Articles on this Page
- 09/11/14--07:15: _Let's take today of...
- 09/11/14--09:13: _HBO Go might soon b...
- 09/11/14--11:36: _Fox Sports' Katie N...
- 09/11/14--11:57: _Here's why this foo...
- 09/11/14--12:14: _YouTube projected t...
- 09/11/14--13:50: _Paul McCartney's De...
- 09/12/14--06:10: _3-second clips capt...
- 09/12/14--06:31: _Why does Helen Mirr...
- 09/12/14--07:43: _CBS host James Brow...
- 09/12/14--07:52: _Michael Che becomes...
- 09/12/14--08:41: _Hashtags are so muc...
- 09/12/14--08:50: _Nicki Minaj snubbed...
- 09/12/14--12:46: _Iggy Azalea respond...
- 09/12/14--13:19: _Why U2's surprise n...
- 09/13/14--06:00: _Indiegogo’s Marc Ho...
- 09/13/14--07:13: _Watch Michelle Obam...
- 09/13/14--08:00: _14-year-old's crowd...
- 09/13/14--08:00: _Pinterest board add...
- 09/13/14--08:10: _20 years later, 'Re...
- 09/13/14--08:34: _YouTuber edits 23 v...
- 09/11/14--07:15: Let's take today off and watch this porn parody of 'The Room'
- 09/11/14--09:13: HBO Go might soon be available without cable
- 09/11/14--11:57: Here's why this food-reviewing YouTuber quit his channel mid-episode
- 09/11/14--12:14: YouTube projected to earn over $1 billion in ad revenue in 2014
- 09/11/14--13:50: Paul McCartney's Destiny closing credits song is an ambitious anthem
- 09/12/14--06:10: 3-second clips capture the essence of everyday life in Chicago
- 09/12/14--06:31: Why does Helen Mirren hate social media so much?
- 09/12/14--07:52: Michael Che becomes the first black 'SNL' Weekend Update anchor
- 09/12/14--08:41: Hashtags are so much better when read by Big Bird
- 09/12/14--08:50: Nicki Minaj snubbed by her own high school
- 09/12/14--13:19: Why U2's surprise new album won't appear on the Billboard charts
- 09/13/14--07:13: Watch Michelle Obama take Tyler Oakley to school
- 09/13/14--08:00: 14-year-old's crowdfunded horror film is scary good
- 09/13/14--08:00: Pinterest board adds to the mystery of 'Gone Girl'
- 09/13/14--08:10: 20 years later, 'Ready to Die' still holds up
- 09/13/14--08:34: YouTuber edits 23 videos of amateur musicians into a masterpiece
Warning: This story contains content that might be considered NSFW.
We can think of a few lines likely to make an appearance in The Bed Room, the upcoming porn parody of the so-bad-it’s-good cult classic The Room.
Hi, doggy (style). You’re tearing it apart, Lisa. Take those stupid comments and shove ‘em in your pocket pussy. I feel like I’m sitting on an atomic dick waiting for it to go off. I got the results of the test back: I definitely have breast implants.
That’s right: The Room, a movie notorious for its “porn-level” acting and production value, a movie that is so bad it’s basically a parody of itself, is getting its own porn parody. Shut it all down, folks. There’s nothing more we can do here.
Directed by Lee Roy Myers of Woodrocket, the production company behind such parodic tour de forces as Game of Bones and Doctor Whore XXX, The Bed Room (NSFW) is an XXX retelling of the beloved 2003 cult classic by aspiring auteur and “Croatian cyborg” Tommy Wiseau. It stars Ela Darling (of Woodrocket’s viral Hobby Lobby video fame) as Lisa and Anthony Rosano as Johnny. (We think they probably could’ve nabbed the original actors for a few hundred dollars and a case of Thunderbird, but these guys will do as well, I suppose.)
If the SFW trailer over at AV Club is any indication, The Bed Room hews fairly close to its source material. It’s got it all: Wooden acting, dialogue that bears only a vague resemblance to normal human speech patterns, even a game of catch (albeit with dildos instead of footballs.) Basically, it’s just like watching The Room during a midnight screening at your local theater, except this time you’ll definitely get to see what’s under Mark’s jeans during the sex scenes. Now let’s all celebrate this momentous occasion by joining in a lusty rendition of “You Are My Rose.”
H/T AV Club | Screengrab via Woodrocket
Backed into a corner in an effort to stave off Netflix’s unwavering collection of market share in the world of television watching, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes revealed that the company’s considering ways in which it can properly roll out the ever-popular HBO Go to Internet users who don’t currently pay for premium TV.
Speaking Wednesday at a Goldman Sachs investor conference, Bewkes explained that what his company’s long considered “the best opportunity”—working “through the existing affiliate system”—may not be the most formidable option anymore. He also said that should things progress a bit in the near future, he could see HBO Go becoming available to any Internet user who chooses to pay for it—as opposed to those who just borrow passwords from their friends.
“The broadband-only opportunity up until now wasn’t … at the point where it would be smart to move the focus from one to the other,” said Bewkes. “Now the broadband opportunity is quite bigger.”
