Marketplace - American Public Media

Subscribe to Marketplace - American Public Media feed
Updated: 44 min 32 sec ago

UC proposes to raise tuition every year for 5 years

Thu, 2014-11-20 11:00

The University of California is about to get a lot more expensive.

After a three-year tuition freeze, the UC Board of Regents approved a plan today that would raise prices by as much as 5 percent a year for the next 5 years, unless the state comes up with more funding. That would ultimately push tuition well past $15,000 a year. 

The reason? UC President Janet Napolitano says state funding hasn’t kept up with rising costs.

Ten years ago, the state covered about 60 percent of a UC student’s tuition, according to an editorial in the Los Angeles Times. Families were on the hook for about 40 percent. Now, it’s the other way around.

“In the last decade, tuition has doubled for California students,” says Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity.

She says there’s good reason for taxpayers to invest more in higher education.

“College-educated Californians earn more money, pay more taxes and use less of the social service costs that the state has to spend,” she says.

After years of steep cuts, the state has increased funding for higher education in the last few years. According to the university, the increases are not enough to keep up with growing demand for a college education in the state. Napolitano says the increases will allow the university to admit 5,000 more California students.   

All over the country, states face higher health care and pension costs, says John Douglass, a senior research fellow at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley. So there’s less money to go around.

“Legislators and governors are making lots of choices as to, well, how much can we really invest in higher ed when we have all these other obligations?” he says.

Most states have started restoring some of the deep cuts made during the recession, says Andy Carlson of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

“The recovery is definitely happening at a much slower pace, and there’s certainly continued budget pressures,” he says.

Consumer advocates worry that could make college less accessible for low-income and middle-class students.

According to Jacob Jackson, a research fellow with the Public Policy Institute of California, extra financial aid has – so far – kept costs for those families roughly the same.

“Students from low-income families are largely insulated from these tuition increases,” he says. “But only if they apply for and receive federal financial aid.”

University of California approves tuition increase

Thu, 2014-11-20 11:00

The University of California is about to get a lot more expensive.

After a three-year tuition freeze, the UC Board of Regents approved a plan today that would raise prices by as much as 5 percent a year for the next 5 years, unless the state comes up with more funding. That would ultimately push tuition well past $15,000 a year. 

The reason? UC President Janet Napolitano says state funding hasn’t kept up with rising costs.

Ten years ago, the state covered about 60 percent of a UC student’s tuition, according to an editorial in the Los Angeles Times. Families were on the hook for about 40 percent. Now, it’s the other way around.

“In the last decade, tuition has doubled for California students,” says Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity.

She says there’s good reason for taxpayers to invest more in higher education.

“College-educated Californians earn more money, pay more taxes and use less of the social service costs that the state has to spend,” she says.

After years of steep cuts, the state has increased funding for higher education in the last few years. According to the university, the increases are not enough to keep up with growing demand for a college education in the state. Napolitano says the increases will allow the university to admit 5,000 more California students.   

All over the country, states face higher health care and pension costs, says John Douglass, a senior research  fellow at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley. So there’s less money to go around.

“Legislators and governors are making lots of choices as to, well, how much can we really invest in higher ed when we have all these other obligations?’” he says.

Most states have started restoring some of the deep cuts made during the recession, says Andy Carlson with the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

“The recovery is definitely happening at a much slower pace, and there’s certainly continued budget pressures,” he says.

Consumer advocates worry that could make college less accessible for low-income and middle-class students.

According to Jacob Jackson, a research fellow with the Public Policy Institute of California, extra financial aid has—so far—kept costs for those families roughly the same.

“Students from low-income families are largely insulated from these tuition increases,” he says. “But only if they apply for and receive federal financial aid.”

Netflix is king of bandwidth in North America

Thu, 2014-11-20 11:00

The latest figures from the Canadian networking company Sandvine show Netflix accounts for 35 percent of all the bandwidth usage during peak periods in North America.

As Quartz points out, there are a few caveats to the data. For one, "peak periods" means mostly at night when we're home watching stuff. Also, the report doesn't account for internet usage on cell phones.

