Don’t know T-Series, The YouTube Channel That’ll Become the Most Subscribed in the World Any Minute Now? We’ve got you covered!

Courtesy: Social Blade

Let’s face it. We’re in the business of marketing and there has been a no bigger disrupter in our game in the past decade or so than YouTube. From creating YouTube stars to being the OG birthplace of influencers, it’s the streaming service crucial enough that when a big change happens, we pay attention. And right now, the biggest conversation about YouTube is the subscriber race to the top between two highly popular YouTube channels – PewDiePie and T-Series. Now, you might be familiar with PewDiePie, YouTube’s most subscribed channel since 2013, run by Swedish YouTuber Felix Kjellberg who is known for his video game commentary and comedy vlogs. But if you are left wondering what exactly is a T-Series, then you’re not alone.


To most non-South Asians T-Series is a jumble of letters that probably make no sense. But to millions of us around the world, it’s often our connection to the cities, towns, and villages that we leave to move elsewhere. Technically, it’s the YouTube channel for one of India’s largest music and film production company that has been around since the ’80s and ironically enough has a Bollywood-style origin story of its own. ‘Cassette King’ Gulshan Kumar, who built his business as a juice seller started this company in 1983 selling pirated cassettes of mainly Hindi film music. His business grew so big and so quickly that by 1990 he was a music producer on his own and releasing music for one of the biggest Bollywood hits of the decade. Aashiqui, which has already seen two remakes and remains one of the romantic soundtracks to come out of Bollywood sold 20 million units back in the day. Think of T-series as one of Hollywood’s big six studios but from India. T-series is such an integral part of South Asia’s and specifically India’s cultural landscape that anyone who grew up since then can spot its instantly recognizable white T in a circle on a red background logo from a mile. Over time, T-Series has moved from music producing into film production releasing some of the biggest grossers in the past few years. Moreover, its expanded into many other Indian languages like Tamil, Telegu, and Malayalam and also doles out fitness and children’s content.

Courtesy: T-Series

While YouTube has been popular in India since the beginning, low Internet penetration so far has stopped it from becoming the force it is in the US or elsewhere. Even T-Series started a YouTube channel only in 2011 realizing that South Asians across the world were going online to watch songs from their favorite current and old movies. But just in a few years, it’s already rivaling PewDiePie’s extremely popular and much older YouTube channel to become the most subscribed in the world. – It’s already the YouTube channel with most views in the world. To anyone who understands the power of Bollywood, this wouldn’t come as a surprise. Unlike what most US media and YouTubers stunned by its rise are pointing out, T-Series is more than a channel with ‘Bollywood music videos’. In more ways than one, it is Bollywood. It is among the first Bollywood production companies that organized and uploaded its entire library of content on YouTube. For people, both living in India and outside, who went online to look for their favorite songs and found grainy, low-quality uploads with jerky sound quality, T-Series’ high-quality uploads were a blessing. Not to mention that as slickly produced, multistarrer Bollywood movies started making millions in India and across the world, the songs that featured in those movies gained the same traction. To compare, PewDiePie’s most viewed video has 83 million views, while T-Series’ most viewed video has close to 565 million views. According to Mashable, T-Series has 94 videos that surpass PewDiePie’s most watched video when it comes to views.


Sure, it’s easier for a Bollywood giant like T-Series to surpass PewDiePie, who is ultimately an individual YouTuber, in terms of both content and number of uploads. Part of this rise is also attributed to the recent dirt-cheap mobile Internet arriving on Indian phones. But it also shows a growing trend of interest in Indian content across the world. PewDiePie and his cohort of fans and supporters have launched an intense campaign — peppered with predictably racist attacks and showy gimmicks – to keep him at the number one spot. But with T-Series gaining 145,000 more subscribers per day, it might become the number one subscribed channel (and the first non-English channel to do so) in the world any minute now — we’ll keep our eye on the various live streams tracking the numbers and keep you updated.

South Asian content is already more visible in our pop culture than even a few years ago. With T-Series, that might push our optics even further. As marketers interested in a South Asian consumer, there has been no better time to reach out to them than the present.

PS. Here is an absolute fire of a diss track released by Indian-origin YouTuber JusReign in response to the racist backlash against T-Series, adding even more heat to this already spicy ‘war’ taking over the Internet. Enjoy!

Words: Yashica Dutt, Associate Creative Director



Asia Tech 101: LINE Basics


“What’s that? I feel like I’ve heard of it before. It’s green. Is it the one with the eyes? No? That’s WeChat. So which is LINE?”
– Real Life Conversations.

What is LINE:

LINE is a free messaging and voice call app that originated in Japan in 2011. It was originally designed by NHN Japan to facilitate employee communication after the Tōhoku earthquake. It went public a few months later. LINE quickly grew to 100 million users in its first 18 months.

Who uses LINE:

Today, LINE has over 700 million users worldwide. It is the most popular messaging service in Japan with an incredibly strong presence in Taiwan, Thailand, Turkmenistan and Indonesia. Runner ups are India and Spain. LINE’s demographic runs young – from Gen Z to early Millennial.

