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Jeremy Irons: ‘I have the natural tendency of a benign dictator’

The veteran actors run of flawed gentlemen continues with his roles in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and High-Rise. He explains his trouble with democracy and why his statue of buddha is so important

By his own admission, Jeremy Irons is good at getting into trouble. Last week, he was on breakfast radio twice. On Chris Evanss show, he swore at 9.10am; on Today, he annoyed some by saying he would refuse a knighthood, others with his explanation (I became an actor to be a rogue and a vagabond).

His stickiest slip was three years ago, when he cautioned that gay marriage could lead fathers to marry their sons to avoid inheritance tax (Incest is there to protect us from inbreeding). There was uproar, followed by a faintly baffled clarification. Later, Ironss son Max he has two with wife Sinad Cusack said his father was just working through an argument out loud and got lost in the loopholes.

To meet Irons is to appreciate what he might have meant. Here is a smart man singularly unsuited for the social media age and egged on by its outrage. He is compassionate, but also unstudied, slightly naive, contrarian, contradictory and compulsive. Intentionally so. If he opens his mouth, its to spitball. He would like us all to do the same.

I think all of society should be a thinktank where you throw ideas about. I had hoped the internet would help. Actually, what it has done is make everybody go schtum. Theyre attacked for saying anything. So they say nothing.

Irons sighs at the memory of gay-marriage-gate. Secret homophobia seems unlikely (big break: Brideshead; best man: Christopher Biggins, who also came on the honeymoon; in 1991, Irons was the first celeb to wear an Aids ribbon to an awards ceremony). Its more likely he was interested in the tax aspect. I have developed a life which seems to need a relatively high income, he says. It includes six houses and a 15th-century castle in Cork, for which Irons took two years off to renovate; he painted the external walls peach.

As for marriage? Hes all for it all for anything that helps lead us from temptation. Our society is based on a Christian structure, he says. If you take those religious tenets away, then anything goes and it will become terrible and you usually get into trouble.

Irons with his wife, actor Sinad Cusack. Photograph: David M Benett/Getty Images

Adultery might be very nice, but finally it fucks us up. And it fucks up the structure of society. We dont steal well, some people do because it makes life intolerable for everybody. Yes, you can be in love and raise a family wonderfully by not being married, but actually marriage does give us a strength, because its quite hard to get out of, and so it makes us fight more to keep it together. If divorce becomes dead easy which it sort of has then we dont have that backup. Because, for everybody, relationships are hard.

Take abortion, he says. I believe women should be allowed to make the decision, but I also think the church is right to say its a sin. Because sin is actions that harm us. Lying harms us. Abortion harms a woman its a tremendous mental attack, and physical, sometimes. But we seem to get that muddled. In a way, thank God the Catholic church does say we wont allow it, because otherwise nobodys saying that its a sin.

Dont be fooled by the brimstone. Irons is lovely company. He is generous as well as garrulous, warm and kind and tactile (you feel his arm behind your back before you shake his hand). He was like that at a posh supper and Q&A in Toronto last autumn and on a roof terrace the next day (steampunk coat, huge boots). Hes like that today, too, in a London rehearsal room as the sun sets, perched on a stool by the window so he can chain-smoke, swaddled in layers of leather and linen. Smudge his 18-month-old jack russell/bichon frise mix and I take a tatty sofa near the heater.

For a man who traded antiques to put himself through drama school,such decor is difficult. I make a good home, he says. Always have. The other day, he found an 1830s chair he really fancied. I thought: I want it, to sit in it and have it in my house. Its like if you meet a wonderful person and think: Id love to have them to dinner and spend time with them.

Irons as mathematician GH Hardy: He loved his mind. And I think he lived in his mind. Photograph: Warner Brothers

He sips a capful of the Famous Grouse Ive brought. I believe inanimate objects have a spirit. He continues with considered articulation: energy never dies, just travels, so the older an object is, the more it has absorbed. Sometimes, its evil (spooky experience with an African mask). Usually, its not: a sculpture from Chad acts as a real force for positivity sort of like a relationship glue; a buddha from Burma gives good vibes from the foot of the stairs.