Netflix's closest competitor is YouTube, which accounts for about 14 percent of the bandwidth. Not to mention it clobbers other video streaming services like Amazon Video (2.58 percent) and Hulu (1.41 percent).

Farm-to-table movement comes to school cafeterias

Thu, 2014-11-20 10:59

This story is part of Marketplace's partnership with Youth Radio

School lunchrooms are sometimes referred to as "the biggest restaurant chain in America," and in districts across California a new program is trying to get local ingredients on the menu. It's part of a big push in the state to promote healthy eating and local agriculture – and to bring the fresh high-end cuisine that California is known for into the cafeteria.

Two questions: How will districts pay for it? And will California kids eat it?

California public schools serve 560 million lunches a year. In a state that also grows a lot of this country’s food, it makes sense that young Californians would eat California-grown meals.

That’s the idea behind a new school lunch plan called California Thursdays that debuted last week. Fifteen districts across the state have partnered with the program, including such big ones as Los Angeles and San Diego. Yet the large-scale change is starting small.

“What we like to call a bite-sized implementation strategy,” says Zenobia Barlow, co-founder of the Center for Ecoliteracy. For the past 20 years, her organization has been promoting sustainable living through schools. Because school lunch is such a big enterprise, Barlow says it could change the way we eat outside the cafeteria, too.

“By institutional purchasing, we’re going to trigger demand that will result in greater production of sustainably grown and sustainably produced food,” Barlow says. “Just from a business perspective, when kids start eating fresh and freshly prepared delicious meals, there are economies of scale that make it possible.”

But school lunch is bound by federal requirements and a strict budget.

Alexandra Emmott, Oakland Unified School District's “farm-to-school supervisor," figures that “for an entree, which needs to be a serving of protein and a serving of grain, we have a budget of 60 cents per entree.”

For the fruit or vegetable, its 20 cents, she says, and 25 cents for the milk.

A California Thursdays dish can cost more. The district pays 40 cents for a locally sourced and antibiotic-free chicken leg, Emmott says. High-schoolers need two drumsticks to meet USDA protein requirements, which puts the entree over budget.

Sometimes the district balances the extra cost over the course of the lunch calendar, or hits the price point by replacing a second piece of chicken with, say, red beans and rice. It involves some creativity, but Emmott says this type of thinking is starting to catch on.

“I talked to folks in Maine who were sourcing local proteins up there, even fish. So there are districts all across the country who are starting to do this," she says.

Just last month, Minnesota Thursdays launched its own local lunch program for students in the Twin Cities. Back in Oakland, 17-year-old Ayana Edgerly says “the food is way better in the cafeteria on Thursdays.”

Over the summer, she worked with the Center for Ecoliteracy to conduct peer taste-tests on California Thursdays recipes. Students were given a dish, then asked to rate it from one to five in terms of taste and appearance, Edgerly says. They also were asked: "Would you get in a lunch line for it?" 

Me personally? I haven’t eaten a school lunch since fourth grade, but my colleagues at Youth Radio offered to prepare one of the new dishes.

 They whipped up a bowl of shredded chicken and broccoli over brown rice. It looked kind of cute and even tasted pretty good, like a home-cooked meal but served at school.

Soon we’ll see if more kids feel the same.

Quiz: What kids these days are reading

Thu, 2014-11-20 05:01

School-aged girls read more words and less nonfiction compared to boys, according to a report by Renaissance Learning.

var _polldaddy = [] || _polldaddy; _polldaddy.push( { type: "iframe", auto: "1", domain: "marketplaceapm.polldaddy.com/s/", id: "which-book-is-most-popular-among-8th-graders", placeholder: "pd_1416456050" } ); (function(d,c,j){if(!document.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src=('https:'==document.location.protocol)?'https://polldaddy.com/survey.js':'http://i0.poll.fm/survey.js';s=document.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);}}(document,'script','pd-embed'));

PODCAST: Pirates off the coast of West Africa

Thu, 2014-11-20 03:00

At first glance, there was no inflation last month.  The news this morning is the consumer price index is flat. But, you already knew gasoline and heating oil prices are down and what that masks is rising prices in other areas. More on that. And a new Senate report warns that taxpayers and consumers could end up holding the bag when banks own big stashes of commodities like oil and metals. The senate report also highlights the possibility of risk to the overall financial system. Plus, when we say pirates and Africa, thoughts turn to the east coast of the continent including Somalia. But we were talking to our BBC colleagues and their correspondents are pointing out that there are more attacks on shipping off West Africa, especially the coast of Nigeria.