Netflix work in that arena’s made the opportunity quite obvious. Aside from the grabbing such programs as the Fox show Gotham and Chelsea Handler’s new excursion into late-night almost immediately after they’ve become available, the company’s turned the streaming platform into quarterly revenues in the area of $1.34 billion.
Bewkes first hinted towards Time Warner’s willingness to go online during a quarterly earnings call in August, saying then that he’d want anything Time Warner did to be “best-in-class” online. If the streaming troubles Game of Thrones fans experienced during the airing of certain episodes is any indication, the company’s not quite reached “best-in-class” yet.
Bewkes stressed Wednesday that Time Warner has found moderate success streaming HBO Go to online subscribers in Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, and stressed Wednesday that it would be a “good thing for optionality in the longer-term back home.” He also spoke of some data he plans to introduce soon that would speak to the success of a joint experiment with Comcast affording current subscribers TV channels, broadband access, and HBO Go for $50 a month.
“It’s showing a very good demand for HBO Go,” he said. “We have the rights. We can do it if we want to now. But we don’t want to do anything that’s not at a high level.”
Like her colleagues and fellow fans, Fox Sports’ Katie Nolan is in a tough position. Her love of the game is conflicting with her beliefs after the NFL’s mishandling of Rice’s domestic violence, but it’s not just a problem with the men who run the NFL. The NFL doesn’t respect women, she argued, and neither does the sports media industry.
Using many of the jobs she and fellow female sports reporters have performed on-air, she demonstrates just how little their male colleagues respect them, delegating them to secondary positions or even being allowed to operate a computer instead of sitting at the big boys’ table.
At one point, she had the opportunity to ask Roger Goodell why he didn’t give Rice a harsher punishment but she didn’t, fearing the repercussions. Despite that the act of speaking out could jeopardize her job, she’s doing it now.
“Because, the truth is, the NFL will never respect women and their opinions as long as the media it answers to doesn’t,” she said. “I’m ready when you are, Fox.”
Sometimes, dropping the mic is the only way to get your point across, even if your mic is a box of frozen chicken nuggets for kids and your stage is your own YouTube show.
Gregory Ng, also known as the Frozen Foods Master, spent six years running the YouTube channel FreezerBurns dedicated to the wide world of frozen meals. Just eight episodes shy of his 700th video, Ng quit mid-review, but shared the video with his 23,000 subscribers anyway. He even posted the clip of his quitting moment as its own video as a final goodbye to his channel.
"There are great, healthy, all-natural frozen meals out there,” Ng told the Daily Dot. “There are also high-fat, high-sodium, chemical-laden meals from the freezer aisle. My show was a business. More views meant more revenue. I came to the realization that it was the more unhealthy meals that gained more views. This just didn't sit well with me because I was in constant conflict on whether to review something that was healthy or something that was money-making. After this realization, I decided to end my show. I had told myself I would close out the year or maybe quit on a round number, episode 700 for instance. While shooting episode 692, I got very worked up around the use of a movie tie-in to sell a frozen kids' meal. I started to rant, and it turned into what you see in that episode: me walking off camera for good.”
Ng began the channel in 2008, inspired by the number of people in his office lunchroom waiting to microwave their own frozen meals. He decided to create a resource to review those meals and give people more information. Ng said he ran the channel as a business and a side project in addition to his full-time job, giving him the luxury and patience to develop his niche into something he could market. Ironically, his most successful videos will be the two in which he quits the project, with half a million views generated by the duo combined. Ng says there's nothing he would change about the niche he created for himself.
"It was a niche I could own, one that had everlasting content, and one backed by big potential sponsorship dollars," he said. "The only problem for me was the fact that I built the brand around me eating food on camera. Even though I only ate a few bites of a meal to review it, I would review four or five meals … in one shoot, and that just got tiresome."
Now that he’ll no longer be reviewing frozen foods, Ng says the response from his followers is mixed.
“Some have been very thankful for years of content I provided and were sad to see it go,” he said. “Others were downright angry, saying things like ‘I abandoned them.’ While I'm happy that I had some fans who took my channel seriously, I am very scared that they seem to have taken it more seriously than I did! I mean, it's frozen food!”
Ng says that the response from the general public has been mixed as well, with some users just finding out the show existed and others using his video as an opportunity to condemn the frozen food industry, which he thinks is unfair.
“Some frozen food is really bad for you,” he said. “But there are tons of great frozen food meals out there with all natural, non-GMO ingredients!”
Departing FreezerBurns does not mean an end to Ng’s work in the foodspace. On Sept. 26, he’ll host a 24-hour telethon for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina that will be livestreamed at www.foodbank24.org.
“Food insecurity is a major problem in my area of North Carolina and in the entire country,” Ng explained. “Food insecurity is the state of being unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for an active and healthy life.”
Screengrab via Freezerburnsdotcom/YouTube
Even though YouTube’s very hush-hush about its finances, that hasn’t stopped other companies from trying to figure out how much the video site earns. Research firm eMarketer is one of those curious companies, having recently given a clue as to what YouTube’s 2014 ad revenue could be: a whopping $1.13 billion.