It services iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia, Windows Phone and PC (Windows and Mac) users.

What are its features:

LINE started as a basic messaging app out of necessity but has grown into a multi-function app.

Free and easy to use, LINE is popular for one-on-one and group messaging. Texts, photos, videos, and music are all shareable. Groups can be intimate amongst friends or up to 500 for more interest/community based topics.

Timeline and homepage features, reminiscent of oldie MySpace, are customizable with stickers and themes.

Stickers are a big attraction on LINE. A popular replacement for Emojis, stickers can be purchased or downloaded for free. Their popularity is tantamount to LINE’s own success. 1 Billion stickers are sent on a daily basis. You can even customize your own stickers and sell them. One creator in Taiwan made millions.

LINE FRIENDS (LINE’s sticker characters) even have brick and mortar shops, including one in Times Square, NYC, selling all things related to the characters. And it doesn’t stop there – there are video games, cafes and a character-themed hotel in Seoul.

LINE GAME is an additional install where users can play (both multi-player or solo) a range of games. By 2013, LINE GAMEs have been downloaded 200 million times.

LINE PAY is an in-app mobile payment system. Users can exchange money with each other. It can also be used for in-store purchases at participating retailers.

There are micro-functions per territories as well, including a taxi service in Japan, a food delivery service in Bangkok, and a video service in Taiwan.

LINE Lite launched in 2015, offering users all the messaging functions but with the frills of themes and timeline.

How do businesses and marketers use it:

Official Accounts are LINE’s influencer and business accounts. LINE users can follow these accounts for news, updates, promotions and more.

Companies can create LINE stickers based on their products, mascots, etc., and distribute them to LINE users. These stickers are used by LINE users to express feelings like “thanks” and “sorry,” and can also be used to promote your company’s products or services.

LINE Gift allows users to send electronic gifts to other users. This is a great business opportunity to share coupons, promotions, and gift cards.

Who are its competitors:

LINE’S biggest competitor is, of course, WeChat – Asia’s behemoth all-in-one app. WhatsApp is India’s choice of messaging service, so LINE has found only 2nd place in South Asia.

In the US, other messaging services like Facebook and WhatsApp and social apps like Twitter offer up a competitive market. But LINE fans are dedicated and passionate about the app with high active rates after download.

Click Here for more on WeChat.

How does it compare:


LINE has plenty to interact with. It’s fun nature is attractive to young users and it’s constant refreshment of content keeps them coming back.


LINE can only be used on one mobile-device and one personal computer at a time. In other words, if you have a multitude of devices you can only install on two.

Where is it going:

LINE is always doing something new. Its latest smart technology add is a function to that allows users to capture their facial features and embed them onto their characters. In real-time, your character can conduct a conversation while matching your expressions. Developments like this are always popping up with LINE.

LINE has plenty to offer businesses who want to target Asian Americans. To learn more, contact us!

Written by XiaoHwa S. Ng
Digital Strategist 


Photo: Matthew Henry

Why Asian Indian Children Excel At School?

Indian Parents are highly involved in their children’s education. Photo: Matthew Henry

No matter which part of the world they live in, there is one thing that all Indian parents can agree on: their children’s education – in Science or Math if they can get their way. They not only start saving for it right from when their kids are born, most Indian parents also prepare their kids to attend the best colleges from a really young age. In fact, growing up as an Indian kid whose parents cared deeply about education, I can attest that many Indian parents often consider their children’s education the single greatest achievement of their lives. And it is almost exclusively thanks to their drive, that Asian Indian children excel in academics in whichever country they live, including the United States. But what exactly motivates Asian Indian parents to get their children the best possible education. The easy answer would be cultural behavior. But we did some real research and got you the facts.

Asian Indians: Among the fastest growing population in the US

  • Asian Indians are among the fastest growing population in the US and since 2014, India and China have replaced Mexico as the top two immigrant origin nations.
  • 58% and 42% of Asian Indians live in the top 10 and top 5 US markets respectively. The top market locations include NY, NJ, SF, LA, Dallas, Chicago.
  • In 2016, 82% of the 85,000 new H1-B visas (for skilled young working professionals) were issued to Asian Indians and Chinese.
  • They constitute the highest median household income group at $110k
  • India and China continue to be the top two countries for international students for US colleges (Source: WSJ, 2015).

Asian Indian Behaviors and Attitudes Regarding Education

  • Indian parents are extremely ambitious for their children and over 51% rank career success as the most popular goal for them, even above a happy life, and carry that same attitude when they move to the US.
  • Over 91% see an undergraduate education as essential to achieving life goals. (HSBC Survey Report: The Value for Education: Learning for Life)

Indian parents start saving for their kids’ education right from when they are born. Photo: Nicole De Khors

Education: The biggest life goal

  • Asian Indian parents are willing to go above and beyond to ensure the best possible education for their children. Most start saving for it from a young age, often from when their children turn five.
  • They send their children to some classes – be it Sunday school or STEM classes — even before official SAT prep begins.
  • Most believe higher education the only way to earn respect as immigrants in America and dropping out of college is never an option.