Falling oil won't mean huge savings on home heating

Thu, 2014-11-20 02:30

Temperatures plunged to the freezing point or below in all 50 states this week, and home heating costs are expected to be somewhat lower this year, thanks to cheaper oil prices. But don’t look for a windfall of savings just yet.

The unseasonably cold weather has raised the specter of last year’s polar vortex, when a surge in demand for heating oil and propane upset household budgets and kept consumers out of restaurants and stores.

“It’s a little unnerving when you have 15-degree weather in mid-November,” says Mark Griffin, President of the Michigan Petroleum Association. Despite the temperatures outside, Griffin says it’s still too early to call this a vortex 2.0.

“Our fingers are crossed that we’ve done everything we can to meet the needs of the marketplace, and there won’t be any supply disruptions going forward," he says.

The cheaper price of crude oil (currently about $75/barrel) is expected to put some downward pressure on energy costs, but Chris Christopher, director of consumer economics for forecaster IHS Global Insight, notes that oil isn’t necessarily the primary driver of heating costs.

“What we should expect is relatively the same type of costs, maybe a bit lower, and they have been lowering, but it all depends on demand,” says Christopher.

In terms of consumer psychology, Christopher says the cost of gasoline at the pump plays a much bigger role in juicing the economy.

Predicting Apple's next big move

Thu, 2014-11-20 02:00
870 miles

That's how many miles of railway China has agreed to build along the coast of Nigeria. Not for nothing, though. The two countries signed a deal worth $11.97 billion.

1.51 percent

That's Visa's credit card processing fee, charged to merchants with every purchase. It's a key number in the surprise rivalry brewing between Apple Pay and mobile payment system CurrentC. The latter is backed by a consortium of retailers including Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid Target and CVS, which all shut down Apple's system in their stores on launch day. Venture capitalist Jean-Louis Gassée breaks down both sides in his Quartz column, cutting through the PR to conclude CurrentC is all about saving merchants the card processing fee, while Apple Pay is more user-focused.

110,000

That's how many people subscribe to the Beats Music streaming, but that could change with Apple's recent acquisition. The Financial Times reported Apple will bundle Beats Music on all iOS devices early next year, possibly with the launch of Apple Watch. Insiders said the details are still being hammered out, but insiders told the New York Times a subscription would cost $5 to $10. The plans are likely to make Spotify sweat; as we learned during the U2 debacle, Apple has 800 million iTunes accounts.

50 states

All 50 U.S. states experienced freezing or below temperatures on Tuesday. Good news: cheaper oil prices mean home heating costs are expected to be lower. Bad news: don't expect a windfall of savings any time soon.

$11.9 billion

That's how much in outstanding student loans is currently held by Wells Fargo & Co. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the lender announced that this month, for the first time, it will lower interest rates for eligible borrowers. 

$4 billion

That's how much the Disney Princess line makes on merchandising in a year, which doesn't include the mind-boggling numbers "Frozen" has made on licensing. A recent New York Times column looks at last year's surprise mega-hit as a case study for children's movie licensing as a whole. Turns out spending on "Frozen"-branded toothpaste, food, dresses, toys, etc. bucks trends in most other industries. This might be because one party (parents) are almost always buying for someone else (children), making the business of Elsa dresses surprisingly similar to the pharmaceutical industry. 

With low gas prices, Thanksgiving travel hits the road

Thu, 2014-11-20 02:00

AAA releases its holiday travel forecast on Thursday. The big takeaway: lots more people will be hitting the road this Thanksgiving, due in no small part to plummeting gas prices. Drivers aren't alone with their lower fuel expenses—The airline industry saved $1.6 billion in fuel costs this past year; meanwhile, airfares have gone up. 

