As the Pandemic Grows, YouTube Users are Discovering More Videos Straying from Their Usual Patterns


Usually a haven for music videos, vlogs, and prank videos, the current trending pages of YouTube would be very confusing to explain to someone from about three months ago. With everyone locked in their houses many are taking to the platform seeking out many new types of videos. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki chimed in saying, “‘We certainly have seen how our users have changed’ (Stelter, 2020).” Recent searches have been reflecting the ongoing events surrounding COVID-19 with searches about hand washing, quarantine hair cuts, and at home exercises. These videos have been hitting millions of view which would not have ever happened with out the current conditions of the world.

According to Nielsen, YouTube usage has skyrocketed with streaming viewing doubling and YouTube accounting for 20% of streaming minutes. There has been 32 billion minutes worth of YouTube streaming compared to 15 billion minutes in the previous year (Stelter, 2020). Along with basic entertainment videos, YouTube is also working with health professionals and WHO to make sure accurate content is posted to the platform. Any misinformation would violate YouTube health policies. Many adjustments have been made in order to cope with the changing times, and YouTube is seeing that through the shift in it’s current trends.


Virtual NFL Draft Breaks Previous Viewing Record


With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down all aspects of the current and upcoming sports seasons, the NFL draft has been the only thing that sports fans have been looking forward to. Last night, the NFL draft hit its own record numbers as viewership from deprived sports fans went through the roof. The outbreak has put the NBA, MLB, and NHL on hold leaving sports fans with little to nothing to fill the sports void left in their televisions. Despite its usual airing on sports networks like ESPN, NFL Network, and ESPN Deportes, the draft has also found it way to have its own slot on ABC. Up 37% from the previous year, the program averaged about 15.6 million viewers. This high rating breaking the draft viewing record previously belonging to the 2014 draft with 12.4 million viewers. These viewers tuned into a program filled with “…players, coaches, general managers, analysts and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell broadcast[ing] from their homes…including more than 100 camera feeds (Pallotta, 2020).”

With much of the population having to stay at home during this pandemic, TV viewership is bound to reach some unexpected highs. ESPN also aired “The Last Dance”, a docuseries about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, reaching 6.1 million viewers. Not only was this years draft the most viewed ever, but so was “The Last Dance” as ESPN most viewed documentary ever.

‘Parks and Recreation’ Returns in Reunion Special for COVID-19 Relief


After four long year, Park and Recreation is finally returning for a reunion special, however, I wish it were under better circumstances. Returning in this special are cast members Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, Retta, Rob Lowe, Chris Pratt Aziz Ansari, Jim O’heir and of course, Amy Poehler. Airing on April 30th at 8:30pm on NBC, “The episode is based on the present day pandemic and will follow Leslie Knope as she attempts to stay connected with her former Pawnee Parks Department co-workers in the age of social distancing…(Cohen, 2020).” The news of this spread on social media as some of the stars began posting about it on Instagram. Chris Pratt saying that “it’s the greatest episode of television to ever be filmed in quarantine (Cohen, 2020).” This of course being due to the fact that this episode has been filmed in its entirety in the actor’s own homes.

Executive producer Michael Shur, also known for shows like The Good Place and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, thought that this might be a great way to help raise money for a good cause. All donations are going towards Feeding America, who have set up a COVID-19 fund to help the food bank to be able to support those in need. State Farm and Subaru have already made donations of $150,000 and the NBCUniversal writers, producers, and cast of Parks and Recreation a collective total of $500,000.

“Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince” to Rerun after Highly Received Special


Hosted by Maya Rudolph, “Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute To Prince” aired Tuesday night on CBS in remembrance of the fourth anniversary of the death of Prince (France, 2020). Recorded in late January, this special had performances from artists such as Earth, Wind, & Fire, Foo Fighters, Usher, John Legend, Chris Martin, etc. Prince is an artist who has influence the music industry in such vast ways and for him to be remembered in such a special way is only deserving for the effects he had on artists throughout time. Maya Rudolph commented, “‘There are words that don’t exactly cut it for me: Genius, brilliant, gifted, prolific, legendary– they’re all true. But they don’t really get right to that feeling that can only be described through his music… To me, Prince is music…To love Prince is to love music’ (France, 2020).”

