Did Bollywood really Beat PewDiePie?

T-Series – which hosts Bollywood videos edged out PewDiePie as the channel with the mostest. Most number of subscribers, that is. They are both at 90 million+ (to put this in context Neflix has around 150 million paying customers) More than the actual achievement what got people’s attention was the “congratulatory” video created by PewDiePie which among other things disses India, Indians and Bhushan Kumar the Chairman of T-Series.

While much is made over the “win” for India, the two are not in the same league – T-Series is essentially an aggregation of  content whereas PewDiePie is content curation around gaming driven by a single person(ality). The other important difference is that PewDiePie is actively monetising his channel with monthly paid subscriptions whereas T-Series relies on ad revenue.

What is a big takeaway from this is that vernacular content has a huge following, and that will only rise as internet penetration increases in India. TikTok has been on a roll in India, with 5 million users which shows the popularity of  UGC short videos. Citing safety concerns the Madras High Court has directed the Centre to ban the app this week and it will be interesting to see how that plays out. Within the Paul Writer Impact Network we have apps that are in the local language video space and the local nuances are deep and interesting in terms of form factor and what makes some work better than others. Very relevant for businesses interested in building a digital brand. The days of pan-India campaigns in one language are hopefully at their end, as Internet penetration diversifies into smaller cities and entices more women to the digital world.

PewDiePie also tells us that it is possible to amplify our brands hugely by sticking to what we know best. And while he seems personality-wise to be on the unpleasant side, it also shows that you can “be yourself” and attract like-minded souls to hit that subscribe button!

This week I’ve been selling stuff on OLX and delighted with the auto-text options. They are more than sufficient for the limited context of the site and help cut across language barriers. It’s definitely a glimpse into functional communications of the future. I sold my stuff finally on CUGs on WhatsApp but I did enjoy my time on OLX much more than usual.

See you all on the other side of the weekend! And Happy New Financial Year!

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