I.R.S. Influencers and Gen Z's CW
Beanie Babies to Pokémon cards to Prime
Good morning! Did you know that Netflix is quietly positioning itself as a next-gen CW and that a generation of young content creators will be paying taxes for the first time ever this year (or trying to, anyway…the I.R.S. doesn’t make this stuff easy)? Today, we’re talking about that and more.
BEYOND ‘WEDNESDAY’ AND ‘OUTER BANKS’: HOW NETFLIX IS LOOKING TO BE THE NEW CW FOR GEN Z, latimes
Netflix is investing in programming about (and for) young adults as it fights to remain dominant in the fiercely competitive streaming business. With hit series like “Wednesday,” “Outer Banks,” and “Ginny & Georgia,” Netflix is building loyalty with a demographic “that in another era might have been glued to the WB network or the CW during their ‘Dawson’s Creek’ and ‘Smallville’ heydays.”
PRIME DRINKS ARE GOING VIRAL IN REAL LIFE. IT’S ALL ABOUT STATUS., wapo
The beverage brand, founded by Logan Paul and KSI, has nothing to do with the product, which is basically just snazzily-branded Gatorade; it’s pretty much just about status. Explains David Craig, a professor of communication at the University of Southern California, “Grade schoolers and teens have long had the power to turn products into status symbols, from Beanie Babies to Pokémon cards and beyond.”
THEY WENT VIRAL AND MADE MONEY. NOW THEY OWE TAXES., nyt
As young content creators struggle to understand things like 1099 forms and tax write-offs, “a new cottage industry of accountants and experts has popped up to help creators file taxes.” The I.R.S. now maintains a gig economy tax center, and TurboTax launched a resource offering TikTok-style video tutorials about how to file taxes — but it’s still as confusing as ever for freelancers to pay their taxes.
HOW THE EAST PALESTINE TRAIN DERAILMENT FUELED FEAR ON TIKTOK, nbcnews
Responses from public officials have been confusing, inadequate or slow for some people, creating the perfect conditions for misinformation to spread on TikTok. Currently, #eastpalestineohio has more than 152 million views and it is rampant with untruths.
“What’s so powerful about this particular incident is that it does tap into so many grievances, and so many narratives, that it does appear to be spanning the ideological spectrum in terms of who it’s attracting into the fold,” said Meghan Conroy, a research fellow studying internet culture and extremism with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.
WHAT REALLY MAKES GEN Z DIFFERENT FROM OLDER GENERATIONS? WE ASKED A 24-YEAR-OLD BRAND CONSULTANT, fastco
A great interview with Dcdx’s Andrew Roth, though this line cut deep: “Thanks to technology, a 12-year-old has the same ability as a 45-year-old does to influence culture — maybe even a greater one because of their familiarity with technology.”
One last thought:
I love your content but I'm a little disappointed in the framing of the East Palestine disaster here. I know there is some misinformation circulating, but the bigger story is that news outlets all over the U.S. seem to be intentionally burying the news or painting it as some sort of conspiratorial tale. This is an environmental tragedy--it's fair that people are scared and want to talk about it.