During the holiday season, the vast majority of people will travel by car. "Usually accounting for about 85 to 90 percent of all travelers," says AAA spokesperson Heather Hunter.

For people taking incredibly long trips, or very short trips, the choice to fly or drive is clear. "But it is the medium length trips, say between 200 and 1,000 miles, where it gets more complicated," says Jon Lal is the CEO of befrugal.com and the creator of Fly or Drive calculator, which takes into account lots of factors. For example: Will you need a rental car if you fly? Are you checking bags? What are current gas prices and how much wear and tear will the trip put on your car?

Dan Sniadoski lives in Seattle. He’s been invited to Thanksgiving dinners at his mom’s place in Montana and at a friend’s house in Portland. "And I still haven't made up my mind if I’m going to travel, and if I do, where am I going to go," he says. Flying is out of the question; he can’t afford last minute airfare. So at this point, his decision comes down to whether to spend the holidays with friends or family. 

 

Designers gave us the Doublemint twins – and much more

Wed, 2014-11-19 14:23

The new book "Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream" explores the life and work of designer Dorothy Shepard and her husband, Otis. Regarded as giants in early 20th century advertising, the pair had a hand in creating the Doublemint twins and uniforms for the Chicago Cubs. 

Their association with P.K. Wrigley, son of chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr., gave the Shepards a platform for their now-iconic work, which included planning and promoting Catalina Island as a resort.

The book's authors, Norman Hathaway and Dan Nadel, marveled at how ahead of their time the Shepards were.

"Wrigley owned the Cubs, as he owned the chewing gum, as he owned Catalina Island,” Nadel says. “And I think he trusted Otis so much that it was just sort of, 'Oh, somebody needs to do this … so why not the guy I entrust with everything else?'"

 

The couple that designed the American dream

Wed, 2014-11-19 14:23

"Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream" explores the life and work of designer Dorothy Shepard and her husband, Otis.

The pair had a hand in creating the Doublemint twins and uniforms for the Chicago Cubs, and authors Norman Hathaway and Dan Nadel marveled at how ahead of their time the Shepards were.

Their association with P.K. Wrigley, son of chewing gum magnate William Wrigley, gave the Shepards a platform for their now-iconic work.

"Wrigley owned the Cubs, as he owned the chewing gum, as he owned Catalina Island,” Nadel says. “And I think he trusted Otis so much that it was just sort of, 'Oh, somebody needs to do this … so why not the guy I entrust with everything else?'"

 

Why the New York Fed is in the hot seat

Wed, 2014-11-19 11:00

Out of the twelve banks in the Federal Reserve system, only New York has a permanent spot on the interest-rate-setting Federal Open Markets Committee.

Only New York oversees the critical Wall Street institutions like Goldman Sachs, and only New York is under congressional  scrutiny this week for its cozy relationship with the institutions it is supposed to regulate. 

After This American Life and ProPublica published stories using secret tapes that seemed to demonstrate regulators deferring to the institutions they regulate, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio called for hearings, which will take place this Friday. Brown plans to hold NY Fed President William Dudley accountable, and push him to prioritize regulation as highly as interest rates.

Meanwhile, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island has put forward legislation that would change how the next William Dudley would be selected. Reed would take the decision out of the hands of boardmembers - mainly business people - and put it in the hands of the President. MIT economist Simon Johnson says that's exactly the right approach. 

You know what's not selling like hotcakes? Hotcakes

Wed, 2014-11-19 11:00

In the past five years, pancake mix sales dropped 1.5 percent, according to Bloomberg.

The report said we spend on average $1.16 a year on pancake mix. If you do the math, that's about the same as buying one box of Bisquick every three years.

It turns out hotcakes aren't selling like hotcakes after all. Maybe it's time to update the idiom for modern times. 

Sadly "selling like kale" just doesn't have the same ring to it. 

Drug windfall raises questions for foundations

Wed, 2014-11-19 10:00

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced on Wednesday that it's getting $3.3 billion in the sale of its royalty rights for a drug manufactured by Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

The foundation invested at least $100 million in the research for the drug Kalydeco, which granted the non-profit a share of the profits. The drug has proven successful in treating some cystic-fibrosis patients.

