Yesterday, I blogged about PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) and how badly I was in the dark about him and other YouTube personalities. I briefly mentioned the year-long Sub War between Felix and Indian corporation T-Series. As a major music label with film production studios under its belt, think of T-Series as the Indian version of Disney (with an emphasis on music, since Indians are really into that stuff).
Of course, T-Series ended up winning the YouTube War and caused a collective outcry amongst the community. The consensus was that YouTube was no longer a platform for independent creators, which was its main founding principle. With the rise of T-Series, it seems the website is now for established corporations.
I mean, there is a legitimate concern there, no?
Corporations are entities with thousands of employees, perpetual lifespans, and massive capital. What do independent creators have? Laptops and cheap microphones? And even if they rise to the top with hard work and determination, there’s no guarantee they’ll stay there that long. I’m not referring to the finite nature of human life, but alos the finite nature of passion and creativity.
Is the Golden Age of YouTube over? I posit…that no, it isn’t. Just because the Golden Age of PewDiePie is over doesn’t mean the entire website is going in the crapper. Just calm down.
I posit that T-Series will begin to level off in its subscriber count. I also posit that Mr Beast (Jimmy Donaldson) will one day be the top YouTuber.
YES, YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, FOLKS! MR BEAST WILL CLAIM THE KINGSHIP OF YOUTUBE! YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK!!!!
Of course, the onus is on me to prove my case with evidence – WHY THE FUCK DO YOU THINK THAT, TOOMEY??????
First of all, T-Series simply cannot grow indefinitely at this rate (almost 1 million a week). The great bulk of their subscribers is from India. The country is a finite land mass with a population of 1.3 billion. The company’s rapid surge in 2018 was due to the Indian population’s rising internetization. When a country enjoys the opening of a new market, there typically needs to be a monopolist to pave the way. In other words, there can be only one company to reap the fertile fields. Think of the Ford Motor Company in America. When it started out, it made cars available to the common man and dramatically altered the nation’s infrastructure.
Flash-forward to the present day, it’s clear that Ford isn’t the big dog anymore and hasn’t been for a long time. So many car companies at home and abroad opened shop and left Ford in the dust. If you introduce new methods to expand your business, chances are somebody else is going to copy these methods (like assembly-line production).
It’s hard to get to the top, and it’s even harder to stay there.
T-Series is not going to enjoy their success on the Internet forever. The population of India is growing accustomed to the information superhighway like us Americans did in the 1990s. When that era came, it suddenly became easier to start up our own businesses. Social media has given us the tools to market ourselves for a relatively cheap price. Further, we have the necessary information needed to start up these companies available at our fingertips. When I get stuck on editing a YouTube video, I simply look for a tutorial online that helps solve my problem. Easy as pie.
The point I’m making here is that T-Series is going to face some pretty stiff competition at home in the years ahead. Content creators in India are going to clash with them in the film production market. Since Indians have a soft spot for pop music, what’s to stop them from starting their own labels?
If you think T-Series has an indefinite lifespan as a monopoly, ask yourselves this: Where is Standard Oil today? Or American Tobacco? Or U.S. Steel? Monopolies can’t last forever, because you can’t control the human drive to innovate, compete, and win.
And that’s why T-Series is doomed to fail. It’s going to see a dramatic drop in its growth rate as other creators at home catch up and chip away at their YouTube presence. Now, that brings me to my second assertion: Mr Beast. How is Mr Beast going to catch up (to date: 33 million against 140 million)?
Why, his format is perfect for a worldly audience: philanthropy! Every week he posts a video about how much money he’s spent accomplishing some philanthropic endeavor. This isn’t partisan political commentary appealing to 50 percent of the America population. This isn’t angst-fueled rants appealing to an even smaller percentage.
This is a format that appeals to viewers of all ages and nationalities. What’s more is that Donaldson is only 21 (at the time of this writing). He’s still got plenty of years ahead to grow his brand. When PewDiePie was that age, he didn’t even have half the subs Mr Beast does right now. Honestly, I’m ashamed that this blog can’t do Mr Beast any justice. Perhaps some other time, on another blog entry. Maybe.
My main focus today was T-Series and why people should stop whinging about them being the number-one YouTuber. Business is business and it’s cuttroat as hell. No one stays at the top forever. PewDiePie didn’t, and T-Series won’t either.