PewDiePie vs T-Series: Looking back at the epic battle for YouTube supremacy

    Felix Kjellberg aka “PewDiePie” had been the top YouTube channel for almost five years until his reign was threatened by T-Series.
    | Updated on: Aug 20 2022, 18:41 IST
    One of the most epic battles of 2019
    One of the most epic battles of 2019 (PewDiePie/Twitter)
    One of the most epic battles of 2019
    One of the most epic battles of 2019 (PewDiePie/Twitter)

    YouTuber PewDiePie and Indian music label T-Series possibly had the biggest internet in 2019. The race for the top YouTube channel which actually started in October 2018 went on till the next year and finally concluded with T-Series bagging the number 1 spot. The epic online battle was an interesting one with some salty moments but it eventually died down with both parties continuing their work as it was.

    Felix Kjellberg aka "PewDiePie" had been the top YouTube channel for almost five years until his reign was threatened by T-Series.

    T-Series was also the first YouTube channel to come close to PewDiePie's subscriber base with 66 million subscribers. The online battle saw various incidents like PewDiePie's fans hijacking printers, hacking websites to increase the YouTuber's subscriber base. T-Series also saw support from Bollywood celebrities in India. Here's a look at some of the key moments from PewDiePie vs T-Series.

    The campaigns

    Seeing how PewDiePie could lose his YouTube crown, campaigns started with the YouTuber urging people to subscribe to his channel. PewDiePie's fans had a big role to play here with the slogan "Subscribe to PewDiePie" displayed not only online but outside as well. There were flyers and billboards with this campaign slogan running across different places. Pewd's fans even took over radio shows for their favourite YouTuber.

    Some bizarre campaigning happened with a fan hijacking over 50,000 printers with one message asking people to subscribe to PewDiePie. A section of the Wall Street Journal was hacked too displaying a fake apology and request to subscribe to PewDiePie. Fellow YouTubers like Logan Paul and JackSepticEye also came to PewDiePie's aid with their support. PewDiePie's support campaign even reached the Super Bowl through MrBeast who was seen sporting a t-shirt with "Subscribe to PewDiePie".


    T-Series wasn't quiet either. The record label's CEO Bhushan Kumar finally broke silence through a video on Twitter urging Indians to subscribe to T-Series on YouTube. This was followed by support from Bollywood actors like Anil Kapoor, Salman Khan, Arjun Kapoor and John Abraham. These actors also shared videos on Twitter asking people to subscribe to T-Series.

    Not all was fun

    PewDiePie who is known for his funny antics on YouTube had an entertaining campaign throughout. But not all was fun as the campaign saw a lot of hate for India and Indians from PewDiePie's fans. This led to the YouTuber requesting his fans not to turn the battle ugly and to stay away from such activities. At the same time PewDiePie also announced a fund raiser for the NGO CRY through a livestream he hosted on YouTube.

    Things got so bad it even reached the Delhi High Court which ordered the removal of PewDiePie's diss tracks 'Congratulations' and 'B**** Lasagna' from YouTube in India. T-Series argued in its appeal that the diss tracks contained defamatory remarks against Indians.

    Momentary wins

    There were a few momentary wins for T-Series when it managed to surpass PewDiePie in terms of subscriber base. In the initial months this year T-Series surpassed PewDiePie once for five minutes, a few hours and even for a few days. But PewDiePie was quick enough to get back on track and regain his top spot. Things were however looking very bleak for PewDiePie as trends predicted T-Series would be the first YouTube channel to reach 100 million subscribers and which it did in May.

    It's worth mentioning that this online battle helped both T-Series and PewDiePie increase their subscriber base to the maximum. What started around 66 million soon bumped up to 100 million within just a few months for both the channels. PewDiePie also reached the 100 million mark later in August. T-Series is still the top YouTube channel with 121 million subscribers at present. PewDiePie follows with 102 million subscribers. The online battle is now over but both YouTube channels remain untouchable with over 100 million subscribers. It will be interesting if any other YouTuber or YouTube channel comes close to 100 million subscribers.

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    First Published Date: 29 Dec, 12:31 IST
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