According to Variety, this number is up 39% from what YouTube possibly made last year, roughly $810 million. Despite this increase in ad revenue, eMarketer is also predicting the Google-owned property won’t be able to improve its market share in the U.S. in this segment over the next three years. For example, in 2013, YouTube had a 21.3% share, but may only hit the 18.9% mark this year.
The reasons behind this drop in market share are affected by numerous factors, not the least of which is the reality that YouTube’s not able to easily monetize all its content. Many of the videos on YouTube are (of course) user-generated, and much of it is too short to even consider monetizing, which doesn’t bode well when trying to attract marketers and advertisers. YouTube’s recently focused on creating advertising opportunities for brands to try to rectify this problem, including introducing this spring’s Google Preferred initiative which presented its top channels across 14 content genres as prime advertising realty.
Regardless, YouTube’s still doing well for itself. Variety reports another firm, Wall Street’s Jeffries & Co., has estimated the video site’s 2014 net revenue will be approximately $2.8 billion, growing to $3.5 billion in 2015. Tie this into Google’s market value, and you’re looking at its online video property being worth between $26 billion and $40 billion. This generous estimate puts YouTube in the running to beat Netflix’s value, which is currently capped at $29 billion.
Whether or not YouTube manages to figure out ad revenue strategies that work to increase its market share is yet to be seen. In the meantime, the online video masses can rest assured the site’s popularity and potential net revenue will keep it around for longer than most of the cat videos it hosts.
Illustration by Jason Reed
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the ending of Destiny.
It took a YouTube user rushing to beat Destiny and upload its end credits, but Thursday those of us without the soft touch and guiding hand to invest in the video game got to hear its Paul McCartney-composed theme song, "Fight for the Future."
After 2:20 of the game’s score, McCartney’s anthem burrows in. It’s a bloated and ambitious gesture that aims for transcendence and doesn’t land far from the “Live and Let Die” tree. The words are guarded and contextual, “Some hope for the future / some wait for the call / to say that the days ahead will be the best of all.” And later: “We build bridges up to the sky.” And, in classic softie romantic Macca fashion (think the everyday optimism of “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da” for thematic scope), “we’ll be together / sharing the load / waiting in wonder as our lives unfold.”
Sure, it’s a Beatle singing about a science-fiction-based video game, but it’s also a Beatle aware that we’re hearing a Beatle 20 years north of middle age. There’s a little more rasp, a little more wear and tear than before. I mostly hear a spirited musician, optimistic about these next 20 years—ones he’ll use for “lighting undiscovered places.”
The thing was recorded at Abbey Road with the help of a 120-piece orchestra. McCartney teased its composition two years ago.
The New York Timesconfirmed the project last month. “Fight for the Future” will eventually be released as a single, but for now, enjoy the bootleg.
Photo via laverrue/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
In a city like Chicago, it’s easy to ignore the mundane. The Midwestern metropolis of almost 3 million people boasts some of the highest murder rates in the country, and political scandals and conflicts of interest are nothing new for the nation’s third-largest city.
However, one Chicago-based filmmaker has chosen to ignore the criminal and the scandalous, and instead celebrate everyday life in the Windy City.
Justin Harenchar, 24, is two-thirds of the way through his year-long film project “How We Got Here.” The project collects three-second clips of different people and places around Chicago, and compiles them into monthly cinematic videos that showcase just how special day-to-day life can be, especially in a big city.
“I take the train 25 minutes in and 25 minutes back. That’s 50 minutes of people I’ve never seen before doing what it is they’re doing with their lives,” Harenchar told the Daily Dot. “It’s just the variants of that many people in that many places. I mean, you could do this for years and find places you don’t know or you’ve never seen in the city.”
Harenchar, who works for Optimus in video post-production, moved to Chicago from a small suburb outside Pittsburgh, Penn., last September. He spent a few months exploring the city, either by himself or with friends, but it wasn’t until his treasured iPhone broke around Christmas that he decided to take things to the next level with the video project.
“I got the new iPhone three days before the New Year. I played with the camera and saw what it could do,” Harenchar said. “The idea just started as ‘I’m going to shoot something every day and have this film and see what I could do with it’ … There’s enough interesting stuff that happens in Chicago on a day-to-day basis.”
Harenchar studied video production at the University of Dayton and works regularly with high-end video and editing equipment, but he said he chose to use his iPhone for the project because of its ease and accessibility. He said it’s not about creating something that’s going to make cinematic history; it’s about making something real that other people can relate to.
“When I started it, I wanted it to be the average life of a 23- or 24-year-old, and the average 23- or 24-year-old doesn’t get to use a multi-thousand-dollar camera,” Harenchar said. “My thought was a person with a zero-dollar budget spending no money on their project should be able to make something that people like, and attach to and take notice of.”
Harenchar said some of his favorite clips are the ones that are more personal for him. In the June video, he filmed some guys playing “Chicago street pick-up basketball,” which was a favorite sport of his growing up. In fact, his first experience with filming involved attaching the family video camera to a basketball hoop and shooting dunks. Since then, he said filming and editing has become one of his favorite ways to express himself, both personally and professionally.
“I’m a person that likes being very expressive, but not in the sense of being this tremendously outgoing person,” Harenchar said. “I think it’s a mix of wanting to be able to express myself in the best way I know possible, and always being a media junkie from day one.”