I often just sit and commune with him. Which you need to do. Theyre used to being spoken to; they were part of a culture, a religion. If theyre ignored, they die. But its symbiotic? He looks right through you. Something connects. It puts things in proportion. Youre working on a play or a movie and think its the end of the fucking world. What comes out of him is massive and calming and the slight smile says: Come on

The buddha must have been busy lately: at 67, Irons is working like a packhorse. Earlier this week he opened in A Long Days Journey Into Night, Eugene ONeills drama about an actor with a morphine-addict wife, last week in Ben Wheatleys film of JG Ballards High-Rise. Maths biopic The Man Who Knew Infinity is out in a fortnight and this Friday sees the release of his first blockbuster in 20 years: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Hes Alfred, Ben Afflecks butler a more competent and acid helpmeet than Michael Caines doddery codger.

In all four, he plays variations on a familiar theme: the distinguished gent with an inner flaw, apparently impeccable, actually cracked. Men of casual eloquence whose commands we like Smudge obey, wagging even when the signs point to trouble. Maybe the most recognisable for fans of Dead Ringers, Reversal of Fortune and Die Hard 3 is Anthony Royal, High-Rises architect, depravity detectable under the manners. Royal lives atop his brutalist tower block, regarding calmly as the social experiment beneath implodes.

Depravity detectable under the manners Irons as Anthony Royal in High-Rise. Photograph: Allstar/Film4

Irons shares with Royal some sensibility I have the natural tendency of a, hopefully benign, dictator but not an aesthetic. I need the earth, the garden, I need weather. He tuts at the view. I think city life encourages a certain behaviour not a behaviour I like. As more of us are compressed, we tend to cut off more from each other. The fault of the designers or the residents? The money builds the sty and the pigs have to live in it. But so much of the world now is run like that. If something is going to make money, thats allowed.

Irons felt better in Cambridge. Yet The Man Who Knew Infinity also shows the place as a golden dolls house that cossets the don he plays, Trinity College maths professor GH Hardy. It also stifles his protege, Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel), who arrives just before the first world war.

Its an unusually abashed turn from Irons: scant eye-contact, emotional gaps. Sexless, too. Hard sums are as far as the bromance goes. But Hardy loved his mind. And I think he lived in his mind.

Did he detect evidence, while shooting, of the kind of class prejudice or racial bias the film addresses? Irons says correct things about the injustice of skint kids being priced out. But, of course, if you want to succeed, then you can overcome that.

Irons was born on the Isle of Wight, educated at Sherborne, then, sick of the ramrod types he has ended up riffing on since, thought he would join the circus. He changed his mind when he saw inside the caravans, so went to Bristol Old Vic. A decade on came Brideshead.

Anthony Andrews and Irons in Brideshead Revisited, the latters big break. Photograph: ITV/Rex Features

The legacy of that series, for audiences, is to for ever associate the actor with academia. For Irons, too. Yet, being a poster boy via pretence seems to have bred in him fondness and disdain for establishment higher education. He loves being a guest at high table, with extraordinary people allowed to be real eccentrics, not smoothed out by society. But he also scoffs at overthinking and prizes being an autodidact. Hes enormously proud of being asked to be the voice of TS Eliot by the poets widow, Valerie; he hopes his gentle, sober radio reading of Four Quartets is among his best work. Im not intellectual at all. I would read them with a gut instinct and she responded to that, said thats the way, with its inconsistencies and naughtiness.

Hes similarly torn about Westminster. Sometimes, he suppers at the House of Lords. You think: God, this place is fantastic architecturally, but its a different world. What does it have to do with Bradford and Huddersfield and Swansea wrecked cities where theres no work and no investment? He loathes the Eton-alumni cabinet, yet is sceptical about the MPs that came in under Blair to whom he contributed funds who cant cut the mustard at the despatch box, because debating isnt a state-school staple.

As for Corbyn? I think he might be the death knell. I love his idealism, but hes not what I would call a politician. I think the Labour party is no longer fit for purpose. What we very, very, very strongly need is a not a party that represents the labour movement, but everyone who doesnt like that we are governed, in effect, by global economics. We have to find an intelligent alternative to the Conservative ethos.

Irons talks politics two-thirds of the time. Plugging products takes second place, perhaps third or fourth once you count chairs and sin. He shares ideas about the migrant crisis (barter EU membership with Turkey by building them a proper refugee city with makeshift embassies), Africa, Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad, pollution, recycling, industrial faming and prison recidivism.

Irons and Dev Patel in The Man Who Knew Infinity: An unusually abashed turn from Irons.

