The Guinness World Records on Friday felicitated music label T-Series’ Chairperson and Managing Director Bhushan Kumar with an official certificate for being the first YouTube channel to have 100 million subscribers. He was awarded by Rishi Nath, adjudicator of Guinness World Records, at a function in Mumbai on Friday.
“We are extremely excited and humbled to have brought T-Series to this pinnacle and be bestowed a prestigious global benchmark of achievement and excellence such as the Guinness World Records,” Kumar said in a statement. “It is the collective effort of my team that has helped us reach this milestone. Now that it has actually happened, we only consider this a new beginning to go further and higher and capture new frontiers.”
T-Series’ YouTube channel began on March 13, 2006, and primarily telecasts Indian music videos (Bollywood music and Indi-pop) as well as Bollywood film trailers. It has 29 sub-channels and uploads several videos daily.
The 36-year-old Indian music production firm has surpassed its major online rival PewDiePie, which has 96 million subscribers. It is owned by Swedish YouTuber Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg.
Both the channels were competing neck-and-neck in an intense battle for months. The Swedish YouTuber even released “diss tracks” making fun of T-Series. Reports say that this led Bollywood fans across the globe to supportthe T-Series’ channel.
“We were never in this tussle to become number one or two with anyone. But all along there were these sarcastic comments from PewDiePie,” Kumar said in an interview to Quartz. “And that’s how we decided to respond to the comments. I launched the #BharatWinsYouTube campaign, seeking more subscriptions from Indians.” The campaign called on Indians to subscribe to the company’s YouTube channel.
The T-Series audience spans across the United Kingdom, United States, Europe, UAE, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia and New Zealand besides India.
Kumar’s team is now working on strengthening T-Series’ digital offerings after winning the YouTube battle, which has emerged as the Mumbai-based company’s biggest revenue source.