While Harenchar said a project like this could theoretically be done from anywhere, he said there’s something “unique” about Chicago that makes it really shine. He said one of his favorite parts about the project is about how some Chicagoans have responded to it, especially because he’s still somewhat of a newcomer to the Windy City.
“I’ve had contact from people that have lived in Chicago for their whole lives … and I got these messages that say, ‘You’ve captured this city perfectly,’” Harenchar said. “It’s very confidence-boosting to have an aura of a city without being there for that long, and having the people from here like it is what means the most to me.”
Once the project is done at the end of the year, Harenchar said he wants to compile his footage into one long video, probably around 12 to 15 minutes. He said he would likely have to change the hard three-second-clip rule, so it doesn’t get boring. Afterward, he’s thinking of submitting it to some local film festivals. But more importantly, he’ll have something he can share with his family and friends—all about his everyday life in the city of Chicago.
“On a selfish level, I think it’s cool that 20 years from now … I’ll be able to have my kids and family, and show it to them and say ‘This was a year of my life,’” Harenchar said. “Not many people are able to do that.”
Screengrab via Joyland/Vimeo
Actress Helen Mirren has been busy promoting The Hundred-Foot Journey, her new film about food, Michelin stars, and sauces. Recently, she told a radio station she was “insulted” to find she wasn’t part of the massive “Celebgate” leak that exposed the stolen nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other A-list celebrities.
“You weren’t anybody if your phone hadn’t been hacked,” she said.
For someone so invested in her digital footprint, the Oscar-winning actress, 69, has virtually shunned all social media. This week, I confronted her during a press conference at Deauville American Film Festival about not being on Instagram, Twitter, or any other services (“les médias sociaux”), despite starring in a film about cooking. One can’t be a chef without filtering images of her dishes on Instagram and Pinterest; that much is obvious.
Mirren was enticed by my hat (made by Philip Colbert), but nonetheless was against the notion of sharing and uploading random kitchen pics. I pressed on about the lack of social media presence in her family. Her husband Taylor Hackford doesn't use Instagram either.
Shockingly, the actress sitting next to her, Charlotte Le Bon, denied any affiliation to @lebonlebon, a Twitter account with more than 90 thousand followers, after I expressed my awe of her for not actively tweeting for 45 minutes straight.
Photo by Nimrod Kamer | Remix by Rob Price
On Thursday night, all eyes were on CBS reporter James Brown.
The Pittsburgh Steelers faced off against the Baltimore Ravens, who played their first game since Ray Rice was released and indefinitely suspended, and the mix of journalists, former NFL coaches, and players spent most of the pregame show discussing the events of the past week.
With a bigger audience tuning in for the game, Brown ended the hour with a message for the NFL and its fans. Two years ago, he called for people to take a stance against domestic violence and how they treat women, after a Kansas City Chiefs linebacker killed his girlfriend before killing himself. On Thursday night, he found himself doing it again.
“There has been, appropriately so, intense and widespread outrage following the release of the video showing what happened inside the elevator at the casino,” Brown said. “But wouldn’t it be productive if this collective outrage, as my colleagues have said, could be channeled to truly hear and address the long-suffering cries for help by so many women? And, as they said, do something about it?”
It’s powerful and Brown doesn’t hold back, but it’s also something that shouldn’t have to be said. It should be common sense.
Photo via okalkavan/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III
Saturday Night Live has experienced a few lineup changes going into next season: Noël Wells, John Milhiser, Nasim Pedrad, and Brooks Wheelan are all parting ways. However, SNL made an excellent decision in hiring Michael Che as the new Weekend Update host.
Che was recently hired by The Daily Show as a correspondent, and he quickly became one of the funniest parts of show. This clip illustrates his sense of humor around issues like Ferguson perfectly.
Che, who was a writer on SNL last season, will become the first black Weekend Update anchor in the show’s history, and will coanchor with cast member Colin Jost. The Weekend Update roster is a historic one, but SNL has tried to find the right combination since Seth Meyers left the show in 2013. Lorne Michaels, the show’s producer, told the New York Times they “struggled to find an identity last season, and that this “is about a new era, what feels appropriate for now.”
For the first time in SNL history, Weekend Update will be hosted by two men. Unfortunately, current cohost Cecily Strong is leaving to focus on sketches, according to Michaels. Former Weekend Update hosts had words of encouragement for Che.
.@chethinks Well that's the news! It appears the inmates have taken over the asylum, right Colin? (high five each other, cut to commersh)— Colin Quinn (@iamcolinquinn) September 12, 2014
@CheThinks Congratulations on the chair. Can't wait to see you.— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) September 12, 2014
Screengrab via The Daily Show
Anything can happen when you let characters like Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch loose, so in a way, having them read some of the funnier entries for #WhenIWasAKid felt a little stifling. But the Sesame Street cast are professionals, so even if they’ve only got 30 seconds of time to use after reading a tweet, they’re going to use it to their full advantage to create a serving of fantastic havoc.
You could have them anchor the news. We’ve already proven that we’ll watch them in just about anything and still manage to smile.