Why such evangelism? Why so frank? In part, its because he is genuinely offended: civilising is a watchword. Despite his talk of honours rejection, there is something of a brighter Prince Charles to Irons (I know if you play music to plants they do better). Theres also perhaps an element of rebellion: his father, an accountant, advised him against involvement in such matters.

Most strongly, hes fuelled by the conviction that so irks people about some of his peers: that having a platform brings with it a duty to use it. If youre a politician, you cant, because it might affect your career. People dont take what actors say very seriously, because they know theyve nothing to win or lose. And if they dont speak freely? I think its a waste.

This vocation, he says, rolling another cigarette, affords insight, because it involves travel, and inhabiting other mindsets. He remembers asking the mayor of Jakarta why they didnt give people bins so they wouldnt chuck stuff into the river. And he said: Because people would live in them. And I said: Ah, I see your problem.

Thats why, while Irons hates committees, [hates] having to convince people, hes also allergic to interventionism. Its like genetic engineering. Everything is held in balance, whether good or not, by diverse internal forces. Syria deals with the opposition with great cruelty, but there are cruel people, as one sees from Isis, and youre not going to remove that part of nature from those fanatics at that stage of their civilising development. Yet everybody especially the Americans seems to think the only way of life is theirs. Democracy? What the fuck does that mean? Freedom? What the fuck does that mean?

Irons is a figure of everyday glamour: zipping about on his motorbike, shinning up his castle, thin as a ripped whippet, a rogue and a vagabond, dressed for the part and proud of it. Photograph: Adela Loconte/WireImage

The deeper Irons goes, the doomier he gets. Real worry is etched on his head. Its not the scotch: those caps are dinky. The US election signals maybe the end of democracy. If democracy has become a gameshow where you vote for the one who makes you laugh most, or whatever, then were not worthy to have the vote.

Brexit is no better, but weve been cheated of proper debate, because the cabinet hasnt deigned to present simply the pros and cons. They have this sort of aristocratic view of the great unwashed, how you get them to vote a certain way. Hence the rise of Farage. People feel so cut off are so cut off.

More unexpectedly, this is also one reason why he thinks Batman v Superman makes for rewarding viewing. It concludes, he says, that we must all be responsible and involved. Batman is the questioning everyman, Superman, the American drone.

Our feeling of powerlessness must be why we love superheroes, he says arts in general, in fact, be it Batman or Coriolanus or sitting in the music hall and watching Lillie Langtry walk about being very flirtatious and lovely. For a minute, shes yours, out of your own maudlin, little life.

Irons is currently starring opposite Lesley Manville in Eugene ONeills Long Days Journey Into Night. Photograph: Seamus Ryan

That said, Irons concedes he doesnt quite clock it. I dont really understand how people get obsessed by a thing on screen, he says. Never have. Is it odd that someone who has worked in cinema so long feels like this? Perhaps not. Irons does not require vicarious living. He has been a star for 40 years. He is also a figure of everyday glamour: zipping about on his motorbike, puppy riding pillion, shinning up his castle, thin as a ripped whippet, a rogue and a vagabond, dressed for the part and proud of it.

At that Toronto supper, I tell him, there seemed to be a real sense that, at 67, the crowd still found him highly attractive. He demurs. The way people see me is a sort of composite of the films theyve seen me in, and some have had a sort of sexually attractive aspect. Quite useful if 50% of the audience is female.

But how will he feel in another decade? Does that frighten him? Oh, I ache a bit more in the mornings than I used to. My relationship with my wife changes as we get older, and I find that fascinating. There are great, good things that come. But I dont think when I get old, craggy and smelly Im going to mind.

He sucks his rollup and smiles. The secret to ageing is to remain interested and not look back. I know some things could have gone better, but at the time that was the best I could do. And then he says something rather amazing: Ive never regretted anything in my life. I guess getting into trouble doesnt seem so terrible if you dont care youre there.

High-Rise is on general release; A Long Days Journey Into Night runs at the Bristol Old Vic until 23 April; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in the UK on 25 March, The Man Who Knew Infinity on 8 April

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How to create a blog and make money from it too? – TG Daily – TG Daily (blog)

TG Daily (blog)

How to create a blog and make money from it too? – TG Daily
TG Daily (blog)
Blogging is no longer an optional hobby for the most of us. Many of us work part time or full time as professional bloggers.

