Lilly Singh is a YouTuber, actress, comedian, and talk show host who is also widely known as “IISuperwomanII.” Her social media career began back in 2010, when she launched her own YouTube channel as a way to deal with her depression. Initially, her content mainly focused on her Indian heritage and background – but she eventually branched out into comedy by playing the roles of her fictitious parents, Paramjeet and Manjeet. Now she is considered to be one of the wealthiest YouTubers in the world. As of 2021, Lily Singh’s net worth is estimated to be $20 million.
Before becoming a breakout star on YouTube with a multi-million dollar net worth, Lilly Singh was working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at York University. She launched her first YouTube video in October of 2010, at 22 years old. While battling depression, she made her first video under the moniker “Superwoman” – a name that had resonated with her since she was eight years old.
Although she had intended to go to graduate school, she instead took a risk to see if she could make a living off of creating YouTube videos – after all, returning to school was always an option if her social media career didn’t work out. It was around this time that Lilly also got a job at a collections agency; and she absolutely hated it.
As she struggled to stay motivated by corporate life, she was always enticed by the creator world and its career prospects. She saw how she could make a living simply by being herself. And that’s exactly what she did.
In the beginning, Lilly didn’t know anything about YouTube or its complicated metrics. All she knew was that she wanted to create content that entertained people – so, she decided to dive deeper into a subject close to her heart: Indian culture.
Her first viral video titled “Official Guide To Brown Girls” featured a series of hilarious skits that revolved around her ethnic background. It ended up gaining 10,000 views within a day. From then on, she knew there was no looking back.
Lilly began investing more of her time and money into making videos. By December 2011, she launched her second channel called “SuperwomanVlogs” (now titled “Lilly Singh Vlogs”) . While she continued to upload all her comedic content on the IISuperwomanII channel, Lilly used SuperwomanVlogs to showcase her daily activities and behind-the-scenes footage.
Soon enough, Lilly became everybody’s favorite YouTuber, as she poked fun at a number of social issues – specific to the South Asian community. Her videos started gaining millions of views, and she managed to build a growing fan base that consisted mainly of South-Asian teenage girls living in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK. By 2013, IISuperwomanII hit one million subscribers.
As she produced more content for her channel, Lilly focused on accessible topics that would make her videos relatable to a wider audience. When asked about her content in an interview with BBC, she replied:
“I still have my very Indian parent characters in my videos that still have an accent, my mum still wears a shawl on her head. It’s just I don’t feel the need to frame them just for Indian people because I want my content to be enjoyed universally.”
By creating several memorable, over-the-top characters, she was able to say the things most people were afraid to say – while still having fun with it. She was criticizing and talking about important issues that not only entertained but also educated in the process. This is what eventually helped her become one of the most recognized YouTubers in the world, and it didn’t take long before Lily Singh’s net worth started to reflect her immense success on the platform.
Since October 2010, Lilly Singh’s YouTube channel has grown to over 14.8 million subscribers with a total of 3.5 billion views. With an average of 330,000 views per day across all of her videos, Lilly’s daily revenue from the YouTube platform is estimated to be around $2,600. This means she’s able to earn at least $950,000 every year from YouTube alone.
Currently, Lilly’s vlog channel has around 2.5 million subscribers and it is reported to receive up to 50,000 views per day. This is enough to earn her $200 per day which can amount to $73,000 a year. Her revenue from YouTube is calculated based on the fact that creators in the UK, Canada, Australia, and the US are paid $2-$12 for every thousand monetized views.
In March 2015, Lilly was able to capitalize on her growing popularity by announcing a world tour called “A Trip To Unicorn Island.” The 26-city tour saw her traveling across the globe to meet her fans, as she treated them to unforgettable performances based on her YouTube content.
This incredible tour later got turned into a feature-length film, that documented the entire experience, and showcased Lily’s rise to fame. Initially, the film was released exclusively on YouTube Red (now called YouTube Premium), but now the documentary is now available for $9.99 on various video on-demand platforms such as Amazon Video, Apple’s iTunes, and Sony PlayStation Store.
It wasn’t long before Lilly began receiving recognition for her work and landed her first MTV Fandom Award and a Streamy Award, back in 2015. People Magazine even featured her on their annual list of “Ones To Watch” that same year. From her subsequent decision to move to Los Angeles, California and pursue greater opportunities, Lily Singh’s net worth started to grow even further since then.
She landed her first voice acting gig for the movie Ice Age: Collision Course. This paved the way for many future roles in both movies and TV series – all of which generated enough income to boost her net worth significantly.
But Lily isn’t just about content creation and comedy; she’s also passionate about sharing her story with others. By creating videos that brought to light world-issues in accessible ways, she’s established herself as an entertainer and an educator. We can even see her natural leadership qualities as she took to authorship, releasing her first book called How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life.
Told in her signature bold voice, the book immediately went to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and won her the award for “Best Non-Fiction” at the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards. While it’s hard to determine her exact revenue from the book deal, it is safe to assume that becoming a best-selling author must have increased Lilly Singh’s net worth by at least 6 figures.
While much of her revenue comes from YouTube, there are a number of sponsorship deals that also make up a large part of Lilly Singh’s net worth. In the past, she has collaborated with many popular brands like Coca Cola, Pantene, Calvin Klein, and Olay. She has also promoted products such Kate Spade handbags, through sponsored posts on her Instagram account (which currently boasts over 10 million followers).
Lily has even dipped into the makeup industry with her limited edition lipstick, aptly called “Bawse,” released by cosmetic brand Smashbox. This partnership has allowed Lily to expand into a completely different market and create an additional source of income.
And in March of 2019, Lily Singh’s fame was taken to a whole new level. It was announced by NBC that Singh would be the host of a brand new late night talk show, A Little Late With Lilly Singh – making Lilly the first woman of color, in history, to host a late night talk show on a major US network.
One of the many reasons Lilly Singh’s net worth and overall success has grown to such great heights, is that she identified a gap in the market early on in her career – and produced content to fill it. As one of the few famous, South-Asian, female creators, Lily embraced her culture in a funny, relatable manner that made her target audience resonate with her content. But most importantly, she built a loyal community of “unicorns” (or #TeamSuper) by consistently sharing personal pieces of her life to connect with them better.
This is what eventually helped Lilly win over an international audience, expand her net worth, and become one of the richest YouTubers in the world. Today, Lilly Singh continues to build this rapport with her fanbase by being completely invested and involved in all aspects of her brand – even with a team of writers now to support her. Lily has the type of ‘bawse’- like mentality that most creators could benefit from learning about, and incorporating in their own channels.
After having spent years scripting, producing, directing, and editing her own content, Lilly Singh is in the perfect position to become an educator and teach aspiring creators how to make videos that’ll help them connect with hundreds, thousands, and maybe even millions of people, all around the world. By sharing her stories of dealing with mental health, to her strategies for building an audience and monetizing content across different social platforms, Lilly could be a valuable guide for so many future creators.
At the Academy, we aim to turn talented, and inspiring people like Lilly Singh into educators – so they can continue to strengthen the creator economy and inspire a new generation of digital storytellers. As we move towards empowering more people around the world with new-age skills and tools, not only will there be greater content to look forward to, but also a shift in the career’s of so many. And an online world filled with more passionate, talented “Superwomen” just like Lilly Singh.
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