And Big Bird finally got a question we’ve been wondering about for years, and he still managed to cop out. Inquiring minds of kids (and even adults) still want to know!
Nicki Minaj, a rapper of some renown who at virtually any opportunity encourages her fans to stay in school and graduate, will not be allowed to speak to students at her alma mater, New York’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, a performing arts institution.
Minaj tweeted about the snub yesterday, expressing shock and dismay.
I wanted to go back to my HS and speak to the students but the new principal declined. No need for me to inspire them, I guess. Smh— Anaconda (@NICKIMINAJ) September 11, 2014
That school changed my life and I wanted to pay it forward to the students there now. I was really looking forward to it.— Anaconda (@NICKIMINAJ) September 11, 2014
Here, by the way, is Minaj on the subject of education in Marie Claire last year: “My fans send me pictures of their diplomas; the younger ones send me pictures of their report card. Whether I had this platform or not, I would be telling little girls and little boys, stay in school. Always depend on yourself.” Nope, definitely not a good role model. Too much twerking!
We called up Dr. Lisa Mars, the principal who declined Minaj’s offer, and, after enduring some predictable hold music—the theme from Fame, a 1980 film based on student life at the school—were able to leave a message with her secretary. We also emailed Dr. Mars and LaGuardia’s assistant principal, John Sommers, only to be directed to a spokeswoman at the Department of Education, which is already investigating this matter, per the Daily News.
She, too, proved to be unavailable.
Meanwhile, Minaj is retweeting proof of her positive influence on young minds:
Nicki is honestly the ONLY person that motivates me to go to school. My parents don't really push me like that...— PATIENT (@MyTittiesBIGGER) September 11, 2014
Because of Nicki's drive, I applied to two universities. Like I never thought I'd be at that point in my life.— Sept. 17th (@ACminaj95) September 11, 2014
It sinks into a young mind when you’re fave artist motivates you to do well rather than a parent who can be seen as “nagging”— Reste Fort (@slvyton) September 11, 2014
I'm still in disbelief that the principal declined her visitation to motivate. Does she not know how much Nicki impacts this generation?— Яᵃyᵐᵒnᵈ (@RayYoWTF) September 11, 2014
Yeah, I think I see the problem here—Nicki cares too much.
How's school so far?— Anaconda (@NICKIMINAJ) September 11, 2014
This week, rumors have been floating around that Iggy Azalea recorded a sex tape with her ex-boyfriend, Houston rapper Hefe Wine. She says no. Hefe Wine says yes. So does Steven Hirsch, the CEO of porn company Vivid Entertainment, which allegedly has the footage, and so does Iggy’s legal camp, although they say it was shot without her consent and she might have been underage at the time.
Whether or not Iggy Azalea did record a sex tape, however, two things are clear: 1) If she did, she clearly doesn’t want it out there, which is reason enough to stop talking about it right now, and 2) her response to the rumors, an epic rant on Twitter referencing Celebgate and lambasting the media for invading female celebrities’ privacy, is spot-on:
obviously I've seen the news feed today and i just want to say…— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) September 11, 2014
Anyone who releases or attempts to make profit off someone else's intimate moments against their will is a sex offender.— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) September 11, 2014
& it honestly makes me sick to see the media encourage any other attitude towards those sorts of people, we should want to protect our women— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) September 11, 2014
and i really hope that america will follow Europe and their laws to better protect peoples privacy and fundamental rights.— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) September 11, 2014
and on that note, I'm off to get a manicure. peaaaaccceeeeeee outtttttt *drops the mic*— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) September 11, 2014
Well-played, Iggy. Well-played. Now that that’s settled, let’s move on to more important news stories, like that kid who might go to jail for skull-banging Jesus.
H/T ABC News | Photo by Laura Murray/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
U2 might have the largest album release in history, but the massive release to around 500 million iTunes subscribers during Apple’s iPhone 6 and Apple Watch event Tuesday won’t count on the Billboard charts.
In an unprecedented move that thrilled and annoyed music fans—and even creeping out some of them—U2 joined Apple CEO Tim Cook onstage during the livestreamed event, and after performing the first single of their new album, Songs of Innocence, announced that every iTunes subscriber already had the album purchased and downloaded for them, courtesy of Apple.
“To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of our iPod commercial, they bought it as a gift to give to all their music customers,” Bono explained. “Free, but paid for. Because if no-one's paying anything for it, we’re not sure ‘free’ music is really that free.”
Despite all of Cook’s declaration that U2 had the “largest album release of all time,” which has since received mixed reviews from critics, that title may be in name only thanks to a technicality from Billboard.
Billboard won’t recognize Songs of Innocence, despite Apple purchasing every single copy and it streaming on Beats Music, because all of those copies were given away for free. And you won’t see it on the charts at all until the physical copy of the album comes out on Oct. 14. Billboard released the following statement:
While U2 surprised the music world by releasing its new album, Songs of Innocence, today as a free download to iTunes Store account holders and for streaming on Beats Music, you won’t see it on the Billboard 200 albums chart for another month and a half…
Free or giveaway albums are not eligible for inclusion on Billboard’s album charts and do not count toward sales tracked by Nielsen SoundScan (which supplies data for Billboard’s sales-driven charts). The same sort of scenario played out in 2013 with Jay Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail album, which was given away to Samsung users, and, on occasion, when Google Play offers free downloads of select albums.
