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The Rise of the Lofi Girl

A popular always-on study-music live stream has given birth to an entire community centered around the channel’s anime-inspired avatar.

In September 2017, a 24/7 live stream launched to provide a fluid source of “lofi” hip-hop beats. While primarily directed towards students needing a non-distracting background track to study to, no one could’ve predicted the enormous growth the channel would enjoy – it’s currently approaching the 1B views mark.

Even less likely was the celebrity that the channel’s avatar would achieve. The looping animation of a girl studying plaintively at her desk – the Lofi Girl -- has become a kind of icon and mascot of the community that has sprung up around it, spawning tributes, fan art and even collectible figurines. 

In this video, YouTube’s Culture & Trends team explores the roots of the channel and how this simple anime-inspired character became practically a household name.

You can watch it below.