Highly Competitive Attitudes

 Asian Indian community is highly competitive when it comes to education. Children’s high scores are a source of pride for the entire family and low scores a reason for shame.

  • No Asian Indian parent wants their child to be ‘left behind’ the others and parents are constantly enrolling their children in activities that other kids are doing.
  • After-school classes and scores are a frequent topic of discussion at most local events and community gatherings.

Extremely Hands-on Parenting Style

  • Asian Indian Parents are extremely involved in their children’s education, personally helping them with homework and overseeing their academic progress.
  • They constantly communicate with teachers and also supplement the coursework by adding extra lessons and practice tests for their children, sometimes even with material above their current grades.
  • American school system is considered less rigorous than India with lesser emphasis on STEM subjects.

High Expectations and Hopes

  • Asian Indian parents have equally high expectations from their children and expect nothing less than the highest scores.
  • Lower scores (even an -A compared to an A) are considered unacceptable and unsatisfactory. (Asian Indian Mothers Involved in their children’s schooling: An analysis of social and cultural capital)

Their extensive focus on education, competitive, excellence-pursuing attitudes, and community-based information exchange makes them a unique consumer group, but this behavior is also visible throughout all communities of Asian Americans. Not just Asian Indian but Chinese American, Korean American, Filipino, Pakistani and Vietnamese American parents also show similar drive for their children’s education. Given that it’s little surprise that Asians Americans are shaping up to become one of the most formidable and fastest growing minorities in the US.




Written by Yashica Dutt, Associate Creative Director 

Asia Tech 101 – WeChat Basics

You’re here to learn about WeChat. You may have heard of WeChat in passing – perhaps from an Asian friend? Or you were curious what that green logo and speech bubble was for? Or maybe the word has been thrown around at work. Whatever the reason you’re here, what you do have is a sneaking suspicious that if you don’t know what WeChat is in 2018, then you are WAY behind.

What is WeChat:

The multi-purpose app has been around since 2011 and services over a billion users. Developed by Chinese company, Tencent, its original Chinese name was Weixin 微信, means “micro-messaging”. It took on the name “WeChat” in 2012 when it went global.

Who uses WeChat:

WeChat is used all over the world but 90% of its users are in China. 3.5 million Chinese tourists visit the US every year, bringing their WeChats with them, and Asian Americans are also strong users.

What are its features:

One of the most complex apps on the market, WeChat offers messaging, mobile-payments, GPS sharing, sharing content, and integrates with popular Social Media platforms like Facebook (in the US) and Tencent QQ (in China). It also has its own social feed called “Moments”. Both businesses and individuals can create accounts, gain followers and communicate with them en masse.

WeChat has a robust QR scan function that is utilized by almost every business account on the app.

In China, its “City Services” feature is used for booking appointments, paying utilities and other city-related topics.

“Enterprise WeChat” is a work-level function that offers employers a way to group their employees, communicate, and other business-related micro-functions.

Since you can link your WeChat with your bank account, mobile-payments through the app are incredibly popular. Money can trade hands amongst friends, for services, for goods, and for paying bills.

Update: As of the New Year 2019, WeChat has added an “Instagram Story-like” video feature called Time Capsule to compete with Snap, Instagram, TikTok and other social apps.

For many, it’s an all-in-one app. Note: not all features available in China are available in the US, thus taking a deeper dive, or tapping an agency’s expertise, are essential when expanding into WeChat.

How do businesses and marketers use it:

Taking advantage of its multitude of functions, companies have done everything – Lucky Red Envelope giveaways, QR code product placement, creating mini-apps within the app and more.

Because of its business accounts, Enterprise functions and mobile-payments, companies can open micro-stores.

Like other Social Platforms, marketers tap popular influencers (WeChat Official Accounts) to spread their messaging.

Who are its competitors:

For Mobile Payment, WeChat’s biggest competitor is Alipay, another China-lead app for mobile and online payments. Other competitors in different sectors are Skype, WhatsApp, and Line.

In the US, WeChat top competitors are monoliths like Facebook and Paypal. It has struggled to break into the US market’s general populace.

How does it compare:


Functionality and popularity is the name of the game. Over a billion users? Unlimited ways to connect with your followers? And it’s free. Yes, please.


Unlike other Social Platforms who can blast their followers all day long, WeChat has advertisement restrictions and only allow WeChat Official Account Users 2 advertisements per day. This hasn’t stopped businesses from cashing in though. With a solid strategy, this con can be turned into a pro.

Where is it going:

WeChat continues to launch new functions that attract more and more users and capital. There doesn’t seem to be any slowing.

If you want to crack into the China market in China or the Asian American market here, a WeChat campaign is essential for success.

Written by XiaoHwa Sydney Ng
Strategy, Admerasia