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Indie Spotlight: In ‘You’re The Pest,’ Vermin Extermination Is Funny Business

14 hours ago

Pest control is typically thought of as a male-dominated industry, which makes it the perfect setting for a fish-out-of-water comedy led by two women. Taylor Coriell and Adriana Digirolami are the stars of You're The Pest, an indie project that recently achieved its funding goal on Seed & Spark.

In You're The Pest, Coriell and Digirolami portray Alex and Marissa, two young women who have inherited a pest control business from their fathers, who both recently passed away in a skydiving accident. Despite the fact that neither of them are perfect for the extermination business -- Alex is a cop-in-training and Marissa is a beauty queen -- they decide to take on the challenge that has been left for them.

After launching a pilot last year, Coriell -- who is the show's creator in addition to its co-star -- is ready to bring a complete first season to viewers.

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- Sam Gutelle

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Viewers Navigate Awkward Moments In Latest Interactive Series From Eko, Sony, ‘Legend Of Neil’ Creator

15 hours ago

Eko, the media company formerly known as Interlude, has returned with yet another clever piece of interactive content. It has teamed up with Sony Pictures Entertainment and Olive Bridge Entertainment for That Moment When, a comedy series directed by Legend Of Neil creator Sandeep Parikh.

That Moment When stars actress Milana Vayntraub as Jill, who consistently finds herself in awkward situations. In the premiere episode, she stands opposite a mystery man played by Parikh, who remembers her name even though she does not recall his. By making choices throughout the ensuing dialogue, viewers unlock letters of Parkih's character's name while also altering the present narrative. Ultimately, the episode's conclusion knits together the various plot points the viewer has chosen in a satisfying a compelling manner.

Parikh's Legend of Neil was a seminal comedy from the web series industry's early days, and with his latest work, he's once again delving into fresh territory. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Vice Forms Advisory Committee With Gloria Steinem Following Sexual Harassment Claims

15 hours ago

As a rash of sexual harassment allegations have broken out against powerful men in a slew of different industries, digital media upstart Vice has formed a female advisory committee to help it improve its culture.

Vice unveiled its efforts this morning on the heels of a Daily Beast published Wednesday chronicling allegations by former associate producer Phoebe Barghouty of inappropriate conduct by two of her male bosses. In addition to noting that Vice’s human resources department did not sufficiently handle Barghouty’s claims, The Daily Beast also points out a questionable agreement that Vice employees must sign, stating that they won’t be offended by sexually provocative or explicit content -- which could theoretically encourage inappropriate behavior.

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- Geoff Weiss

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Liza Koshy, Above Average Team Up For YouTube Red Series ‘Liza On Demand’

16 hours ago

One of YouTube's biggest personalities will take on a series of odd jobs. Liza Koshy, whose videos have attracted more than 12 million subscribers to her channel while reeling in more than 1.2 billion views, will star in #LizaOnDemand, which will arrive on YouTube Red in 2018.

In each episode of #LizaOnDemand, Koshy will try her hand at a new gig, in hopes of becoming an "elite tasker." Above Average, the digital network owned by Saturday Night Live studio Broadway Video, will produce the forthcoming series. Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont, who co-directed the 2001 film Josie and the Pussycats, will pen its script.

“I can’t wait to bring #LizaOnDemand to my YouTube audience and hopefully a new audience too,” said Koshy. “Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont and Above Average are a dream to work with and this show is going to be so fun for folks of all ages, colors creeds and backgrounds. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Latin Music Is Soaring To Unprecedented Heights On YouTube Right Now

17 hours ago

As evidenced by the record-shattering success of 'Despacito' -- which became the first video on YouTube to surpass 4 billion views in just 272 days -- Latin music is currently having an explosive moment on the world’s largest video platform.

'Despacito' was first released by Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee in Januray -- whereupon the Spanish-language earworm experienced a whole new wave of popularity thanks to a remix with Justin Bieber in April. Other collaborations between Latin artists and English-language popstars have seen similar trajectories, notes Forbes, including the Colombian singer J Balvin and French DJ Willy William’s 'Mi Gente', which clocked 1 billion views in only 102 days. 'Mi Gente' is the fourth fastest video in YouTube history to hit 1 billion views, and a subsequent remix with Beyonce turned the song into an even bigger smash.

