In a recent video, Felix Kjellberg (aka PewDiePie) informed his nearly 66 million subscribers that his reign as the most subscribed channel was coming to an end. According to his estimate, this epochal event will happen sometime around November this year. For five years, his absolute domination over other channels on the platform symbolised the Anglo-American hegemony over most content on the Internet. But it also masked another trend in the opposite direction. That of the rise of T-Series.
T-Series is an Indian music production company that releases Bollywood soundtracks offline and on Youtube. Many of them being Hindi dance numbers, it has 94 videos that surpass PewDiePie’s most popular video when it comes to view count. Though a direct comparison between Pewdiepie and T-series is mostly unfair. While the former is a Swedish comedian who covers pop culture, the latter is an Indian media giant with a history dating back to the 1980s. Nevertheless, this signals the arrival of Jio-fuelled-Xiaomi-powered Indian Internet citizen.
With Jio mobile network providing unlimited data at dirt-cheap prices (Indian data & call rates are one of the lowest in the world) and Chinese companies flooding the Indian market with cheap and specs-heavy smartphones, India has now become the largest mobile data consuming nation in the world.
TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), India’s telecom equivalent, revealed that monthly data usage in the country has increased multiple times over the past 3 years. At the end of 2014, the average monthly data consumption was 0.26GB per person, which increased to over 4GB at the end of 2017.
With demand comes supply and there has been a surge in content production across the country. From homemakers making recipe videos to tech reviewers, from stand-up specials to music streaming services, from local documentaries to HotStar, content creators are less constrained by production and distribution costs than ever before.
However, much more needs to be done. Rural India, with an estimated population of 918 million as per 2011 census, has only 186 million (20%) internet users. Modi government's Digital India and Bharat Broadband schemes aim to plug these holes.
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