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PewDiePie’s reign as YouTube’s most popular channel is in danger. According to social media analysts, his channel could be toppled before the end of the year.
Social Blade, which studies YouTube analytics and statistics, released a graph showing that a channel called T-Series was fast approaching PewDiePie as the YouTube channel with the largest number of global subscribers.
T-Series, which describes itself as India’s largest music label and movie studio that “believes in bringing world close together through its music,” has nearly 60 million subscribers as of this writing. PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg and does everything from share awful memes to drop racist epithets while gaming, currently has 65.6 million subscribers.
A difference of nearly 6 million subscribers might seem like a large barrier for T-Series to overcome. But as Social Blade points out, the channel is adding between 130,000-170,000 new subscribers per day, while PewDiePie is compelling between 30,000-50,000 people to hit the subscribe button. According to Social Blade’s calculations, the two most-followed YouTube channels will swap spots at the end of October.
Need more specifics?
Social Blade predicts that on Oct. 21, PewDiePie will have 67.19 million subscribers and T-Series will have 67.11 million. But three days later, T-Series will have 67.54 million and PewDie will be lagging behind with 67.28 million. And don’t count on him ever catching up (if we play this out until August 2023, T-Series will have about 356 million subscribers while PewDiePie will have a paltry 127 million).
PewPieDie, who has been the world’s most popular YouTuber for the past five years when he surpassed Smosh for the most subscriptions, responded to those numbers by getting to work.
In a vlog published on Wednesday, PewDiePie joked that he needed to get more India residents to “smash subscribe.”
Meanwhile, T-Series is likely to continue mass-producing Bollywood music videos, interviews, and compilations.
As Polygon notes, PewDiePie has several disadvantages versus T-Series. India has a population of 1.3 billion people, the vast majority whom use the internet to log on to YouTube, and there aren’t many other YouTube channels making quality Bollywood content. Plus, T-Series is a production company with many employees while PewDiePie is just one man.
But PewDiePie has one idea on how to reverse the trend, taking a cue from last weekend’s KSI vs. Logan Paul YouTube boxing match.
“No more lame boxing matches. I challenge T-Series into a saber fight, like real men,” PewDiePie said in his vlog. “I’m throwing my glove at you T-Series. Fight me. IRL. To the death.”
He was just joking, of course, but there’s little doubt he’s in a subscriber battle that he’s destined to lose.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.