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Girl Guides could soon get badges for skills such as video-blogging and app design – The Sun

The Sun

Girl Guides could soon get badges for skills such as video-blogging and app design
The Sun
GIRLGUIDING first aid and camping badges may soon be joined by new ones for skills such as app design and vlogging. Others suggested by the organisation's 500,000 members worldwide include badges for festival-going and upcycling. The charity is …

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Samsung said to sell its own refurbished smartphones in 2017

Samsung is looking to sell its own refurbished devices in order to make money on its premium smartphones a second time around, according to Reuters. The company will introduce a refurbished device sales program as early as next year, according to Reuters source, and will use inventory provided by customer who sign up to a year upgrade program in markets where its offered, including South Korea and the U.S.

Selling refurbished devices to give them second life as revenue drivers is nothing new Apple has an extensive refurbished devices storefront, which typically begins to offer refreshed and remanufactured hardware a few months after the original introduction ofthe original, brand new product.

Devices that are re-sold by a manufacturer as refurbished typically get an all-new external casing, as well as new components if there were an issue. Some of the goods likely never had any issues to begin with; as soon as a buyer opens the shrink-wrap on a product, its likely going to be sold as refurbished.

If Samsung gets into the refurbishment business, it could help the company delivery premium devices at less than premium prices, especially because it seems like customers are increasingly willing to keep their devices for longer and find fewer reasons to upgrade every year. Reuters notes that there is a chance refurb models at a discount could cannibalize sales of new devices, and fewer distinctive features or technology upgrades between generations could worsen that effect.

Still, Samsung has a deep bench in terms of smartphone offerings, and being able to double-dip on revenue on a decent percentage of them, especially in cost-conscious markets, is a big carrot to recommend the plan. Details of the plan, per Reuters, could be ironed out by early 2017, meaning we might not have long to wait to see if Samsung goes down this path.

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How to make money as an online influencer | … –

How to make money as an online influencer | …
Could you be the next blogging or vlogging sensation? If you've got a knack for producing compelling content then this is the business opportunity for you…

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Low on billable hours? 5 reasons blogging may be the answer. – JD Supra (press release)

JD Supra (press release)

Low on billable hours? 5 reasons blogging may be the answer.
JD Supra (press release)
I started blogging. I figured out Twitter. That decision changed my life. If things are slow for you at your firm, blogging and writing quality content could get you out of the rut. Here are just five reasons why blogging may be the best activity you

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Wall Streets $40 Billion AT&T Pledge Offers Fees and Risks

Wall Street banks are writing some of their biggest checks ever to fund AT&T Inc.s takeover of Time Warner Inc. as they seek a bonanza of fees. But theres a dose of concern that the $40 billion loan pledge may get caught up in a regulatory impasse.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has pledged $25 billion of the financing, with Bank of America Corp. providing the rest, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified without authorization to speak publicly. Thats believed to be the most JPMorgan has ever promised for a deal, the person said.

The lending commitment gives the banks an advantage on bond offerings that would find willing buyers among yield-starved investors, analysts say. At the same time the banks face the risk that the deal, along with a chunk of their balance sheets, would be tied up if regulators delay approving it.

This could be an especially lucrative deal for the banking industry; theyre going to make a lot of money if the deal gets done said Bert Ely, a banking consultant at Ely & Co. The numbers on the credit piece look big, but Im sure the credit risk will be spread widely. The big uncertainty hanging over this will be the battle for regulatory approval and what lender protections are included if the deal fails.

T-Mobile Failure

A failed megadeal wouldnt be the first for AT&T. In 2011, the company abandoned its takeover of T-Mobile USA because of regulatory hurdles. JPMorgan had lined up $20 billion to finance that deal.

Taking on commitments to underwrite large deals helps JPMorgan maintain its top position in leading corporate debt deals in the U.S.

JPMorgan has occupied the top spot for managing dollar bond sales from highly rated companies since 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The bank has been the top provider of similarly rated loans for each year since 2005, Bloomberg data show.

To help finance this proposed deal, AT&T brought in Bank of America as its partner on Thursday, keeping the number of participants to a minimum until the announcement, the person said. JPMorgan intends in the coming weeks to syndicate most of the $40 billion loan to other banks that already lend to AT&T.

Bridge Loan

The loan is structured as an 18-month bridge deal, a type of financing that a borrower repays by issuing debt in capital markets. In the case of AT&T, most of the deal will be replaced by high-grade bonds, with a potential portion in the form of term loans, the person said.

