The title for the world’s most popular YouTube channel is about to change hands, with T-Series ready to claim the top spot that has been held by PewDiePie since the year 2013.
On Wednesday, 24 October, T-Series passed 67 million subscribers on YouTube – roughly the size of the UK population. PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, hit that milestone earlier this month but is only a few hundred thousand subscribers ahead of his rival.
The T-Series takeover has proved controversial among some YouTubers, given that it is a major corporate brand that will hold the vaunted honour of being the platform’s most popular channel.
PewDiePie built his online following through video game commentary videos and comedic vlogs, which saw him become the most-subscribed user on YouTube in 2013.
T-Series, in contrast, is a major Indian record label and film production company that amassed its millions of followers by posting music videos and film trailers.
Founded in 1983 by Gulshan Kumar, T-Series’ early business model involved piracy — not too different from YouTube’s own early days. Not long after its start, T-Series transitioned from hawking pirated cassette tapes to releasing Bollywood soundtracks of its own. In 1990, the company released the soundtrack to the film, Aashiqui. Composed by the musical duo of Nadeem–Shravan, the album went on to sell 20 million units, becoming one of the all-time best selling Bollywood soundtrack albums.
While T-Series is on its way to hitting another huge milestone when it surpasses PewDiePie in subscriber count next month, it’s not the first time its taken PewDiePie down either. That happened in February of last year when T-Series became the most viewed YouTube channel.
The T-Series channel also holds a number of other major YouTube records. The channel is currently the most subscribed Asian YouTube channel as well as the most subscribed non-English YouTube channel. T-Series is also the second channel to ever reach 60 million subscribers, after PewDiePie of course.
If you look at both PewDiePie and T-Series’ most popular videos, the latter’s domination on the platform becomes even clearer. The most viewed video uploaded by PewDiePie, the current king of YouTube, sits at 83 million views. The T-Series channel’s most viewed video has 565 million views. In fact, T-Series has 94 videos that surpass PewDiePie’s most popular video when it comes to view count.
So, get your popcorn ready. Because we can look forward to T-Series surpassing PewDiePie in YouTube subscribers around the end of October this year.