In August 2018, PewDiePie uploaded a video to YouTube titled, “This channel will overtake PewDiePie”. He was referring to T-Series, a music record label in India, who were predicted to overtake him as the most subscribed channel on YouTube within a couple of months.
PIGGY BACK ON VIRAL TRENDS
Anticipating millions of fans would soon be searching for a place to watch the PewDiePie Vs T-Series battle unfold, two 16 year old Canadians creators set up a livestream on their channel, Flare TV, comparing the difference in subscriber count of both channels.
Given Flare TV’s stream was the first of its kind it rose to the top of both YouTube and Google, meaning that whenever anyone serched for, “PewDiePie Vs T-Series” their video would be the first result to appear.
Across just a 7 month period Flare TV grew from 12,000 subscribers to nearly 2.5 million. And from averaging 70,000 views per month to 60 million . According to Social Blade this equates to anywhere between $190k – $3m worth of revenue.
To put this achievement in context, it took Fox News 16 years, 55 thousand videos and hundreds of millions of dollars to reach the same landmark of subscribers.
In contrast Flare TV’s stream cost just $29.99 / mo to host and the subscriber counts were pulled from YouTube Realtime (a free service).
Recently, Flare TV updated their stream to include Music, YouTube’s own channel, (currently leading T-Series by 8 million subscribers), in the hope that T-Series will close the gap and they will benefit from another fierce rivalry.
They’ve also attempted to piggy back on the James Charles v Tati Westbrook fued with another livestream comparing the difference in their subscriber count.
For other examples of how to piggy back on trending topics the Yeezy Dating example is worth a read.
Thanks to Ahrefs for sponsoring. I rely on them to grow my own search traffic.