AT&T said that its seeking to hang onto its investment-grade credit rating after the deal is completed. But the lenders themselves are taking on other risks by using their balance sheet resources, according to Charles Peabody, a bank analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading. 

That is dangerous because this deal could be hung up in antitrust wranglings for a long time, he said. JPMorgan and Bank of America wont be protected if credit markets swing and they cant sell the debt for what they had anticipated, he said. 

Jessica Francisco, a JPMorgan spokeswoman, and Thomas Rottcher, a Bank of America spokesman, declined to comment. AT&T, based in Dallas, didnt immediately reply to an e-mail and calls on Sunday.

The deal caps AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephensons vision to expand the company into media and entertainment as its wireless business matures. Gaining premium cable channels HBO, CNN and the Warner Bros. studio means AT&T becomes a content owner rather than just a distributor of video.

Yield Hunger

For debt investors, any financing backing the takeover would offer a juicy alternative to the more than $10 trillion of debt globally thats yielding less than zero, driven down by easy-money policies from Europe to Japan.

The investor base is starved for yield, said David Hendler, founder of Viola Risk Advisors and a veteran bank analyst. This would be a good earning asset in a low yield world — which is very much in demand at the moment in the syndicate market. Banks are deposit-rich and looking to invest in loans.

The prospective deal has raised regulatory questions ahead of the U.S. election, as both the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees expressed suspicion of blockbuster deals. Hillary Clinton has been critical of big mergers and has called for reinvigorating antitrust enforcement while her opponent Donald Trump broke with Republican orthodoxy on Saturday by saying he would block the Time Warner acquisition, arguing that such deals leave too much power concentrated among too few companies.

If AT&Ts deal doesnt gain approval, it must pay a $500 million reverse break-up fee to Time Warner, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Bond Trading

Beyond collecting the fees that come from underwriting large takeovers, banks also benefit from trading that debt in the secondary market. CEO Brian Moynihan pointed to Bank of Americas debt underwriting business as a reason for his beat last week in estimates for third-quarter fixed-income trading revenue. 

Wall Streets biggest investment banks have been taking a greater percentage of their overall revenue from issuing new debt and trading fixed-income products, which includes corporate debt, sovereign debt, currencies and commodities. Debt underwriting made up 11.3 percent of U.S. investment banks third-quarter revenue, about a percentage point more than in the same period two years ago, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

U.S. banks relied on fixed-income underwriting and trading to propel 56 percent of their total investment banking business in the third quarter, a rise from 47 percent last year and 50 percent two years ago, Bloomberg Intelligence data show.

These guys are fairly anxious to generate fee income. This is an area where you can make money very quickly. And very big money, said Compass Points Peabody. 

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6 Dark Secrets YouTube Doesn’t Want You To Know

YouTube is the most fun you can have on the internet without committing crimes of wildly varying severity, providing billions of hours of user-generated entertainment for pretty much everyone on the planet. But you don’t get to be what is essentially an entertainment monopoly without screwing a few people along the way, and as much as we all love the ‘Tube, they aren’t above doing some jacked-up shit to stay on top. For instance…


They Will Put Ads In Front Of Videos Made By Actual Nazis And Terrorists

YouTube might have revolutionized video content, but in order to make any money, it still relies on commercials the same way broadcast networks have had to for the past half century. But to offer advertisers the most bang for their buck, those commercials have to run across the entirety of YouTube. Which means that perfectly normal ads for air freshener might show up on a video that’s just 12 minutes of a dude in his basement plotting the second Holocaust.

Because of the site’s convenient (more on that later) adherence to free speech, a lot of hatemongers have found a home away from their shitty, victory-less lives on Youtube. But even though these idiots mostly parrot the same four thoughts bigots have been spouting since the Iron Age, YouTube still counts them as original content, meaning they qualify for ad support. This can result in nice big businesses unintentionally associating themselves with extremists, like when the Marie Curie charity appeared in front of videos supporting ISIS and al-Qaeda. We’re not sure who was more offended by that partnership.

But YouTube’s doing everything to stop this, right? After all, its rules specifically state that “We do not permit hate speech.” But then how do you explain that someone like David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK and occasional political embarrassment, can upload a video claiming “the Jews” are “organizing a white genocide,” and YouTube refusing to remove it? The company even admitted that the video was “anti-Semitic, deeply offensive, and shocking.” But then again, YouTube benefits from everyone who visits their site, even hateful, racist dopes. It’s insane how many videos pop up if you search “Hitler Was Right” with view counts that would make TV executives drool.

