Many will go to work this morning without knowing a crucial battle is being played out and that India has much to lose–and even more to gain–from the results.
Yes, today, the question that is on everyone’s mind is whether India’s T-series will gain more subscribers than PewDiePie, Swedish internet sensation and current record-holder for Youtube subscriptions. The eventual winner will win Youtube and, presumably, the internet. The loser will try to continue to make ground and console themselves to having ‘only’ 72 million subscribers.
Although both PewDiePie and T-series have less subscribers than the Youtube house channels for Music, Gaming, Sports and Movies, these two are considered the behemoths that earned their success rather than home-court advantage.
At the time of writing, the two are separated by around 230,000 subscribers (which is a village in India) and the battle has gotten heated enough for PewDiePie to form his own battle music video called ‘Bitch Lasagna’, spitting invective through rhyme at the challenge by T-series. The live counter can be followed below where it will be clearer as it progresses if T-series can indeed take over PewDiePie’s subscriber count.
Many might be tickled as to the value of two competing Youtube channels. But for those following the story, it’s a conflict beyond mere numbers and goes towards larger themes like individuals (who were the predominant users of Youtube old) versus large corporations like T-Series that began to cotton on later the value of Youtube posting.
PewDiePie, real name Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, was the ultimate ‘shitposter’ and cut his teeth providing commentary on video games, particularly of the horror genre. His legion of fans slowly grew beyond the gaming community and into more mainstream vlogs that covered his life and minor adventures. He has been Youtube’s biggest individual star ever since and has over 19 billion views to his name, having been listed on TIME’s list of influencers and being invited to the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Meanwhile T-series took to Youtube like a duck to water, clocking up millions of views on Bollywood dance numbers and trailers. A significant proportion of their fan base comes from outside India and they’ll need all the help they can get if they’re going to once again be the highest-subscribed channel in the world.