Once Songs of Innocence goes on sale beginning Oct. 14, it will then set its sights on Billboard’s sales charts. On that date, the album will be available in both standard and deluxe editions to physical and digital retailers, as well as on streaming services other than Beats. Until then, only current or new iTunes or Beats account holders will have access to the album.”
The album may have been delivered to 500 million iTunes accounts, but the actual number of downloads might not be anywhere near that number. According to Billboard, Songs of Innocence was only downloaded around 200,000 times in the days since the album’s mass release, while Re/code is reporting 2 million downloads—some that may be due to settings that automatically download purchased material. Some people might not know how to access it, but others might be trying to avoid the album at all costs—which, thanks to Apple, is currently valued at $0 for iTunes customers.
YouTube content creators who wish to crowdfund their own projects have several options, but recently, many of them have turned exclusively to Indiegogo. In the past year alone, the flexible service has powered a number of high-profile campaigns as well as thousands of smaller projects, some of which we feature in our Fund This column.
At the center of Indiegogo’s growth stands Marc Hofstatter, the company’s Head of Film and Digital. Hofstatter came to Indiegogo a year ago and has been instrumental in connecting Indiegogo to the cash-hungry YouTube creators who wish to fund their own projects. With his help, Indiegogo has developed a strong connection with the online video community, and those ties are only getting stronger: The company’s latest hire is Rebecca Lando, a former YouTube Next Lab and YouTube Spaces employee. She comes to Indiegogo from Nerdist, where she managed the studio’s YouTube network.
We decided to take a closer look at Indiegogo’s YouTube-related work. Here’s our conversation with Hofstatter:
Tubefilter: What do you think has been the single biggest catalyst that has led to Indiegogo’s growing appeal within the YouTube community?
Marc Hofstatter: The greatest catalyst for Indiegogo’s appeal to the YouTube community is that we hold a lot of the same benefits that YouTube does, as we are an open platform. We’ve always encouraged diversity and we give people the platform to pursue what matters to them in a way that can change their lives.
TF: Does the influx of high-profile Indiegogo campaigns help, hinder, or have no effect on the smaller creators looking to fund their own projects?
MH: Some people worry that big name talent coming to Indiegogo to raise funds will take attention away from the “little guy.” We’ve found that it’s quite the opposite. When fans of PewDiePie, Wil Wheaton, Rooster Teeth or Freddie Wong come to Indiegogo to support those creators, they don’t just contribute to campaigns and leave, they stick around and see what other projects may excite them. Ultimately, if you’re good at what you do, if you create something awesome, and if you plan and put in the work for your campaign, you will find your crowd.
TF: What do you think the average Indiegogo user looks like, and how does the site cater to this person?
MH: The average Indiegogo user is progressive, conscious, creative and adventurous–they’re always looking for a reason to say “yes!” Our open platform enables us to link these contributors up with the amazing, perhaps even unconventional, ideas they are most passionate about and inspired by every day.
TF: On a similar note, how much of the Indiegogo user base consists of web video creators? Is that the site’s most active category?
MH: Film and video were where we started when the platform launched at Sundance in 2008. They remain a vital part of what we do as a company and are two of our biggest categories. As the YouTube and web video communities grow, so does our own community of creators.
TF: When you look at crowdfunding projects, what qualities set the successful campaigns apart from those that don’t live up to expectations?
MH: In order to truly succeed on Indiegogo, it’s important to be prepared for and thoughtful about your campaign. Just as a creator would be sure to put a strategy in place when putting a video up on YouTube, we often see people take months to prepare and build out their projects on Indiegogo. It’s those campaigners, who take the time to obtain early feedback and engage their userbases, who ultimately go on to have the most success.
TF: Do you see Kickstarter as a close competitor, or would you say that Indiegogo appeals to a completely different type of crowdfunder?
MH: Indiegogo launched in 2008, before the word “crowdfunding” even existed and today, there are more than a thousand crowdfunding platforms in the world. Even still, we remain the largest, most open and most global platform with about one-third of our contributions coming from overseas. Since no two campaigns are ever quite the same, we also offer two funding options, so people can choose whichever works best for them. These are Fixed Funding, where campaigners don’t receive funds if the goal isn’t reached, and Flexible Funding, where campaigners keep all of the money they raise regardless of whether the goal is met.
Indiegogo Outpost is another unique feature that our customers love. This is our embeddable campaign widget which allows campaigners to tailor the look, feel and location of their campaign page. This means that fans can contribute to a campaign without leaving their own branded site, while still enjoying the benefits of Indiegogo’s platform amplification. No other crowfunding platform can offer that.
TF: Do you think the Indiegogo model has any particular weaknesses that you would like to improve?
MH: Indiegogo has definitely grown and changed since we officially launched nearly six years ago. The site’s look, its functionality, and its usage have all changed in that time. The platform will continue to adapt in a continuous effort to meet and exceed the expectations of creators. Our most recent example is our iOS app release, that allows for optimized campaigning and contributing on-the-go.