So the ones that are “just on the borderline” — which is how Google spokesperson Peter Barron described the musings of the former Head Racist of America — get a pass long enough for every neo-Nazi to hum the Mercedes-Benz ad tune in their sleep. YouTube will eventually delete the outright threatening videos, but the company has not put any regulation in place permanently dealing with these violations, meaning YouTube will happily profit from hate speech right up until it stops being profitable (read: when too many advertisers complain).

However, after serious governmental and corporate pressure, including threats to pull advertising, one Google executive was trotted out to apologize for allowing ads to run in front of hate-speech videos, promising to make it easier for advertisers to choose not to associate with the hate-speech videos YouTube will continue to let exist on its website.

And yet …


YouTube Will Censor Videos Featuring Everyday Conservatives And LGBT Performers

YouTube is a bit like the bad part of town after dark, in that you’re only ever a few wrong turns away from being talked to by a hooker or a psychopath. There’s little stopping your child from accidentally stumbling onto a Pickup Artist video when they should really just be watching the same Disney music video a thousand times in a row.

That is why YouTube has a “Restricted Mode” which filters out all content decent everyday people would find inappropriate — like drugs or bad language.

Or gay people.

YouTube’s restricted mode is an opt-in filter for people or organizations wishing to prevent their environment from ever hearing anyone say “fuck.” However, a portion of Restricted Mode’s algorithms take into account community flagging. Basically, if enough people don’t like a video that has even the slightest whiff of a controversial thought, they could “flag” it and have it suppressed by the morality bots. This can (and has been known to) include videos from conservative commentators, second-wave feminists, or even normal-ass law professors such as Alan Dershowitz discussing the legal controversies surrounding the founding of Israel.

But it’s not just boring people talking about boring politics that Restricted Mode mercilessly hunts down like a shit Terminator. YouTube has also cracked down on even tangentially LGBTQ videos, like a truly shocking video of a lesbian couple reciting their wedding vows. YouTube had warned the filter would include videos related to sexuality, but simply having a gay person in the video was enough to get entire channels punted out of Restricted Mode searches, leaving some LGBTQ members to ask “is it our dancing?”

Again, after the backlash meter was appropriately filled, YouTube apologized for what they said was a mistake, admitting that the “feature wasn’t working as it should.” In the future, it will make it easier for people to restore wrongfully restricted videos, which will probably lead to the type of controversy tug-of-war that will make those videos an epilepsy threat.


Exploiting Children Is Big Business On YouTube

Kids will watch just about anything with bright colors or cool toys and they will watch the same stuff over and over. Which is why a) they’re really boring to talk to and b) videos like these are the most popular things on YouTube:

Those billions of views only make up a small slice of the domain of the new YouTube royalty: people who make videos for toddlers (and who are often themselves toddlers). Like this Ryan ToysReview guy, who was three years old when his channel started. Like the baby version of a Let’s Play video, Ryan’s mom (who wishes to remain anonymous while showcasing her son’s entire life online) films him “reviewing” toys by playing with them. At least, that’s how it started. By now, Ryan is reviewing dozens if not hundreds of toys each video, thereby maximizing the appeal to millions of kids who just want to look at toys, barely having time to hold time before mouthing his scripted pleas for more subscribers.

And before you think this boy is being spoiled rotten, his mother is quick to remind critics that most of the toys are donated to charity, meaning Ryan doesn’t even get to have the toys he’s shilling to pay off his mom’s mortgage. “He loves making videos,” she disclaims in the same way a SeaWorld trainer will disclaim that the dolphins love jumping through hoops.

As we said, kids will watch these kinds of videos a million times in a row — and that includes the paid advertisements. This has led to a new breed of child “entertainer” (often children themselves) who are richer than any of us could ever hope to be. YouTube’s most popular channels are dominated by videos aimed at children, and in 2016, 20 of the top 100 channels showcased kids’ toys. The biggest channels, like Ryan’s, collectively generate 4.5 billion views per month and can make as much as a million dollars a month from ad revenue alone. That’s not to mention the encouragement they get from toy manufacturers, who are just so gosh darn grateful they get to circumvent labor laws by having someone else exploit kids for them.


