PewDiePie once again reigns supreme on YouTube. Indian music corporation T-Series briefly managed to open up a nearly 11,000 subscriber lead, before an epic rally pushed Felix Kjellberg back into pole position, even as he continues to face controversy over his appearance in the New Zealand terrorist’s manifesto.
In what has been an epic challenge for Felix Kjellberg, the Swedish YouTuber has been pulling out all the stops to stay ahead of his Indian rival for the top spot on YouTube mountain.
It was never going to be easy; T-Series is a highly successful brand in one of the world’s most populous countries. While PewDiePie has global appeal, he settles more into the gaming and comedy niche than a pop music juggernaut like T-Series.
With the odds stacked against him and T-Series gaining relentlessly, Felix learned who his friends were. Channels like Mr. Beast gained both subscribers and admiration for their daring stunts to gain attention for the “subscribe to PewDiePie” campaign. Heavily-subscribed channels like Jacksepticeye and even upstart rival Logan Paul dived into the fray to fight against the corporatization of YouTube.
As the sub-gap closed, PewDiePie mad some even more desperate attempts to hold onto the lead. Famous for his reluctance to play Fortnite, PewDiePie finally could hold out no more. His bumbling performance achieved more than 350,000 live viewers, more than the entire Fortnite audience on Twitch combined. He also played Minecraft, but alas it was in vain.
It wasn’t only YouTubers who got involved with the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” movement, as it became a moniker for fans around the world. A hacker even compromised hundreds of printers to promote his cause.
The tragic shooting in New Zealand brought controversy to the effort, as PewDiePie was referenced by name in the shooter’s manifesto and the streamer was held up by some as a symbol of the web’s problematic elements. Others defended him, alleging that his fame and not his views were being leveraged.
One thing is clear: there have been no losers in the ongoing PewDiePie/T-Series subscriber tussle.
Subscriptions are up more than 700% since the skirmish began, and this whole sequence of events has put PewDiePie miles ahead of any non-network affiliated channel.