has been rapid so much so that it went ahead of PewDiePie with more than 30,000 subscribers as of March 21 which has been the biggest margin yet. Thanks to the latest trailer of the Narendra Modi biopic which gathered over five million views in less than 16 hours.
The battle between the two YouTube channels, going on since October 2018, has kept the internet at large engrossed in this fight. In India, Bollywood celebrities too joined the online battle with actors like Salman Khan, Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor and John Abraham urging the netizens to subscribe to T-Series' channel on YouTube.
The Mumbai-based entertainment conglomerate had 30 million subscribers during the start of 2018 and now has over 90 million subscribers. The growth comes on the back of rapid recent internet growth of India’s internet user base.
Internet subscribers grew 28 percent from 446 million in December 2017 to 570 million in November 2018. One in eight internet users globally is Indian. And this signals that the war between T-series and PewDiePie is only going get intense.
While PewDiePie’s war with T-Series is seen as the native creator standard-bearer up against a corporate entertainment interest, the latter has been tapping into the creativity of independent YouTube creators. The company partners with creators to produce songs and dance covers, and also sign key YouTube music talent as artists such as Shirley Seitia.While experts say that YouTube subscriber counts are not beneficial but they are a signal of a channel’s popularity. They may not be an indicator of earning power or even average video views but they have a big impact in terms of brand and promotion.