This special was highly received by audiences, “…scoring 1.0 in the 18-49 demographic… it brought in an impressive 6.49 million (Brinton, 2020).” Because of this, CBS plans to rerun the performance on Saturday, April 25th at 8 pm. In a time where new and interesting performances seem a far reach during a pandemic, this special allowed audiences to watch something different and refreshing instead of constant COVID-19 updates.

Travis Scott Holds Concert Amid Quarantine Lockdown. The Venue, Fortnite.


Last night, on Thursday, April 25th, rapper Travis Scott held a live concert in the online Battle Royale game, Fortnite.  The announcement was made earlier in the week in order to build up the hype fore the event. Fans entered the sever and found themselves in front of a virtual stage. Soon after, Travis Scott’s giant avatar appeared and started to perform “Highest in the Room” and “Sicko Mode”. According to Epic Games, in a ten minute virtual performance, Travis Scott amounted to 12 million players participating in the event, along with 3 million people streaming the show. “The vast audience for the performance beat the previous Fortnite music event, an in-game gig by electronic dance music artist Marshmello in February 2019, which attracted more than 10 million viewers (Stuart, 2020).” As the concert came to a close, he surprised the audience with a new song called “The Scotts” featuring Kid Cudi.

This event, however, was not just a one time performance. Now named “Astronomical”, this nuanced music festival is scheduled for Friday, April 24th, at 3pm, and Saturday, April 25th, at 5am, 4pm, and 11pm. With the overall success of an online performance, this concert can open the door for many more artists to take advantage of virtual concerts to amass some of the largest audiences in history.


Apple Unveils New iPhone SE

iPhone SE: A powerful new smartphone in a popular design - Apple           Today Apple announced the release of its new second generation iPhone SE. Since the first iPhone SE was received with positive feedback, this new iPhone is meant to build and improve on the accessories that people loved in the original SE. Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller commented on the features of this new phone saying it includes, “industry-leading performance of A13 Bionic that enables great battery life…along with having a Portrait mode and takes Smart HDR photos.. [and also includes] Touch ID back in the phone (LeBlanc, 2020).” This iPhone will continue to go hand in hand with the platforms applications like the App Store, Apple TV, Apple Watch, etc. and will continue to use the headlight cable as its main adaptor to plug into your car radio.

The iPhone SE will carry its usual storage packages with 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. In terms of colors it will be available in black, white and (PRODUCT)RED. Not to be confused with the regular color red, (PRODUCT)RED is a part of Apple’s (RED) partnership (LeBlanc, 2020).” This partnership assures at all profit made off of the sales of the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone will be donated toward HIV/AIDS program funding. Now being called the “affordable” iPhone by Apple, the starting price of the iPhone SE starts at $399.

To sum up this iPhone in the words of the people that have it trending on twitter. “Body iPhone 8. Internals iPhone 11. Camera iPhone XR. Only $399. And your dumb*** bought the iPhone 11 for $750 a month ago (@shaneisiconic).”

Disney’s Bob Iger to Waive Salary in the Economical Wake of the Coronavirus


The Hollywood Reporter recently released that Disney Ex-CEO now Executive Chairman Bob Iger will forgo his salary as well as new CEO Bob Chapek taking a 50% pay cut to his own base salary.

Bob Iger is one of the highest paid executives in the entertainment and media industry. As of last year, Iger made $47.5 million and in 2018, $65.6 million. In Chapek’s case, cutting his base salary may seem like a lot, however, it does not account for his entire compensation package  of “… and annual target bonus of $7.5 million, and an annual long-term incentive grant of $15 million (Parker, 2020).” In terms of the entire company, all VP’s will have their salary reduced by 20%, SVP’s by 25% and EVP’s by 30%.

COVID-19 has shut down all Disney parks and has halted the release and production of all of their future blockbuster movies. Right now the only way they are making money is through streaming their content, not just in Disney+, but other streaming platforms where this content is available as well. The pandemic has caused Disney to take a major financial hit for with these pay cuts are critical in order to keep Disney afloat. Despite being one of the largest companies in the world, at the rate the economy is going, there is now much that can be done to generate revenue. With parks, hotels, and overseas locations closed, Disney, much like other companies, are struggling in dealing with the effects of a global pandemic.