But it's also very expensive, costing a reported $300,000.

The Foundation’s big payday has raised some eyebrows about whether it's profiting from a drug that’s a financial burden for the very patients it's supposed to help.

"I don’t know whether to celebrate or not...It’s going to take a while to sink in,” says David Orenstein who treats cystic fibrosis at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “The scale of the money that's involved here is phenomenal."

When Vertex first came out with the new drug, Orenstein took issue with the price. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation says it’s had no influence over the price of the drug, and the research it funded was essential to getting the drug developed.

"On the big picture, it’s very similar to what almost all disease foundations do,” says George Annas, a  health law and bioethics professor at Boston University. “Most of them fund research by academics, but it’s not a big leap to fund research by a biotech company on the theory that they are more likely to actually translate their research into a product.”

But so far foundations have not seen returns on their investments anywhere near the scale of billions. And Doctor Peter Bach of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center says he won’t be surprised if he sees big paydays again in the future.

“This will be an outlier until it happens again,” Bach says, “Drugs that get approved even for rare conditions can command essentially infinitely high prices.”

And if foundations benefit from those prices, he says, they could face a conflict of interest. 

How a $150 million investment turned into $3.3 billion

Wed, 2014-11-19 07:00

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has sold its royalty rights to a powerful game-changing drug that it helped fund and develop.

The national charity has flipped a $150 million dollar investment into a more than $3 billion dollar deal, a figure that’s more than 20 times the organization’s budget last year.

While the windfall means more money for research, the drug itself costs more than $300,000 and has been out of reach for some with this fatal disease.

Let’s face it, it’s a little unusual for national charities like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to team up with drug makers and start selling royalties.

But Dr. Ahmet Uluer of Boston Children’s Hospital says it’s good they did.

“Without this relationship this drug is not being developed. And we are maybe not where we are right now, looking at this ethical dilemma of pricing and availability to patients,” he says.

The question for some is whether the foundation has put its own health in front of people with this disease.

In Arkansas, Medicaid officials have denied the use of this treatment to three patients in part because the drug – Kalydeco – is so expensive.

University of Massachusetts’ Dr. Brian O’Sullivan says “this is a really thorny issue and certainly some of this money needs to go back to patient care and access to drugs.”

While Kalydeco helps a sliver of patients, O’Sullivan says the next generation of drugs could treat up to 50 percent, and they may be as expensive, so they may not be as effective.

That would mean lots of potential battles between the sick and insurers who are expected to pay the bill.

Vertex says it offers a patient assistance program to help cover costs. The company says virtually every patient who has been prescribed kalydeco in the U.S. has access to it.

 

L.A.'s the place for YouTube stars seeking wider fame

Wed, 2014-11-19 06:32

If you keep track of this stuff, you might have noticed quite a few YouTubers crossing over into the mainstream lately. They’ve landed network TV deals and spots on reality shows. Then there’s Michelle Phan, who spun her Internet fame into a line of cosmetics for L'Oreal.

The success of stars like Phan has inspired YouTubers like Meg DeAngelis to make the pilgrimage to Los Angeles – which is emerging as the center of YouTube entertainment business – in search of Internet gold.

A college dropout, DeAngelis started making videos in eighth grade when she was into gymnastics. Her early videos show her executing backflips and other tumbling moves. The videos are washed out, the sound is distant. They look like clips of a young girl just having fun.

“I started by posting videos that were like my hobbies,” DeAngelis says. “Stuff that wasn’t meant to be like a genre or a channel.”

But the videos got of tens of thousands of hits, and DeAngelis kept making them. She might have just kept posting videos as a hobby,  but things changed last year when she came to Los Angeles to visit a fellow YouTuber.

“She kinda took me around L.A., and I met so many other YouTubers,” DeAngelis says. “It was weird to me, too. And to find out they all live close to each other and hang out was really cool. I just wanted to be a part of that whole bubble.”

So DeAngelis dropped out of college in Florida and moved to L.A. to join a growing community of 20-somethings who are trying to make it as YouTube stars.