TF: As Indiegogo continues to grow, what other features do you hope to offer?
MH: We are always asking for and getting feedback from the community, so there are quite a few exciting projects in the pipeline–many of which will directly appeal to YouTube and web content creators and how they fund their projects. Another development that we are working on is our Android app, which is in the works and will be released in the near future.
TF: What kind of growth have you seen with the YouTube community on Indiegogo over the last year?
MH: In the last year alone Indiegogo has seen more than a 60% increase in money contributed to web/video projects with more than 29 YouTube creators, including Wil Wheaton and The Young Turks, receiving funding to the tune of more than $7 million on Indiegogo. As part of this, we have also empowered creators to tap into their powerfully passionate communities and further extend their projects beyond core YouTube content with campaigns such as PewDiePie’s 25 Million Bros Strong Charity Drive for Save the Children, Hank Green’s Project for Awesome and most recently Rooster Teeth’s Lazer Team, which will bring them from short-form web content to their first-ever feature film. Rooster Teeth ended up raising $2,480,259, over 382% of their original funding goal, and became the most funded film on Indiegogo.
TF: What are some surprising things that someone may not know about the YouTube community on Indiegogo?
MH: There was a conscious decision on our part to use YouTube in our video player rather than create our own. We wanted to take the same ease of sharing and accessibility that exists on YouTube.com and use it to help campaigners thrive on Indiegogo.com. In fact, many of the same qualities that make a YouTube video go viral are the same as those that will take an Indiegogo campaign to the next level.
TF: What are some of your more high profile web content campaigns and successes?
MH: Many of the most well-respected and closely followed YouTubers have taken to Indiegogo to fund their dreams, including Hannah Hart who was an early user of the platform. More recently we’ve seen a swell of web series records being made and then broken by campaigners such as Freddie Wong and Geek & Sundry respectively, the latter raising more than $1.4 million for a third season of TableTop. This month, the popular UK-based YouTube channel Simon’s Cat raised $522,349 to fund their first ever long-form color animation–their campaign ended up breaking the record for most crowdfunded film or video ever out of the UK.
TF: Finally, how do you see crowdfunding evolving? In the future, what do you think the crowdfunding landscape will look like, and how will Indiegogo adapt to any changes?
MH: We’re always gathering feedback to optimize Indiegogo and have been since day one. In the future, crowdfunding will become even more streamlined to make it easier than ever to fund campaigns, distribute content and fulfill perks. The market is getting increasingly crowded, so campaigns have to find new ways to stand out among other projects–tools such as Indiegogo Outpost will empower campaigners rise above the “noise” and reach their audience in a customized and authentic way.
Now that he's had sit-down time with the President and First Lady, is it safe to say Tyler Oakley is a politico?
At the very least, he's lent his Internet fame to some presidential causes. While his Streamy Award-winning meeting with President Obama about healthcare had a decidedly more formal tone, Oakley went the relaxed route with MIchelle Obama, sitting down for a laid-back Q&A on his channel to discuss her Reach Higher campaign, aimed at encouraging post-secondary education in the United States.
Oakley joked that he was at her house recently, with Obama sparring back, "I was jealous. I feel like I needed my time with Tyler, so, you know, here we are." The pair discussed their own college experiences, with Obama revealing she never failed a class but did get a C or two on a test.
Overall, the video enforces the idea that post-secondary education is crucial, and that there's a version of college suited for students' needs and situation. It's interesting for Obama to take to YouTube to get her message out. Yes, the young eyeballs are there, but many of the platform's biggest teen stars are either on hiatus from college or have no plans to attend, instead focusing on their YouTube careers. Oakley, however, is a model student. He started his channel while in college and, post-graduation, has gone on to massive fame with the platform.
Screengrab via Tyler Oakley /YouTube
Horror has always been a mainstay for women who wanted to push boundaries as directors. Mary Harron, Karyn Kusama, and the Soska Sisters are just a few of the women who've done groundbreaking work filming our worst nightmares.
To the lineup, we can now add 14-year-old Emily DiPrimio. DiPrimio used Kickstarter to raise more than $30,000 to fund her first feature film, Carver, over a year ago. The movie combines an I Know What You Did Last Summer-esque revenge plot with lots of '80s horror sendups.
It looks awesome. As the movie website describes it:
Carver is about a group of teenagers who are haunted by a despicable act they committed when they were younger. Their actions caused the deaths of three innocent people. Now on the anniversary of those deaths an ominous calling card, in the form of a carved pumpkin has been placed at each of their homes. Someone is out for revenge...the question is who?
Carver is a throwback to those wonderful slasher films of the 80's. It is a story about revenge and redemption. There are plenty of scares and we promise, NO CGI BLOOD!
On DiPrimio's blog, she marveled at the response the trailer has received. With more thank 40,000 views on YouTube since it landed a week ago, it looks like the young filmmaker may have a cult hit on her hands. "It has been a whirlwind," she wrote, "one that I will never forget."
She also took her critics to task, addressing skeptics' claims that her dad, not her, actually directed the film and was just using her as a prop.
