Who holds the crown for the most subscribers on YouTube?

Mar 21, 2019, 1:39 PM | Updated: Mar 22, 2019, 6:00 am
Follow @walk_colb...

YouTube has an ongoing battle to determine which channel has the most subscribers: PewDiePie or T-Series.

The top spot has been held for the last 7 years by the 28-year-old Sweedish born Felix Kjellberg, better known by his screen name PewDiePie.

Kjellberg rose to YouTube’s top spot back in 2013 as he gained popularity in the “let’s play” category of the video platform, creating videos of himself playing popular video games such as Minecraft and getting scared while playing horror-themed games. The draw to this content came as Kjellberg overreacted to his games in a foul-mouthed fashion, attracting a large subscriber base. His popularity is also attributable to maintaining an almost daily upload schedule.

Over the previous month though, Kjellberg has briefly traded spots with the Indian entertainment giant T-Series for the top spot on the video platform.

On Thursday, the gap between the channels keeping PewDiePie on top gave way as T-Series took the top spot reversing the gap to over 26,000.

As of 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, that gap had narrowed again, putting PewDiePie and T-Series in a dead heat.

T-Series is a different type of YouTube channel.

T-Series is India’s entertainment juggernaut. It is the largest record label in the country with a 35% share of the Indian music market. Since the company got its start in 1983 it has become mostly known for Bollywood music soundtracks and Indi-pop music, as well as posting movie trailers.

It is also a multi-channel network that manages a group of 29 channels that has amassed over 140 million subscribers, and over 90 million of those are on the main T-Series channel.

Over the course of the last six months, the internet rivalry between the UK-based PewDiePie and Mumbai-based T-Series has led both channels on a meteoric rise in subscribers.

The almost exponential growth in subscribers that both channels have seen in recent months is something that the internet had not encountered before.

Kjellberg’s channel became the first to reach the milestones of 70, 80, and 90 million subscribers on the platform. But that wasn’t enough for Kjellberg to keep the top spot.

For many fans of the platform, the rivalry has highlighted the growing corporatization of YouTube as a platform and their fight to keep independent creators as the “face” of YouTube.

Much of Kjellberg’s growth has come at a time when his fans are leading a “Subscribe to PewDiePie” campaign that quickly became a widespread meme. This campaign has led to some interesting stunts where Kjellberg’s fans hacked printers, bought TV spots and billboards, said his name 100,000 times over a 12-hour video, and even got on the national broadcast of the Superbowl.

But there were also a few times where the notoriety that this internet rivalry had gained was taken too far and was hijacked to spread hate. The phrase “Subscribe to PewDiePie” was graffitied onto a WWII memorial and was said by the New Zealand shooter right before he killed 50 people worshiping in their mosques.

Both of these events were quickly condemned by Kjellberg, who himself isn’t a stranger to controversy. He has come under fire before for racist language and using some anti-semitic imagery that lost him a partnership with the Disney-owned Maker Studios, but this latest turn of events in New Zealand led the Swede to take a brief break from his social media accounts, even unfollowing everyone on his Twitter profile.


Throughout the rivalry, though, Kjellberg has been able to do some good things for children in India. In December, he launched a campaign for CRY, an NGO nonprofit in India that strives to help underprivileged children in India, where he raised $230,000 in a day.

The “fight” between the two channels has had its ups and downs and led to numerous internet records being broken, including Kjellberg bringing in the most viewers to a Fortnite live stream ever. He has also featured the eccentric billionaire Elon Musk and the popular conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on Kjellberg’s popular ‘Meme Review’ internet series.

There is always a possibility that more support could be rallied to shift the tide.

EDIT: As of 3/22 the gap has dropped to less than 100 subscribers.


This story will be updated.

All News

Dan Bammes

Four die in Iron County plane crash

IRON COUNTY, Utah — Four people died Saturday evening in a plane crash east of Cedar City. The Iron County Sheriff’s Office says deputies and firefighters were dispatched to a report of a fire about five miles east of Cedar City shortly before 7:00 p.m. When they arrived, they discovered the wreckage of a single-engine […]
25 days ago
State street traffic sign...
Samantha Herrera

State Street traffic restrictions starting soon

State Street traffic restrictions are slated to start soon and continue into August. Work will impact areas downtown and near the Capitol.
27 days ago
Nicolas Cage as “Nick Cage” contemplates his career in Mallorca, Spain in “The Unbearable Wei...
KellieAnn Halvorsen

FAN EFFECT REVIEW: “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a hilarious grown-up comedy with an emphasis on grown-up

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a wonderfully weird, insightfully intelligent, and absolutely hilarious grown-up action-comedy. 
27 days ago
Garth Brooks Salt Lake...
Simone Seikaly

Garth Brooks sells out second Salt Lake concert in 45 minutes

It was the second time in less than a year that Garth Brooks sold that many tickets for a Salt Lake City concert so quickly.
27 days ago
A Smith's recycling bin...
Devin Oldroyd

Recycle single-use plastic at your local Smith’s

In honor of Earth Month, Smith's Food & Drug is encouraging its customers to recycle thin-filter plastic materials at their local stores.
27 days ago
City hall break-in window was smashed...
Devin Oldroyd

South Weber City Hall break-in causes minor damages

The South Weber City Hall break-in was reported by employees as they were showing up to work Friday morning. Walk-in traffic was closed due to the break-in.
27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Who holds the crown for the most subscribers on YouTube?