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- Geoff Weiss

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Ikea, With Help From YouTube Stars The Ballinger Family, Sam Tsui, Ann Le, And Skyy John, Offers 100 Holiday Tips

18 hours ago

Ikea's latest piece of branded content gives YouTube stars a chance to share their holiday habits. The Swedish retailer has teamed up with digital media company Fullscreen and ad agency Wavemaker for a live stream that offers 100 tips to viewers who plan on hosting guests during the festive season.

The stream, which aired on Ikea's Facebook page, went live at 7 Pm Est on November 16. During its 100-minute runtime, guests from the YouTube community joined the furniture outlet's hosts to dish out 100 relevant tips for the holiday season. The list of YouTube stars who shared their own Yuletide secrets includes The Ballinger Family, Skyy John of Tipsy Bartender (pictured above), Sam Tsui, and Ann Le

Fullscreen, Ikea, and Wavemaker previously partnered for a pair of back-to-school campaigns that also featured YouTube stars. “It’s partnerships like these that enable Ikea to make even deeper connections with its consumers and the creators themselves, »

- Sam Gutelle

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Jake Paul Vows To Be Better Friend, Team 10 Leader In Apology To Martinez Twins

20 hours ago

Rather than fighting fire with fire, the controversial vlogger Jake Paul is trying remorse on for size in response to YouTube’s The Martinez Twins -- who recently departed Paul’s Team 10 vlogger squad amid bullying allegations.

In a series of videos, Emilio and Ivan Martinez -- who hail from Barcelona and count 3.9 million subscribers on their YouTube channel -- alleged that Paul took advantage of their limited fluency in English to make jokes behind their backs. They also claim he conducted pranks that became unbearably relentless, called them racist names, forced them to assault one another, and withheld some of their earnings from a brand deal.

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- Geoff Weiss

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YouTube Terminates Controversial Kids Channel With Over 8.5 Million Subscribers

20 hours ago

YouTube is beginning to make good on its promise to clean up the children's section of its platform. It has terminated several channels aimed at kids, including the controversial and heavily-trafficked Toy Freaks.

Toy Freaks featured an unnamed father and his daughters, Victoria and Annabelle, as they acted out bizarre and suggestive skits. It was one of the channels mentioned by journalist James Bridle in a widely-shared Medium post that detailed the strange, dark, and violent nature of some YouTube videos aimed at children. In his piece, Bridle described Toy Freaks' content as "gross-out situations, as well as activities which many, many viewers feel border on abuse and exploitation, if not cross the line entirely, including videos of the children vomiting and in pain."

Despite that description, Toy Freaks proved to be a popular hub, perhaps due to its placement within YouTube's recommendation algorithm. The Guardian recently sized it as »

- Sam Gutelle

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Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo Tenders Investment In News Startup Axios

22 hours ago

WndrCo, the post-AwesomenessTV digital media venture led by former DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, has made its latest investment. The mobile video-leaning holding company has participated in the latest funding round for digital news startup Axios.

Axios announced a $20 million funding round yesterday led by Greycroft Partners and Lerer Hippeau Ventures, which adds to the $10 million that it has already raised. Axios was founded last year by a trio of top Politico execs. The site covers media trends, tech, business, and politics, and will use new funds to expand its data capabilities, ramp up product development and audience growth, develop new coverage areas, and increase its staff from 89 to 150 by next year’s end, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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- Geoff Weiss

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IGN, PCMag, AskMen Owner Acquires Mashable For $50 Million

16 November 2017 3:48 PM, PST

Mashable has found a buyer. Months after a Wall Street Journal report indicated that the social media-focused publication was looking for an all-out sale, it has been acquired by Ziff Davis, a publisher that owns several media brands.

The price of the deal has been pegged at $50 million, which is far less than the valuation Mashable received as part of its most recent time. When it picked up a $15 million jolt from Turner in early 2016, The Wall Street Journal notes, its worth was estimated at $250 million.