YouTube Is Notorious For Screwing Over Artists

The internet is an awesome place for creative types. It’s a platform providing unprecedented access to potential audiences, and total amateurs can become huge stars with a little luck and a lot of hard work. However, the internet also has a lot of sophisticated ways of making sure these creative people never earn a dime for their efforts.

“But you’re getting exposure.”

YouTube is on another level, though. They’re almost industry leaders at screwing over musicians. Several high-profile recording artists like Paul McCartney, Radiohead, Taylor Swift, and U2 have demanded that YouTube crack down on the many videos illegally hosting their music. This fight has been going on for a decade now, with Prince threatening to sue the pants off YouTube back in 2007, saying, “They are clearly able to filter porn and pedophile material, but appear to choose not to filter out the unauthorized music and film content which is core to their business success.” If Prince died hating your guts, that’s worse karma than a million mummy curses.

But these well-established old timers care more about the principle than the money (with the notable exception of U2). For up-and-coming talent, YouTube isn’t as much Fagen with his pickpockets as fat Mr. Bumble refusing them a decent serving of gruel. If you put together some really solid content and get signed on as a “YouTube Partner,” you have the chance to make a little bit of money. And by “a little bit of money,” we mean literal pennies. According to some sources, a video with one million views is worth a paltry $65. To give you a comparison point, for as much as “big” artists complain about Spotify, they pay out a solid 18x more than YouTube per user every year. Worse, it’s almost totally arbitrary how YouTube arrives at the number they’ll pay somebody. A video that pays $2 to a video host may pay $0.20 to another video with similar view counts. Still, you’ll be warmer recording in front of your computer than busking out on the street — until your heat gets turned off because the gas company doesn’t accept “likes” as a form of payment.


YouTube Heavily Rewards Quantity Over Quality

You ever wonder who picks all those “recommended for you” videos YouTube coyly encourages you to click on? Well, when a channel reaches a certain point (5000 subscribers), a YouTube algorithm will begin to promote them and try to find new subscribers. It’s win-win — the channel gets a boost to their view rate, and YouTube gets viewers to spend even more of their coffee break on the site.

“Hey Amy, want to come to lunch with us?”
“No, I’ve got some work I need to catch up on.”

But YouTube cares about more than a channel’s popularity. The site is now actively competing with TV to see who can destroy this generation’s attention span the most, and they can’t feel like they’re winning unless people spend as much time online as they do in front of the tube. In order to achieve this goal, YouTube has its “Watch Time” metric. Before, a channel was rewarded mainly for having lots of views (obviously). Now, the algorithm places more value on channels that upload videos with a long runtime, and do so frequently. This massive mudslide of content assures that viewers can stay glued to the channel for hours on end. In other words, bad news for highly produced, labor-intensive content, and good news for people who can churn out three-hour videos by just sitting in front of their laptop in their pajamas.

“We can’t leave now! I’m invested!”

This new approach is especially harmful to creators like animators, according to famous YouTube animator Ross O’Donovan AKA Rubber Ninja. Animators generally spend days or even weeks making videos that are only a couple of minutes long. In that time, bigger channels and YouTube personalities can churn out dozens of hours of content. With the focus on the expanded Watch Time, not only do animators get less exposure from posting their stuff on YouTube, it also is making them poor — well, poorer. The best-paying advertisers are also distributed via Watch Time, meaning each individual click is worth less to someone like Rubber Ninja. Soon, there will be no more animation left on YouTube and we’ll have nothing else to stare at than boring real people and their boring fleshy faces.


The System Is Designed To Lock People Into Insane Contracts

With YouTube, it has never been easier to become famous. Plenty of people have done it sitting in the least messy corner of their bedroom. Every day, more naive, inexperienced YouTubers step off that digital bus, hoping to make it big on the smartphone screen. Fortunately, YouTube has taken many precautions to assure that these young “talents” are treated with fairness and openness and — we’re kidding, they’re exploiting these kids just like every entertainment industry since mummers were a thing.

Just like old-timey Hollywood and Motown studios, YouTube has a tendency to strongarm its creators into taking deals that are significantly worse than anything you’ll get roped into at a used car lot. Many young adults, with their summer job experience and knowledge of corporate law gleaned entirely from immediately clicking “Agree” on the updated iTunes End User License Agreement, will say yes to just about anything that allows them to actually make money off of their YouTube videos. For example, when YouTube Red, the site’s paid subscription model, was launched, creators were told to sign on for its new revenue deal or have their videos hidden from public view until they did. When YouTube was criticized of bullying, they proudly proclaimed that 99% of it creators had agreed to the deal without making a fuss. That’s like refuting you’re a mobster by saying you only had to burn down 1 percent of the business you threatened.

