Meet YouTube sensation ‘Lily Whispers’

This Penn State senior’s YouTube videos are paying her rent

Senior communications major Lily is your typical Penn State student, aside from the fact that she has over 40,000 subscribers on YouTube.

With over 100 uploaded videos, ranging from her role-playing a tattoo artist to a spa technician, Lily no doubt makes ASMR interesting for her viewers.

In case you did not know (because I know I didn’t), ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It is a phenomenon where people experience comfort or relaxation from audio and visual stimuli.


Lily, known as “Lily Whispers” on YouTube, created her own ASMR channel in 2013. Within two years her channel has become so successful that it helps pay her rent.

The Tab sat down with Lily last week to learn more about the success of her channel and what ASMR means to her.

Can you explain what ASMR is?

It is a feeling that starts in your scalp and climbs down your spine. I call it a “shiver” and it can help people who have trouble sleeping or with anxiety.

When did you decide you wanted to create your own YouTube channel?

I liked YouTube and had a cool camera so I though why not give it a try and then it grew really quickly. I found out about ASMR in Spring 2013 and started making videos that following summer.

How do you come up with new ideas for each video?

I usually watch what other people are doing and try to switch it up and do something different myself. If I see something cool that seems relaxing I think “Oh, I can turn this into a video.”


Have you had a viewer reach out to you?

Yeah, all the time. I get dozens of emails a week. Most of them are positive and the other ones are people recommending better equipment. I have a lot of people who say I’m the only reason they sleep, which is a lot of pressure.

What do your friends and family think?

They’ve been extremely supportive. At first everyone was kind of like “Oh my god what is this, its not normal,” like they thought it was sexual and stuff, but once I kind of steered them in the correct direction everyone’s been really supportive.


When people think that ASMR is “sexual,” how do you respond to that?

I say that’s its comforting. I cant control what people think of my videos. I do it with the intention of really relaxing people or helping them to sleep. So if someone takes that differently that’s upon them.

How do you make money from your channel?

The channel grew at a really fast rate. I was starting to get paid by YouTube in November of 2013, so I was making enough money to pay my own rent, which is incredible because I didn’t think I would make any money off of YouTube. I also just signed with a new network that gives me more creative freedom with the revenue I make that is generated from ads. YouTube takes 40% and this company only takes 20%.


How do you respond to rude comments on your channel?

For every 100 comments I usually only get one negative one. And that one comment isn’t really negative it’s usually just to make the volume louder or do something different or a lot of requests. I have a guy who has requested that I make a hookah video and he just blows up the comments.

*Update: Lily has posted the hookah video!*


When do you usually record?

I record really late at night. I live in a really busy area, so late at night is the quietest time I have. I also lock my door so my roommates know I’m recording.

How do you recommend people get started with experiencing ASMR?

Find a comfortable place is what I tell all of my friends. When they ask to see my channel I tell them that them sitting next to me won’t help them experience it, it’s a very personal thing. I recommend sitting or lying down, using headphones, and that people find a video that interests them because everyone has different triggers.


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