Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Gets Jay-Z to Help Sell TV

YouTube wants to look more like TV. Which means, among other things, getting people you might have seen on TV to start making shows for YouTube.

This is the strategy that all of the big Web portals are suddenly employing. And they’re making a particularly big deal about it right now, because they’re all putting on fancy showcases for advertisers, modeled on the “upfront” presentations the TV guys put on every year.

YouTube’s was last night, at New York’s Beacon Theatre, and it was by far the most extravagant shindig of the bunch. (This included the post-event dinners, where YouTubers schmoozed advertisers at many of the city’s nicest restaurants: Ma Peche, Del Posto, A Voce, etc.)

If you didn’t go last night (you really did need a ticket), here’s the finale, via an unofficial shakycam grab. If you can’t pick this up from the clip, I can attest that the crowd really did get a huge kick out of this. Perhaps the YouTube folks will put up a fancier version later on:


And here’s a list of famous, semi-famous, or kinda-maybe-famous people that joined Jay-Z onstage:

Neon Trees
Pharrell Williams
Miri Ben-Ari
Chris Hardwick
Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia
Julia Stiles
Sarah Jones
Jennifer Beals
Caitlin Gerard
Virginia Madsen
Brian Robbins
Flo Rida

(Image courtesy of Life and Times)


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work