“I like putting an insane amount of music in it,” DeAngelis says, showing how she edits her videos. These days, her videos are far more polished and mostly about fashion. One shows DeAngelis modeling fall accessories that she made.

What does it mean to DeAngelis to “make it” as a YouTuber? Would it be a role on television or in a movie?  Being cast on reality TV, like Bethany Mota, who got on "Dancing with the Stars"? But DeAngelis says she’s not interested in acting  

“I really want to have a clothing line because so much of my show is about fashion,” she says.

For YouTubers, making those goals come true often starts at a place like Awesomeness TV, one of a growing number of multi-channel networks on YouTube.

Awesomeness is housed in a large converted warehouse in West L.A. Anybody can start a channel and post videos on the network, but at the same time, Awesomeness TV also creates original videos that feature YouTubers.

Jackie Koppel, the head of talent development, showed me around.

“So much of what we do is in-house,” DeAngelis says. “So we have editors, we have a production team, we have reality, the sales team.” KOPPEL?

When DeAngeles came to Awesomeness, she had about 250,000 subscribers, according to Koppel.

About eight months later, that number has grown to 1.3 million subscribers, Koppel says.

Awesomeness helped DeAngeles accomplish that by plugging her into its shows.

“We have her in a scripted show with Royal Caribbean, where she went on a cruise,” Koppel says. These “branded shows” are paid for by companies that want to promote their goods.

“And then we also have her in some of our more beauty-focused content like "Makeup Mythbusters," that’s a show she sorta helms,” Koppel says.

And remember, this isn’t to launch DeAngelis into an acting career but to get her a clothing line.

Many people mistakenly think of YouTubers as “talent” in the Hollywood sense of the word – as in actors, says Lisa Filipelli, a talent agent at Big Frame, an independent subsidiary of Awesomeness.

 

“They’re influencers, not talent,” Filipelli says. “Talent is a person who just shows up to set, and they do what they do and then they’re done.”

An influencer is someone who is constantly engaging with their audience — whether it’s on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. And Filipelli says these influencers get their audience to talk about stuff and increasingly get people to buy stuff, too.

“There’s YouTubers on the New York Times best-seller list and selling out tours and selling massive amount of product in stores,” Filipelli says. 

YouTubers are disrupting almost every segment of the teen-consumer market, according to Filipelli. For example, instead of fashion magazines, teens are increasingly turning to YouTubers for beauty and fashion tips.

With more advertising money moving from television to video, that trend will accelerate, Filipelli says.

Back at DeAngelis’ apartment, she’s still waiting to make it. She won’t reveal how much she makes at Awesomeness, but says she mostly lives off her savings.

“When I was living with my parents I didn’t pay rent, and so I just saved a lot,” she says.

DeAngelis worked odd jobs and also made money off advertisements that ran on her YouTube videos. If she runs out of money, she’ll probably go back to college, she says. And while she’s hopeful about future opportunities, she is also aware that her time might be limited.

“I can’t do Vine, Snapchat or like any of the new apps, like I can only do Twitter and Instagram and the basic ones,” she says. “And it almost feels like I’m getting really old."

How old, exactly?

"I’m 19.”

YouTube Stars flock to LA to turn fame into gold

Wed, 2014-11-19 06:32

If you keep track of this stuff, you might have noticed quite a few YouTubers have crossed over into the mainstream lately. They’ve landed network TV deals and spots on reality shows. Then there’s Michelle Phan, who spun her Internet fame into a line of cosmetics for L'oreal.

The success of stars like Phan has inspired Youtubers like Meg DeAngelis to make the pilgrimage to Los Angeles, which is emerging as the center of YouTube entertainment business, in search of Internet gold.

DeAngelis is a college dropout who started making videos in the 8th grade when she was into gymnastics. DeAngelis’ early videos are of her doing backflips and other tumbling moves. The videos are washed out, the sound is distant. All in all, they just look like clips of a young girl having fun.

“I started by posting videos that were like my hobbies,” DeAngelis says. “Stuff that wasn’t meant to be like a genre or a channel.”

But the videos got of tens-of-thousands of hits and DeAngelis kept making them. She might have just kept making and posting videos as a hobby,  but things changed last year when she came to Los Angeles to visit a fellow YouTuber.