‘Big Brother’ Germany Cast, Last to Know of Global Pandemic


COVID-19 has caused the shut down of schools, massive layoffs, and insanely large stock market plunges. At this point it has effected everyone in the world and it is impossible to not have heard about it by now… Unless you’re one of the 14 contestants on the show Big Brother Germany and have been living in a total media isolation and are just hearing about it for the first time while being filmed for live tv.

Big Brother is a reality show where “…14 contestants [are] confined to two adjacent houses for 100 days. They are filmed around the clock and gradually eliminated by viewer voting, with the winner taking home 100,000 euros (around $110,000) (Rogers, 2020). ” When the cast had first been locked into the houses, the coronavirus had only been effecting China  and at the time was not yet a pandemic. In this time the 14 contestants were blissfully unaware of how widespread the virus had actually become. Yesterday on live television the host, Jochen Schropp,  broke the news behind protective glass of the virus that had spread across the world and throughout Europe. As the contestants were shown clips of the deserted streets of Germanys, the worry for their loved ones began to set in. After hearing the news the contestants were shown supportive messages from their friends and family. The show even has a psychologist to help the contestants get through this crazy time.

Many other Big Brother shows such as Italy and Australia had to inform their contestants about the pandemic, and the Canadian show informing their own contestants after they noticed the absence of a studio audience during an elimination round. When looking at these types of reality shows, you begin to wonder where the line for human morality is drawn. Was it really the right thing to do to break this type of news on live TV for viewer ratings just to use the panic of the contestants for entertainment? You could say that this time, Big Brother definitely wasn’t watching.

Quibi, The New Streaming Service on the Block and Its Headlining Celebrities


       With streaming services on the rise, chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, are trying their luck with a new service, Quibi. Launching on April 6th, Quibi is a service that offers “short segments” that are ten minutes or less. What makes it different from Netflix or Hulu is the fact that it is meant to be streamed from your phone since it is able to be watched in a landscape or vertical view. While watching its shows you can turn your phone to switch the views in order to see different perspectives of the shows. For example, you can watch a cool car chase scene in landscape mode, but if you turn it vertical, you can see helicopters in the sky chasing the cars. There have been many advertisements hitting social media apps such as Twitter, and it even had its own commercial during the Super Bowl where it had Guillermo, from Jimmy Kimmel Live!, trying to pronounce its name.

       For $4.99 a month, Quibi plans to release around 175 shows and about 8,500 “bites of content”, many of which are scripted shows, unscripted reality and even documentaries. They also plan on having daily shows that cover news and lifestyles tips. Putting in over a billion dollars into this service, Katzenberg and Whitman have managed to acquire over 50 well known Hollywood celebrities to create and star in their shows such as: Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, Lebron James, Ryan Reynolds, and even Stephen Spielberg. Many people think that Quibi will become a successful streaming service while others predict a massive flop, however, we can’t know for sure until its official launch.

Disney CEO, Bob Iger, to Step Down


       On Tuesday Disney announced that Bob Iger would step down from his position as the CEO of Disney. This announcement is apparently effective immediately since Iger will become the executive chairman of Disney throughout 2021. Iger’s reasoning for stepping down shortly before his supposed retirement in 2021 he claims is due to the fact that he wants to focus more on the creative aspect of major projects, especially now more than ever with the newly launched Disney+. When it comes to the success and monopoly of Disney, Bob Iger is responsible for its immense success in terms of acquiring more content and media companies before launching Disney+. After the announcement of his stepping down, shares of Disney fell about 2.5% in the following hours.

       Stepping into the CEO position is Bob Chapek, former chairman of Disney “parks, experiences and products.” According to Chapek, Iger had formed such a distinct path and “strategic pillars” which he intends to keep working on and following. Currently, Chapek will continue to report to Iger until he is formally appointed to the Board of Directors. When it comes to the position and what is to come in the future, Chapek says, “That’s my sweet spot, and that is something I could leverage now throughout all my experiences not only at Disney, but even before Disney, in terms of figuring how we take the data, information, the technology, and once again our storytelling, right direct to the consumer so that we can take all the great equities we have and continue to build those for our shareholders.”

Until Bob Iger takes his formal position on the Board of Directors, we can only speculate what is to come for Disney in the future.