Much to the horror of the irreverent PewDiePie's fans, the YouTuber won't be able to hold on to his top spot for much longer. It has a new rival, one that's close on the heels - T-Series. The Indian channel that had 30 million subscribers at the beginning of the year, which is half of what PewDiePie has, is only weeks away from toppling the global star.
T-Series already has the most monthly views on YouTube. To stall the impending crowning, PewDiePie's fans are now rallying behind their star. As mentioned in a report in Bloomberg, supporters of PewDiePie are posting critical comments on T-Series' videos and are even opening new accounts to boost their idol's numbers.
Unlike what it may seem, T-Series is not only getting its boost from India, around 40% of its viewership comes from outside the country. This may have a lot to do with the Indian diaspora abroad.
What's helping T-Series
To begin with, T-Series caters to multiple languages and has multiple channels. T-Series operates 29 channels that roll out videos in regional languages. A devotional music channel has 13 million subscribers, a Telugu channel has 2 million and the usual suspect, a Bollywood classics channel has 6.5 million subscribers. According to the report, all these feed into the main channel.
Additionally, more and more media giants are rushing to the social media site that used to be the haunt of amateur vloggers. Like most of these companies, T-Series too started posting videos on YouTube in 2011. Fast forward to 2018, when the company invests huge sums of money in videos to help promote its movies and push song sales. In fact, 20-25% of T-Series' sales now come from YouTube.
Moreover, T-Series is shifting gear to bring in more and more young subscribers. As mentioned in the report, Allison Stern, Chief Marketing Officer at Tubular Labs that tracks online video said, "T-Series used to cater to a much older generation, but it is making movie content and music videos to capture a younger generation.''
The most important factor in the rise of T-Series on YouTube is the sheer number of Indians who have access to internet. After Reliance Jio's entry in the telecom market in 2016 that saw sharp price cuts and increase in internet access, consumption of data increased by leaps and bounds in India. Online video consumption also jumped significantly as a result.
So looks like T-Series is not only here to win the crown but also stay for a while.