Comedian and vlogger Lilly Singh has become one of the most popular stars on YouTuber, and one backed by YouTube itself in the first crop of its original series back in 2016. But now she’s become the latest online-video star to hit a wall due to the long-term pressures of producing constant content. “I’m gonna be real with y’all: I am mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted,” she told viewers in a video posted to the service yesterday. “I have been doing YouTube consistently for eight years. For eight years, I have been putting out videos, and for a lot of those years, I’ve been doing it twice a week, plus daily vlogs. I’ve enjoyed it, I love it, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it has been a lot.”
Singh is one of a growing number of YouTubers to announce a break from her schedule: gamers El Rubius and Jacksepticeye, vloggers Alisha Marie, Elle Mills and the Dolan Twins being other examples, all citing burnout as a factor. Meanwhile, in July YouTube’s top creator PewDiePie talked about the pressures of online-video stardom: “You realise you can’t take a break, because if you take a break your numbers will fall. And if your numbers go down, people notice that you’re failing and not doing as well… You’re stuck constantly producing content.” It’s the human cost of living by the algorithm – and an issue that our industry should be following, given the pressures on musicians to become similarly always-on content creators.