– Akchayaa R, III B.A. English
How nine year olds around the world united to save a YouTuber
Nine year olds are taking over YouTube and no this is not about Lil’ Tay flashing her dollars and riding her expensive cars. If you have been following YouTube keenly, there is no way you would’ve missed out on the war between the controversial Swedish YouTuber Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) and T-Series, an Indian music company, for being the channel with the most subscribers. PewDiePie uploads a video everyday where he usually reviews memes, video games and Reddit submissions and is known for his sarcasm and edgy humour while T-Series’ channel consists mostly of Bollywood songs and trailers of new movies and they upload nearly five or six videos every day. To most people, this might seem like a regular thing where two channels are vying for the most number of subscribers but for ‘nine year olds’ or ‘the bro army’, this is war. They are not backing down without a fight.
This ‘war’ started when PewDiePie’s channel had 65 million subscribers and Social Blade Analysts predicted that T-Series, with 60 million subscribers would soon overtake the former’s channel to become the most subscribed channel on YouTube. While some feel that this whole race to the top is not between equals because PewDiePie is an individual creator and T-Series is one of the largest Bollywood production companies in the world, fans are not letting PewDiePie to be dethroned from his position. This war went to such an extent where an American YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson, popularly known as MrBeast, rented the billboards and almost every advertisable space (urinals included) in his area to appeal to the people to subscribe to PewDiePie. He even went on the radio and asked people to subscribe so that the PewDiePie remains on top of the leader board. Something similar happened in Bangladesh where fans put up posters of PewDiePie persuading people to subscribe to his channel. Somebody from India too had advertised in the local newspaper to subscribe to PewDiePie’s channel. It always feels good to have insider support, doesn’t it?!
When Vijayalakshmi, a third year English Literature student and an ardent fan of PewDiePie was asked whether this war is just between two channels or is there something more to it, she had some interesting comments. “Superficially, it is PewDiePie versus T-Series but this is actually YouTube versus creators. At one point YouTube was just one person connecting with his/her audience but now it has become a commercialised product where big companies with editors and writing staff are promoted to make it advertisement friendly. Edgy humour like PewDiePie’s, particularly after the Fiverr incident (PewDiePie was accused of broadcasting anti-Semitic messages), is not advertisement friendly and this caused the demonetisation of many small creators. So right now, YouTube does not want a channel that makes edgy comedy to be on top. When PewDiePie made gaming videos he was advertisement friendly and was promoted by YouTube but now they are promoting T-Series because they do not want a channel like PewDiePie’s to represent the YouTube community. At the end of the day, the voice of the people matters and people are always behind PewDiePie. PewDiePie will always prevail; he’s the meme king and nobody can replace him.”
Right now, as you are reading this article, PewDiePie’s subscribers are growing (70 million when I last checked) and they will continue to grow as long PewDiePie reviews memes and once in a while, Poppy Harlow makes an appearance to provide people with nothing but facts on Pew News. Corporate companies like YouTube must realise that the person who sold hotdogs to buy a computer to make videos; the creator whose show was cancelled because people couldn’t appreciate sarcasm; the man who was accused of being racist by mainstream media and tabloids but still made videos calling out on them and most importantly the man who has an army of bros and nine year olds by his side will not lose his top dog position to a Bollywood music production company. So, tough luck, T-Series! The bro army wishes you all the very best.