The steep declined in Mashable's value does not come as a huge surprise. It has dealt with several issues over the past 20 months, including a wave of layoffs that arrived shortly after the media company's last funding round. Several top executives, including chief strategy officer Adam Ostrow, have moved on as well. At the end of 2016, Mashable recorded a net loss of $10 million for the calendar year. »

- Sam Gutelle

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YouTube Millionaires: InformOverload Is Able To “Cater To What Our Fans Like”

16 November 2017 2:23 PM, PST

The channel in the spotlight for this week's YouTube Millionaires column delivers a massive amount of information to its subscribers. InformOverload -- the name is short for "information overload" -- posts several news videos each day. Its rotating cast of anchors often discusses tech innovations, scandalous stories from pop culture and politics, the latest scientific discoveries, and other offbeat items. 

Over time, channel creator Landon Dowlatsingh and his team (who are partnered with BroadbandTV) have been rewarded for their dedication to their viewers. They now have more than one million subscribers, so we chatted with them about their journey:

Tubefilter: How does it feel to have more than one million YouTube subscribers? What do you have to say to your fans?

Inform Overload: It feels exciting, we’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. It’s nice that people appreciate the work that we do. We wanted to say to our fans, »

- Sam Gutelle

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Liza Koshy Becomes First Digital Star To Appear In Vogue’s ’73 Questions’ Series

16 November 2017 1:33 PM, PST

In something of a full-circle moment, comedy vlogger Liza Koshy has become the first digital star to participate in Vogue’s famous 73 Questions web series.

In 73 Questions, the iconic fashion bible shows up at celebrities’ homes and other spaces -- past participants include Taylor Swift, Kendall Jenner, and Selena Gomez -- and asks them 73 (allegedly impromptu) questions while meandering from room to room without any edits. While the web series launched in 2014, it turns out that the most popular 73 Questions episode of all wasn't actually produced by Vogue but instead is a parody posted by Koshy to her own channel in May, which has amassed 17.3 million views to date.

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- Geoff Weiss

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Facebook Launches Creator-Focused App With Content Production And Analytics Tools

16 November 2017 12:00 PM, PST

Facebook has taken another massive step today in courting digital creators with the launch of a standalone mobile app to help users manage their presence on the social network -- as well as a corresponding website that will furnish inspiration and growth tools. The social network, which counts 2 billion users, first announced the app's development last summer at VidCon.

Launching globally today on iOS -- and rolling out to Android in coming months -- the Facebook Creator App will enable users of all sizes to helm original videos, fire up Live broadcasts with exclusive features, and provide new ways for creators to connect with their communities of fans, the company shared today in a blog post. The app will be available for both Pages proprietors as well as individual profiles.

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- Geoff Weiss

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Season Two Trailer For YouTube Red’s ‘Buddy System’ Presents Alternate History For Rhett & Link

16 November 2017 10:44 AM, PST

Reliable YouTube combo Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, known collectively as Rhett & Link, famously met during the first day of first grade and have been friends ever since. What if, however, that encounter never happened? Would their beloved online video partnership still have come to pass? That's the question at the center of the second season of Rhett & Link's Buddy System, which will premiere on November 29.

The trailer for the new batch of Buddy System episodes presents an alternate history for its starring duo. After meeting as adults, they decide to become roommates. Despite the quirks of their respective personalities, their friendship blossoms.

Beyond the odd couple comedy at its core, the second season of Buddy System is expected to feature several musical numbers, as was the case with season one. It will also include a number of notable guest stars, include Tony Hale, Mayim Bialik, Rob Corddry, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Social Media Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk Lands His Own Shoe Deal

16 November 2017 9:43 AM, PST

Gary Vaynerchuk is proving you don't need to be an NBA superstar to land your own shoe deal. The social media entrepreneur has attached his personal brand to the GaryVee 001 and GaryVee 002, a pair of sneaker designs launched by K-Swiss.

Both items in the GaryVee line feature black and green in their respective color schemes, though they are stylistically distinct. The 001 retails for $110, while the 002 sells for $85. Both footwear choices can be found on the K-Swiss online store, though at the time of this post, the men's versions of them are sold out. For women, both designs are still in stock. If you absolutely must get your hands on the GaryVee line, you can look for it among the handful of brick-and-mortar retailers that are listed on the K-Swiss website.