And that organized crime mentality trickles down to YouTube’s networks (big channels with many content providers), who offer the kind of contracts even Satan would think are a bit one-sided. Take the story of Ben Vacas, AKA Braindeadly, who made World Of Warcraft videos. He got signed by Machinima, now an online corporate studio behemoth, but it was only after the Mont Blancs were tucked away that Vacas realized that any video he made would forevermore be owned by Machinima. There’s no expiration date on his contract. Rather than sacrifice his soul, Vacas has stopped making videos altogether. A similar cautionary tale was Ray William Johnson who, only eight months into his deal with Maker Studios, was pressured into changing his contract to give the studio nearly half of his earnings “in perpetuity.” The way the studio treated him was, quote, “a fucking nightmare, man.”

YouTube locks you down for life — literally. If a YouTube studio offers to “sign you,” then you have to either go with their insane contract, or risk never getting another video view again. Where else are you going to go to make money off of your content? It’s better to deal with the devil you know than Vimeo.

Isaac has no idea how to market himself. He’s also on Twitter and Instagram.

Join Jack O’Brien and Cracked staffers Carmen Angelica, Alex Schmidt, Michael Swaim, plus comedian Blake Wexler for a retelling of history’s biggest moments you didn’t realize everyone was drunk for. Get your tickets here.

Also check out 5 Crappy Sides Of YouTube Stardom No One Talks About and 6 Bizarre YouTube Genres That Are (Somehow) Hugely Popular.

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Kanye West Announces TLOP Tour & Explains Why ‘Can’t Nobody Ever Disrespect’ Kim Kardashian! See What He Said!

Kanye West is hitting the road once again!

On Tuesday, the Ultralightbeam rapper revealed he’s “working on” ideas for his upcoming tour set for this fall — in support of his latest album Life of Pablo!

Calling into Steve Harvey‘s morning radio show, Yeezy said:

“You know my tour game is strong. My tour game is unprecedented. So we’re going to go out in September, I believe, and we’re just working on some of the ideas right now.”

AH-Mazing! We can only imagine the abstract concepts Ye is cooking up during these brainstorming seshes!

Photo: Kanye Signed Lorde’s Cast At The Met Gala!

The artist explained that as he evolves in the worlds of music and fashion, his purpose is to inspire a younger generation by putting out “positive, positive, positive concepts,” adding:

“As I said before, I’m trying to literally inspire these kids the way Disney inspired me when I saw the original Star Wars.”

Disney didn’t make the original Star Wars — but we get what you mean, Ye!

But Kanye was just getting started on the real talk — he even dished on his Twitter beef with Wiz Khalifa earlier this year, explaining:

“You know how you would feel if someone was talking about your wife. Did I take it too far? You know what? I’m from 79th Street Chicago. I can’t say that if someone says ‘F you,’ I can’t say I’m not gonna say the exact same thing back.”

And as for why he gets so defensive over Kim Kardashian West, the 38-year-old explained that he had plenty of reasons to bow down to his wife.

Photo: Kanye Wore Silver Contacts Alongside A ‘Blingy Sexy Robot’ At The Met Gala

He gushed:

“She broke boundaries with fashion where designers weren’t trying to make clothes with women with shape, and now they’re all about embracing and empowering women. [She’s] empowering women in a matriarch society where women can make money. Like when she said, ‘OK my husband might have invested everything he had into fashion, everything he had into creativity for breaking boundaries, but I put the money in the account.’ All of those statements, means that can’t nobody ever disrespect my wife, period.”


Say what you want about his egocentric Twitter rants, but it sounds like Kanye is really trying to spread some positivity these days!

Take a listen to his full interview (below)!

[Image via WENN.]

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How to create a blog and make money from it too? – TG Daily (blog)

TG Daily (blog)

How to create a blog and make money from it too?
TG Daily (blog)
Gone are those days when people blogged once every two months to share their take on current affairs or NYFW collections. Blogging is no longer an optional hobby for the most of us. Many of us work part time or full time as professional bloggers. As a

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