Q&A With Tiffany Alvord: YouTube Star

YouTube has launched careers for tons of artists today and has a created a culture of loyal fans who subscribe to singers' channels, follow them on social media, and help them rise to fame. That's the story of 19-year-old singer-songwriter turned YouTube sensation Tiffany Alvord, who's among the top talent in this space. Tiffany started posting videos to the site for fun, but has since become a star with more than 900,000 subscribers, a worldwide following, several albums, and she'll soon have her own show following her success on Awesomeness TV, a popular YouTube channel among tweens and teens.

We chatted with Tiffany about how the Internet propelled her singing career, the YouTube community, and how social media enables musicians to form an authentic connection with fans, offering new opportunities for artists today...

Tiffany Alvord 2 Ypulse: How did you get started in the music business?

Tiffany Alvord: I have always enjoyed singing and performing. I took piano lessons when I was in elementary school and when I was about 10, I began writing songs with my friend at recess. We would perform our songs for our friends in a mini-concert on the playground on Fridays. When my friends came to my house, we would write songs and design CD covers. When I was in junior high school, I got a pink Daisy Rock guitar for Christmas and taught myself how to play it.

Much of my focus was on gymnastics when I was younger and I reached competition levels in junior high. However, I injured myself and had to quit and decided to focus on acting and singing.

YP: What made you decide to create a YouTube channel and did you have any expectation of getting a following or being discovered?

TA: I discovered YouTube when I was 15-years-old. I saw another girl my age who had posted cover songs and had an original song…

 
 
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Quote of the Day: “The combination of recommendations from friends and online reviews really helps me determine my purchases.” –Male, 31, IA

Last year, many (okay most) of the stories about the fast-food industry struggling to understand and attract young consumers focused on McDonald’s and their Millennial challenge. The generation has been accused of “killing” the fast food brand, thanks to their fresher food preferences. But according to Morgan Stanley, McDonald’s remains the most visited restaurant for the generation while Chipotle made 11th on the list. While some are saying this implies Millennials are reluctant to admit to how much they are visiting the chain, we would point out that McDonald’s first place position doesn’t make it their preference, and the chain’s enormous footprint compared to newer competitors is likely influencing the frequency of their visits. (Business Insider)

Young consumers’ nostalgia cycle is shorter than ever, and the desire to look back at recent memories with rose-tinted glassesis driving their tech and sharing behavior, leading to the popularity of apps like Timehop. Facebook’s new “On This Day” feature accommodates this trend, and competes with other popular platforms. The new tool will show users their own Facebook posts and photos from the same date in previous years, providing a feed of status updates, photos, and posts from the past that they can then (re)share. To ensure that only positive content is provided, an algorithm will filter out ex-lovers and avoid displaying memories of those who’ve passed away. (TechCrunch)

Chat apps are the new social media. For Millennials and teens around the world, messaging platforms like Kik, WhatsApp, and Line have become a vital part of communicating with friends, sharing the world around them, and constantly staying in the loop. They’re also becoming a big space for brands, and Disney can thank the Line network’s reach of 500 million users for making their game Tsum Tsum a major mobile hit. Tsum Tsum is a simple, cute-overload-looking puzzle game that has earned $300 million in revenue since last July, a feat Disney says it “couldn’t have done that without Line’s social network.” (GameIndustry.biz)

Starting this week, Millennial news site Mic is joining other digital publications like BuzzFeed and Vox and rolling out its own video series, “Flip the Script,” to provide socially conscious, catchy, and quick clips that expound on some articles on the site. Mic’s aim is “to be the most important brand in news for our generation,” targeting college educated readers around 28-years-old. The site is taking a different approach to ads in their new video content, selling sponsorships rather than including pre-rolls. We’ve warned brands that in the age of ad A.D.D digital marketing will need to evolve to adjust to young consumers' attention spans, and Mic’s approach is an indication of the new mentality. (Ad Age)

What happens when a homeless witch meets an amnesiac enchanted statue? The creators of the indie animated seriesThe Book of MOJO want us to find out. Alchemy Engine is a team of former DreamWorks and Pixar animators currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo to make The Book of MOJO pilot, which they hope will help push boundaries in animation by including more diverse characters. A teaser trailer for the show earned them kudos from viewers who were excited that the heroine is a person of color, and Alchemy Engine has declared they want to “tell stories featuring characters that ... are under-represented in animation.” (IndieGogoHitFix)

Exactly how much are Millennials spending every day…and what are they buying? Our tracked data trends have all the stats on that, thanks to our monthly survey of 1000 13-32-year-old Millennials nationwide. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following average daily spend and items purchased, with spending broken out by age and gender. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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