PewDiePie finally loses world's most popular YouTube channel battle to T-Series

Subscribers to Indian music label passed the Swedish YouTuber – but PewDiePie fans hope to reverse the sub count once again

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 18 March 2019 11:50 GMT
T Series overtakes Pewdiepie as YouTube's most subscribed channel

PewDiePie’s six-year reign as the world’s most popular YouTube channel has finally come to an end, after Indian music label T-Series passed the controversial YouTuber.

The takeover was originally predicted to take place in October but a sustained campaign from PewDiePie fans helped maintain his position as the most-subscribed-to channel.

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, even called on Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in recent weeks to host a popular segment on his channel called Meme Review.

The rise of T-Series has proved controversial in some corners of the YouTube community, who see it as a reflection of YouTube’s increasing commercialisation in recent years.

Critics claim the video-sharing platform is turning its back on independent creators in favour of large corporations that hold greater potential for generating revenue.

“It’s incredible to see how media companies like T-Series are flourishing in this space. Whilst YouTube continues to be a pivotal platform for influencers like PewDiePie, media companies have really doubled down on the platform this year,” Denis Crushell from social video analytics firm Tubular Labs recently told The Independent.

“T-Series and its sister channels now see well over 4 billion views per month, making it YouTube’s most viewed media company globally.”

The growth of T-Series can be attributed to India’s online growth, which now counts close to half a billion internet users in the country.

Despite encouraging his fans to help him in his bid to remain the number one channel, Mr Kjellberg claimed he is not bothered by the Indian channel.

“I don’t really care about T-Series, I genuinely don’t, but I think if YouTube does shift in a way where it does feel more corporate, [then] something else will take its place,” he said. “I think people enjoy this connection so much, I think something else will just show up, if it feels too corporate.”

Both channels now have more than 89 million subscribers at the time of writing. Projections from statistics website Social Blade suggest T-Series will pass 100 million subscribers by June.

The takeover comes just three days after a terrorist in New Zealand urged people to “subscribe to PewDiePie”, just minutes before entering a mosque in Christchurch and opening fire on people inside.

Mr Kjellberg said he was “absolutely sickened” by the mention of his name by the gunman and did not post a video to his channel on Friday “out of respect for the many families in New Zealand” affected by the tragedy.

At least 50 people died in what is the deadliest terror attack in New Zealand’s history.

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