Bollywood Music Label T-Series Invokes Indian Nationalism in Bid to Topple YouTube Gaming King Pewdiepie
Founded back in 2005, YouTube is, if anything else, a platform prone to change but one constant has remained the same since its beginning: An emphasis on small creators over large corporations.
That doesn’t mean that big companies haven’t tried to make places like Instagram and YouTube a successful outlet for their programming – some have succeeded at doing just that, in fact.
But the platform’s bend towards indie creatives is something that has endeared it to millions of viewers and thousands of aspiring social media superstars around the world.
Biggest among these names is a Swedish video gamer named Felix Kjellberg, better known to the wider world as Pewdiepie.
And the struggle between him and Bollywood music giant T-Series has become an inflection point for both YouTube and the global Internet.
Long the largest channel on YouTube by subscribers, Pewdiepie was challenged by T-Series late last year for his YouTube crown which sparked an ongoing battle of memes and social media appeals to keep him on top.
T-Series, for their part, has not shied away from the competition and has leveraged its considerable music following to try and bring the video game king down.
It hasn’t happened yet, though, and, from the latest postings, what seemed as inevitable is now starting to come off as pathetic.
Invoking Indian nationalism and trying to posit overtaking Pewdiepie as some mark of national advancement for India, T-Series posted a tweet that has probably had the opposite effect of what was intended.
Rather than subscribing to T-Series to “show their patriotism,” many users are now starting to subscribe to Pewdiepie instead.
Not only do many critics think that T-Series appeal misses the point of YouTube entirely, but also it draws a highlighter around the issue of big creators trying to muscle their way into YouTube and other platforms.
While T-Series compares beating Pewdiepie to landing on the moon or some other national achievement, many Indian Internet users are pointing out that Pewdiepie is one guy against a company, transforming the thing from some good old-fashioned fun into some kind of jingoist appeal to take over YouTube. But What If You Fly.
Outside of that, the issue illustrates how India is going to be a major component of the global Internet moving forward. As more and more Indians gain access to the web, popular platforms like YouTube and others will begin to reflect that.
The reason we don’t see many people from the People’s Republic of China (outside of the tencent army) is because of the Great Fire Wall. The addition of vast numbers of Indians to the global web community is bound to have a huge impact on how some services, YouTube, Spotify, and Soundcloud among them, work in the future. Maybe it’s just something You’ll Understand When You’re Younger.
That doesn’t mean we can’t mourn the passing of indie YouTube, nor does that mean we can’t have some good fun promoting video gamers over massive record labels.
It just seems unfortunate that T-Series seeks to make both a mockery of itself and patriotism at the same time by advocating for something distasteful when everyone else was just having some good fun. There are no borders on the Internet, and it is unfortunate that this is the way T-Series discovers that.