The People Who Make Your Videos Go Viral

Aside from Justin Bieber videos, YouTube’s greatest contribution to the internet has been in the ‘humans being dumb’ genre — everyone loves watching, say, people failing to pour ice water on their heads. But viral videos don’t just go viral on their own; in many cases, there’s a viral puppetmaster pulling the strings. » 4/19/15 10:00pm 4/19/15 10:00pm

This Kid Just Died [VIDEO]: Grief Porn Enters the Facebook Era

Right now, in a place you've never visited, a person you'll never know is dying. If he's dying in a particularly devastating way—and, more importantly, if he is leaving behind shareable content—it is possible that millions of strangers will mourn his or her death tomorrow. Why? » 11/21/14 3:20pm 11/21/14 3:20pm

PlayBuzz Is the New Upworthy and Maybe a Little Grosser

Our Facebook News Feeds already runneth over with links promising to surprise and/or reaffirm your faith in any number of entities. But recently, you may have noticed that these Upworthy-esque links have gotten even more mindless. More hollow. More all-around absurd. And no, we're not talking about The Onion's… » 10/08/14 2:56pm 10/08/14 2:56pm

Simpsons World Preview: Nearly 300 Hours of Springfield in Your Pocket

As the longest-running sitcom on TV, The Simpsons has accumulated a trove of digital content that's record-setting in almost every way: a staggering 552 episodes from 25 seasons. This October, FXX will launch an app that lets fans (with a cable package) stream every episode, on any device—plus give them… » 9/29/14 2:00pm 9/29/14 2:00pm

RIP Blockbuster (Or: Why Can't I Watch Indiana Jones?)

It's a near-guarantee that you haven't been to a Blockbuster this year, or possibly this decade. And after today's announcement that the company is shutting down its 300 remaining stores, you likely never will again. But that doesn't mean that video stores have outlived their usefulness—or, especially, that streaming… » 11/06/13 2:26pm 11/06/13 2:26pm

Why I Pay for Content (And Why That Makes Me Feel Like a Sucker)

In 2001 I downloaded five songs by a now-defunct "folk rock duo" from the internet. The band was obscure, its albums not stocked at the small-town music stores nearby or the Walmart 25 minutes up Route 1. iTunes didn't exist yet. Amazon was still a bookstore. So I fired up LimeWire and snapped them up for free. » 8/31/12 12:20pm 8/31/12 12:20pm

YouTube Pays $100 Million to Channel Hollywood Star Power

In its bid to compete with traditional cable offerings on even footing, YouTube has reached agreements with more than 100 producers to provide exclusive video content to the site. YouTube is aiming to create dedicated, broadcast-quality channels from these providers—including Reuters, the WSJ, Slate, The Onion, Ashton… » 10/28/11 10:24pm 10/28/11 10:24pm