The YouTube duel between PewDiePie and T-Series just got more intense. On Monday morning, Indian YouTube channel T-Series got ahead of Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie for more than two hours, with T-Series getting 1,100 more subscribers than his competition.
This means PewDiePie, who has reigned supreme as the YouTuber with the most subscribers for six years straight now, lost his title briefly to the Bollywood production company.
The competition between the two YouTube channels has been so ardent that it has warranted a real-time countdown. As of writing, PewDiePie has regained his lead with 90.227 million subscribers and counting while T-Series currently has 90.219 million and counting.
PewDiePie vs T-Series
The feud between PewDiePie and T-Series began around six months ago. Whoever gets to 100 million subscribers first will reign supreme.
T-Series is an unlikely challenger. At the beginning of 2018, T-Series became one of the fastest growing YouTube channels with 30 million subscribers. Its follower count jumped to 70 million subscriber in just six months.
Social Blade, a website that contains subscriber predictions, projected that T-Series will gain 100 million subscribers by May 2019.
Meanwhile, Social Blade also predicted that PewDiePie will gain 98 million subscribers around the same time, which puts T-Series ahead by a few millions.
The Bollywood channel has surpassed the Swedish YouTuber at least three or four times, but it has never maintained its lead.
Unlike PewDiePie, T-Series is a record label and production house. The content that T-Series uploads are music videos that have gotten popular in India, a country that has recently provided free internet and boasts a population of 1.339 billion as of 2017.
The person who runs T-Series is Bhushan Kumar, the son of record label founder Gulshan Kumar, who was killed in 1997. Khamar tweeted to his audience to help propel the channel to become the most subscribed channel in history.
"We're on the brink of becoming the world's biggest @YouTube channel. We can make history. We can make India win. Subscribe to @TSeries #BharatWinsYouTube," he said.
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, is best known for his brand of comedy and his gaming videos.
However, his fame is largely controversial. For instance, in the spirit of competition, PewDiePie created a diss track against T-Series and some Indians took it to mean that he was insulting their country and their culture.
What's more, PewDiePie's channel has been criticized for some of its content.
According to The Guardian, the channel has often been in the news because of a novelty or a scandal. For instance, in 2018 he drew heavy criticism when he paid two Indian men to hold a sign that said "Death to all Jews." Months later, he drew criticism again when he apparently mentioned the "N" word while playing a video game and streaming it live.
PewDiePie has apologized for the content in his videos, but recently, his brand was once again dragged into controversy when the suspect in the New Zealand shootings mentioned his channel in a video and said, "Subscribe to PewDiePie!"
In a recent tweet, PewDiePie thanked his fans for the 90 million subscribers, but said he feels weird celebrating. He then said he felt sickened that his name was uttered by the suspect in the shootings and sympathized with the families of the victims.
The Swedish gamer's friends and family came to his defense and told him he had nothing to do with the attack.
"You had nothing to do with this. Full stop," his fellow YouTuber Markiplier tweeted.
Markiplier, whose real name is Mark Fischbach, said the shooter "is only trying to create division."
"Anyone that believes or spreads the message that you were associated with this in any way is doing exactly what the shooter wants," he added.