PewDiePie's now only holds a very slender lead in YouTube subscribers over Indian record label and production company T-Series, and it looks like his time at the top may finally be over.
In the latter months of 2018, the threat of T-Series taking PewDiePie's spot at the top, which he has held for over five years, began looming, and it seemed unlikely the Swedish YouTuber would be able to stay number one by the end of the year.
With the help of just about the entire YouTube community and the internet at large, PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, has managed to hold out much longer than estimates predicted.
Originally, tracking website SocialBlade estimated PewDiePie would be overtaken in early December, but the movement to keep him at number one was effective, and has allowed him to hold out until February.
From December 1 - February 1, PewDiePie gained 10.58 million subscribers, a record breaking gain in only two months, but despite this support, T-Series has managed to stay right on his tail.
As of 7am on February 9, T-Series is only around 40,000 subscribers short of PewDiePie, and with seemingly all ideas exhausted, it may finally be time for the Swede to admit defeat.
— Jayd (@Jayd74668924) February 9, 2019
The Super Bowl was the last big push, which saw YouTuber Mr Beast - who has been PewDiePie's corner throughout - manage to sneak in a 'Sub 2 PewDiePie' message behind the goal.
Stephen Gostkowski misses the 46-yard FG! pic.twitter.com/jEUct0ObCr
— ESPN (@espn) February 3, 2019
Mr Beast himself explained that the original plan was actually to raise money to run a commercial, but said that because there was no guarantee that the TV network would accept the proposal, settled for the T-Shirt idea instead.
My plan was to sell sub to pewdiepie shirts and use the money to buy the commercial (like a 10 second one) but once I started setting the plan into motion I learned that the network might deny the ad and I got scared I’d raise lots of money and get stuck with it. https://t.co/FhxzusXAZ9
— MrBeast (@MrBeastYT) February 4, 2019
Countless YouTubers and influencers have support PewDiePie's attempts to stay on top, from Logan Paul to Jordan B. Peterson, but the ideas are now running thin.
T-Series is so incredibly popular in India, that with a population of over 1.1 billion, it really is almost inevitable that they will eventually overtake the one man army of PewDiePie.
While Kjellberg posts a video daily, T-Series publish five or more, professionally produced, high budget videos - so it seems like fighting a losing battle.
SocialBlade's current estimates suggest that PewDiePie has only two days left at the top, and that T-Series will overtake him by February 11.