This is extremely insulting. Not only to me but my father as well. Yes, we wrote the screenplay together. Yes, he was my AD on the film. But I was the director. This is my vision, my hard work, my dream. I am lucky enough to have a father who supports me and worked his butt off for me to make sure the movie was completed on time. Actually, we finished one day ahead of schedule but that is besides the point.
DiPrimio isn't the first precocious Emily to make a name in horror for herself at a young age. Emily Hagins, who directed her cult horror hit Pathogen in 2004 at the tender age of 12, is preparing to release her fourth feature film at the equally impressive age of 21.
It looks like these teen horror fangirls are preparing to inherit the blood-soaked earth of their predecessors. We can't wait.
Screengrab via YouTube
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl may have trouble relating to the novel’s manipulative, sociopathic “cool girl," Amy Dunne. But now she has a Pinterest page, and it appears she loves a decadent cupcake just as much as the rest of us.
The movie, based on the best-selling book, hits theaters Oct. 3, and in their latest bit of marketing genius, the folks at 20th Century Fox put together a Pinterest page consisting of eight boards, consistent with the life Amy Dunne presents to the outside world.
Amy is married to Nick Dunne, and when the couple is forced to move back to Nick’s home state of Missouri, their marriage devolves into a web of lies, clues, and sociopathic journal entries. But while Amy constructed an elaborate plan to frame her husband for her own murder, it appears she was also pinning.
Her various pins are just like any other gal’s, with photos of recipes she’ll probably never make, decorating projects she’ll probably never attempt, and gifts for her husband that she’ll probably never buy. But some of the pins are direct references to details from the book, including excerpts from her journal entries.
This isn’t the first time a Pinterest page has been created for a fictional character. Back in March, one savvy TV viewer noticed that True Detective’s Rust Cohle had basically constructed a real-life, three-dimensional Pinterest page in one of the final episodes of the season, and decided to bring it full circle with an actual page. But Amy Dunne’s page differs in that it was created by the studio as a marketing tool, and no doubt to show how much they “get” the Internet.
20th Century Fox did not respond to request for comment.
H/T Entertainment Weekly | Screengrab via 20th Century Fox/YouTube
The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album, Ready to Die, hit stores 20 years ago today. It belongs on a space capsule mixtape, between Mozart and whale noises.
It's one of secular Western pop's greatest albums, 68 minutes of sociopolitical anxiety, thickly written philosophy, collaborative sonic genius, and inimitable rapping. More controversially, it's the best hip-hop record of 1994. (Illmatic, as Jay Z said about its author, Nas, in 2001, didn't "live it—you witnessed it from your folks' pad/scribbled in your notepad.")
Illmatic is perpetually hollow-eyed, paranoid, and fatalistic in scope. Its most joyful moment, when Nas starts rapping about his birthday, is on a track where the hook reads, "Life's a bitch and then you die." It's masterful, but Ready to Die matches every bone-chilling "hip-hop as CNN" report about the struggle, and then gets to champagne and Sega Genesis.
For a record that starts with a train robbery and culminates with Biggie rapping, "It don't make sense going to heaven with the goodie goodies dressed in white, I like black Tims and black hoodies," before shooting himself, Ready to Die is sublimely optimistic. It's arranged like an Oreo, with radio-saving gems in the middle. I like how "Juicy" has outlasted "Big Poppa" in terms of go-to instant nirvana for DJs. "Big Poppa" shoots dice with its steady poolside lounge aesthetics; "Juicy" lingers because even non-rap fans have learned to respect and rap along. You have to mop up spilled gin after that Pete Rock-birthed, Trackmasters-assembled Mtume sample.
I just took a three-minute break to listen to "Juicy."
Look, fellow Drake fan, I feel your trepidation. Rap loves to hammer home 1994 and the culture comes with a nagging best practices guide for what's really real. New York City still fancies itself a genre despite its Puritan frontline of old-media guardians. As a result, we haven't had time to really miss Ready to Die—we lost Big three years later, so it's the most commemorated album this side of Nevermind.
But Ready to Die is an unlikely big bang penned by this brilliant character—equal parts corner hustler, made mafioso, Bart Simpson, community activist, and comically misogynist playboy. Thanks to that tuba boom voice, Big could sell throwaway scribbles like "eat y'all niggas like chocolates," then start singing Tina Turner. Ready to Die dropped after the '87-'93 golden era and its production expertly nods to the recent past (beats by Lord Finesse and DJ Premier, G-Funk post-Chronic influence, Lords of the Underground samples). It's a deeply calculated instant classic collage that topples comers because of its author and protagonist.
Just listen to the thing already.
Photo via jaroh/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
There are millions upon millions of videos of people singing and playing a variety of instruments on YouTube, but most of them on their own aren't that interesting. YouTube user Kutiman decided to remedy that issue, crafting a masterpiece in the process.
Using 23 videos from random YouTubers playing instruments including drums, keyboards, guitars, saxophones, and even two cellos, Kutiman formulated a song that will astound you. Kutiman somehow manages to incorporate all of the players, from a six-year-old girl apparently practicing for a piano recital, to a guy busting out a guitar solo at the end.
H/T Reddit | Screengrab via Kutiman/YouTube