In a video entitled “Congratulations”, Felix Kjellberg – otherwise know as PewDiePie – conceded his loss to Bollywood music giant, T-Series, in the race for most subscribers on YouTube.
T-Series had been in the lead for well over 24 hours by the time Kjellberg uploading the song conceding defeat but “Congratulations” has since gone viral and in an ironic twist, put Kjellberg back on top. As of writing this article, Kjellberg has at over 130,000 more subscribers than T-Series.
In the video, Kjellberg spends the chorus of his song congratulating T-Series while using the verses to point out the company’s dark past. The company alleging started out by pirating music and some say that it still has ties to the Indian mafia. It’s chairman, Bhushan Kumar, has also been accused of tax evasion and soliciting sexual favors in exchange for movie deals. Kjellberg also reveals in the song that he received a cease and desist letter from T-Series regarding another viral rap song he made mocking the company.
Towards the end of the song, Kjellberg takes a moment to thanks his fans for sticking with him throughout years of controversy. Kjellberg had made offensive jokes about Nazis and Jews have put him at odds with the media and YouTube.
The campaign to keep PewDiePie on top has gone on for nearly a year including such bizarre stunts as hacking printers to tell people to subscribe to his channel and enlisting Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, to look at memes on his show. One of the main reasons audiences on YouTube wanted to keep Kjellberg on top is because they see T-Series’ success as emblematic of a larger shift of culture on the platform. After multiple controversies involving some of YouTube’s biggest creators – some of which made advertisers boycott the platform – YouTube turned to promoting talk show hosts and corporate entities who could ensure advertiser-friendly content. Many users saw this as slight to individuals who created content on the platform. Kjellberg has said early in his feud with T-Series that he would be more than willing to hand the crown over to an individual but that he doesn’t want to let it go to another corporation.
Despite amassing nearly 10 times the views of the current most trending video on YouTube, Kjellberg’s video has not made the trending page.