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Mr. Beast, YouTube Star, Wants to Take Over the Business World

Mr. Donaldson declined to be interviewed. A representative for him declined to address the working conditions at his companies but said of the videos with offensive content: “When Jimmy was a teenager and was first starting out, he carelessly used, on more than one occasion, a gay slur. Jimmy knows there is no excuse for homophobic rhetoric.” The representative added that Mr. Donaldson “has grown up and matured into someone that doesn’t speak like that.”Many younger creators said they wanted to emulate Mr. Donaldson’s entrepreneurial path.“I think Mr. Beast inspires all of Gen Z,” said Josh …

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Extremists Find a Financial Lifeline on Twitch

Terpsichore Maras-Lindeman, a podcaster who fought to overturn the 2020 presidential election, recently railed against mask mandates to her 4,000 fans in a live broadcast and encouraged them to enter stores maskless. On another day, she grew emotional while thanking them for sending her $84,000.Millie Weaver, a former correspondent for the conspiracy theory website Infowars, speculated on her channel that coronavirus vaccines could be used to surveil people. Later, she plugged her merchandise store, where she sells $30 “Drain the Swamp” T-shirts and hats promoting conspiracies.And a podcaster who goes by Zak Paine or Redpill78, who pushes the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, …

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HBO Max Gains Traction in a Crowded Field

AT&T added 2.7 million new customers to HBO and HBO Max in the first quarter, a boost for the company’s new streaming effort in an increasingly crowded field.The company’s WarnerMedia division, which includes HBO, recorded $8.5 billion in revenue for the period, a 9.8 percent jump over last year, when theater sales and advertising revenue plummeted during the pandemic. Led by the chief executive Jason Kilar, WarnerMedia also includes the cable networks CNN and Turner and the Warner Bros. film studios.HBO is the cornerstone of AT&T’s media strategy, and the company sees HBO Max as a …

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Netflix’s Dominance Starts to Slow as Rivals Gain

Netflix still rules the streaming universe. As of the end of March, it had 207.6 million total paying subscribers, with about 67 million in the United States, the company noted in an earnings report on Tuesday.But its main competitors — Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+ and AppleTV+, as well as the old-guard streamers Amazon Prime Video and Hulu — have cut into Netflix’s share of viewers’ attention.The global demand for original Netflix programs, like “Bridgerton,” the much buzzed-about romance series from the super-producer Shonda Rhimes, has started to drop relative to similar offerings from newcomers, according to the data firm Parrot Analytics, …

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With ‘Knives Out’ Deal, Netflix Signals It’s in the Franchise Business

“The pandemic has really put the streamers head to head with theatrical distribution,” said James Moore, chief executive of Vine Alternative Investments, an asset manager focused on the entertainment industry. “Now you’re seeing the economics really accelerate towards the streamers, and they have both the wherewithal and the strategic need to retain those gains.”Today in BusinessUpdated April 16, 2021, 1:30 p.m. ET“Knives Out,” with a cast led by Daniel Craig and Chris Evans, earned $311 million at theaters, close to half of it in international markets — the biggest growth opportunity for streaming services. It was one of the few box …

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The Oscars Are a Week Away, but How Many Will Watch?

Mr. Soderbergh did acknowledge that there is only so much the producers can do.“People’s decision-making process on whether to watch or not doesn’t seem to be connected to whether or not the show is fantastic or not,” he said, pointing to the strong critical response for this year’s Grammys, which notably featured a risqué performance by Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B.The Oscars telecast, on the other hand, saw its ratings peak in 1998, when 57.2 million people tuned in to see the box office juggernaut “Titanic” sweep to best-picture victory. Since the turn of the century, …

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A Former Alt-Right YouTuber Explains His Methods

“There’s one way this is going to go,” he told the man. “You’re going to end up knocked down unconscious.”Over the more than two years he helped produce and publish videos for Mr. Robinson and others, Mr. Robertson learned how making clever edits and focusing on confrontation could help draw millions of views on YouTube and other services. He also learned how YouTube’s recommendation algorithm often nudged people toward extreme videos.“It meant that we did more and more extreme videos,” Mr. Robertson said.Caolan Robertson grew up in Ireland, and after his parents divorced, he …

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With Fewer Ads on Streaming, Brands Make More Movies

When the N.B.A. shut down its season last year because of the pandemic, one of the first phone calls Chris Paul made was to the Hollywood producer Brian Grazer. Mr. Paul, then a point guard with the Oklahoma Thunder, knew he wanted to chronicle what was going on, and he wanted Mr. Grazer’s help.“The idea was, basically, film everything that had taken place in that game that night and what was going to come of it,” Mr. Paul said. “We had no clue what would happen next.”The result was “The Day Sports Stood Still,” a …

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The Swag Must Go On: Hollywood’s Pandemic Oscar Campaign

Those blocks are typically brimming with voters; Paramount Pictures is there, as is Raleigh Studios, where Netflix rents production space. With most people in Los Angeles still holed up at home, however, the thoroughfare was eerily quiet last Monday at 5:30 p.m. Actual crickets were chirping at Paramount’s closed Bronson Gate, which bore a sign reading, “Per government direction, access to the studio is now restricted.”Comical at best, absurd at worst?“The public must be so confused,” Ms. Stone said.None of the studios or streaming services angling for awards would comment for this article. Campaigning, while commonplace, …

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How to Get a Peloton-Style Workout Without Splurging

Lisa Whitney, a dietitian in Reno, Nev., came across the deal of a lifetime about two years ago. A fitness studio was going out of business and selling its equipment. She scored an indoor exercise bike for $100.Ms. Whitney soon made some additions to the bike. She propped her iPad on the handlebars. Then she experimented with online cycling classes streamed on YouTube and on the app for Peloton, a maker of internet-connected exercise devices that offers interactive fitness classes.Ms. Whitney had no desire to upgrade to one of Peloton’s $1,900-plus luxury exercise bikes, which include a tablet …

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