I Finally Subscribed To PewDiePie

I have finally gone to the channel of the most successful YouTube personality and clicked "subscribe". I probably won't watch any of his videos but I wanted to do my part to keep him in the lead as 2019 starts. The story is that Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, got 5 million subscribers by 2013 — more than any other YouTube channel — and managed to hold onto that record for another five years. Today, it looks like his reign is about to end with the Indian media conglomerate T-series acquiring subscribers at a much faster rate. A live counter that I've started watching currently has PewDiePie at 79 million and T-series at 78 million.

This is roughly the same number of people who have ever bought a Nirvana album. The world of difference in perception is what piqued my interest when I first heard about PewDiePie. For an artist who becomes famous with the help of a record label, there is a massive gradient between the two extremes of "I'm a fan who buys albums" and "I've never heard of them". As such, I would expect almost everyone in Canada or the US to have some idea of what Nirvana is. Conversely, I've had plenty of people tell me that they've never heard of PewDiePie. 79 million people is enough to fill a country and a large one at that. But outside this community of loyal fans, any chance of a lasting impression has to compete with the trope of an entertainer chatting into his webcam everyday. PewDiePie is a reminder of the isolation that the Internet can bring and the surprise that can be felt upon learning how many people don't think what you thought "most people" think.

Google's attempt to downplay the influence of PewDiePie has actually backfired quite a bit.

Comments

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.