Five things we learned from YouTube superstar Lilly Singh

YouTube star Lilly Singh chats with the Los Angeles Times about her next big move.


What does it take to become a YouTube superstar?

According to Lilly Singh, it’s all about authenticity. The digital star, known for her online persona Super Woman, has racked up 6.7 million YouTube subscribers on her main channel and more than 1 million followers on Twitter. The Toronto native of Indian descent also just won a Streamy Award (the digital entertainment equivalent of an Oscar) for her quirky, funny videos.

Still, it’s not easy building a following on the Google-owned video platform, especially considering the fact that about 300 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded every minute.

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We chatted with Singh about what it takes to stand out on the platform and what she has planned next in her career. Here are five things we learned about the YouTuber:


1. Los Angeles is the place to be.

Singh said she’s planning to move to L.A. by November.

“As soon as Obama says I can do it, I’m going to do it,” she said. “Yes, I’ve been trying for the past year and a half to move to L.A. but I think this November it’s going to happen.”

2. Making quality videos takes time.

Singh posts videos every Monday and Thursday on her main channel and video blogs every day on her second channel.

“The hardest part is thinking of the idea. If I think of an idea it takes me like an hour to write a script, sometimes 40 minutes. Recording is like 20 minutes of footage, editing maybe an hour and a half, two hours.”

Total estimated time spent: At least a couple of hours.

3. Authenticity = the key to success on YouTube.

“People are very good at recognizing when a creator is just saying something for the sake of saying something,” she said. “Every video I make I really mean what I’m saying and people can see that through the screen and that’s why they [viewers] like it.”

4. It’s important to know your fans.

Younger fans often gravitate towards YouTubers like Singh because they are more relatable than many movie or TV stars.

A recent study from Defy Media, a digital content company geared toward millennials, found that 13-to-24-year-olds watch 11.3 hours of free online video and 10.8 hours of subscription online video weekly. That’s nearly twice the time reported for free online TV offerings from broadcast and cable networks (6.4 hours) or for regularly scheduled.

During our chat, Singh recognized almost every Twitter username of dedicated fans who sent us their questions for the YouTuber to answer.

5. Singh’s next big career move: A movie(!)

This year, digital content creators, including Singh, are expected to star in a dozen feature films that will be released on various video-on-demand platforms.

One of these releases is the movie “A Trip to Unicorn Island,” which follows Singh during her world tour of the same name.

“It will cover lots of stories,” she said. “Not only my story with my life and my emotions and my growth but me becoming a boss, becoming a business owner, learning how to go on a world tour…It’s this really cool amazing, interesting journey.”

The exact release date is still to be determined, but Singh said will keep fans updated.

For more news on the entertainment industry, follow me @saba_h.


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