Vaynerchuk, a leader in the social marketing field thanks to his company VaynerMedia, began his partnership with K-Swiss earlier this year. »

- Sam Gutelle

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David Dobrik, De’arra & Ken, Stef Sanjati Among VidCon 2018’s ‘Featured Creators’

16 November 2017 9:42 AM, PST

Though the sunny skies and massive crowds of VidCon may still feel like a distant dream, the world’s biggest online video convention unveiled today the initial slate of Featured Creators.

Gracing the convention -- which will be held from June 20 to 23 in Anaheim, Calif. -- are firmly established digital stars like Rosanna Pansino, Mark ‘Markiplier’ Fischbach, Joey Graceffa, and Justine 'iJustine' Ezarik as well as rising vloggers who are comparatively newer to the scene, including David Dobrik, De’arra & Ken, Stef Sanjati, and Safiya Nygaard. You can check out the first round of 87 Featured Creators -- who will speak on panels, lead workshops, perform comedy sketches and music, and more -- right here.

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- Geoff Weiss

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Grace Helbig Joins Studio71, Where She’s Developing A Show With Mamrie Hart

16 November 2017 7:41 AM, PST

YouTube veteran Grace Helbig has departed Fullscreen, her longtime digital network, to join forces with Studio71.

Studio71 will henceforth manage Helbig’s digital strategy and online content ecosystem, the ProSiebenSat.1-owned company said in a release. Additionally, as part of her newfound involvement with the multi-channel network, Helbig will develop an original series alongside her best friend and frequent collaborator, Mamrie Hart, who is also signed to the network. The untitled Studio71-produced comedy project is set to premiere on YouTube next year.

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- Geoff Weiss

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Fund This: For ‘Typecast’ Monsters, Horrific Roles Are A Nightmare

15 November 2017 3:35 PM, PST

Project Name: Typecast

Asking For: $52,000 through Kickstarter

Amount Raised Thus Far (At Time Of Post): $5,795

Days Remaining In Campaign (At Time Of Post): 26

Description: Stop me if you've heard this one before: A bog monster, a werewolf, and a zombie walk onto a film set. If you think that sounds like the premise for a fresh, original joke, you'll want to check out Typecast, a project that is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

The heroes of Typecast are literal monsters, and they live in a world where their kind are pigeonholed into very specific acting roles. While they are able to find work as scary villains, they yearn for greater pastures. Viewers will follow along as our Typecast leads look to break out of unpleasant commercial gigs or seek top billing in a drama. Their struggles are those of young actors, even though their features are macabre and ghastly. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Philo, Funded By Five Major Media Companies, Offers $16-Per-Month Skinny Bundle With Limited Channels

15 November 2017 3:09 PM, PST

The various "skinny bundles" that have popped up over the past year are all searching for their own ways to stand out for the pack. YouTube TV, for example, touts its unlimited DVR, while Hulu's live TV service boasts an impressive lineup of channels.

For Philo, a new entrant into that space, the pitch is simple: We cost half as much as the other guys, and we offer almost as many channels as they do. A basic Philo subscription is only $16 per month, compared to $35/month for YouTube TV and $40/month for Hulu. To support that cost-effective model, Philo features no sports channels, which are staples of other services.

Philo joins the skinny bundle market with the support of five major media companies: A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery, Scripps Networks, and Viacom. Those power players have imbued a reported $25 million into Philo's business, and in return, their channels are available among its lineup. »

- Sam Gutelle

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Elijah & Christine’s Latest Stunt Is An Uproarious Appearance On ‘Maury’ Show

15 November 2017 2:45 PM, PST

With Elijah Daniel and Christine Sydelko's latest stunt, the uber-buzzy vlogger duo have realized a longtime dream.

After Daniel tweeted almost exactly a year ago that he wanted to appear on a trashy talk show and faux-fight with his YouTube counterpart, these dreams were gloriously realized in the form of an uproarious sketch posted today to Maury Povich's YouTube channel. In a parody of one of Maury's regular segments called Social Sit Down, Sydelko says she suspects that Daniel is cheating on her with popular storytime vlogger Tana Mongeau, only to discover -- thanks to a lie detector test, naturally -- that he's gay.

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- Geoff Weiss

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