“She kinda took me around L.A. and I met so many other YouTubers,” DeAngelis says. “It was weird to me too. And to find out they all live close to each other and hang out was really cool. I just wanted to be a part of that whole bubble.”

And so DeAngelis dropped out of college in Florida and moved to L.A. to join a growing community of 20-somethings who’re trying to make it as YouTube stars.

“I like putting an insane amount of music in it,” DeAngelis says showing me how she edits her videos. We’re in the lobby of her apartment and these days, DeAngelis’ videos are way more polished and mostly about fashion. In the one she’s showing me, DeAngelis is modeling fall accessories that she made.

I asked DeAngelis what’s it mean to “make it” as YouTuber? Is it a role on television or a movie?  Maybe on reality TV, like Bethany Mota, who got onto Dancing with the Stars? But DeAngelis says she’s not interested in acting  

“I really want to have a clothing line because so much of my show is about fashion,” she says.

For YouTubers, making those goals come true starts at a place like Awesomeness TV, one of a growing number of multi-channel networks on YouTube.

Awesomeness is housed in a large converted warehouse in West LA. Jackie Koppel, the head of talent development, showed me around. Anybody can start a channel and post videos on the network. At the same time, Awesomeness TV also creates original videos that feature YouTubers like DeAngelis.

“So much of what we do is in-house,” DeAngelis says. “So we have editors, we have a production team, we have reality, the sales team.”

Koppel says when DeAngeles came to Awesomeness, she had about 250,000 subscribers.

“Just about 8 months later, she’s over 1.3 million subscribers,” Koppel says.

She says Awesomeness helped DeAngeles do that by plugging her into its shows.

“We have her in a scripted show with Royal Caribbean, where she went on a cruise,” Koppel says. These “branded shows” are paid for by companies that want to promote their goods.

“And then we also have her in some of our more beauty focused content like Makeup Mythbusters, that’s a show she sorta helms,” Koppel says.

And remember, this isn’t to launch DeAngelis into an acting career but to get her a clothing line.

Lisa Filipelli, is a talent agent at Big Frame, which is an independent subsidiary of Awesomeness. She says lots of people mistakenly think of YouTubers as “talent” like in the Hollywood sense of the word as in actors.

“They’re influencers, not talent,” Filipelli says. “Talent is a person who just shows up to set and they do what they do and then they’re done.”

An influencer is somebody who is constantly engaging with their audience — whether it’s on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. And Filipelli says these influencers get their audience to talk about stuff and increasingly they’re getting people to buy stuff too.

“There’s YouTubers on the New York Times best seller list and selling out tours and selling massive amount of product in stores,” Filipelli says. 

And she says, YouTubers are disrupting almost every segment of the teen consumer market. For example, instead of fashion magazines, teens are increasingly turning to YouTubers for beauty and fashion tips.  Filipelli says with more advertising money moving from television to video that trend will accelerate.

Back at DeAngelis’ apartment, she’s still waiting to make it. DeAngelis won’t say how much she makes at Awesomeness, but she does say she’s mostly living off savings.

“When I was living with my parents I didn’t pay rent and so I just saved a lot,” she says.

DeAngelis worked odd jobs and also, made money off the advertisements that ran on her YouTube videos. She says, if she runs out of money, she’ll probably go back to college. And while she’s hopeful about the opportunities ahead, DeAngelis is also conscious that her time might be limited.

“I can’t do Vine, Snapchat or like any of the new apps, like I can only do Twitter and Instagram and the basic ones,” she says. “And it almost feels like I’m getting really old."

How old, exactly?

"I’m 19.”

For wannabe YouTube stars, L.A. is the place to be

Wed, 2014-11-19 06:32

If you keep track of this stuff, you might have noticed quite a few YouTubers have crossed over into the mainstream lately. They’ve landed network TV deals and spots on reality shows. Then there’s Michelle Phan, who spun her Internet fame into a line of cosmetics for L'oreal.

The success of stars like Phan has inspired Youtubers like Meg DeAngelis to make the pilgrimage to Los Angeles, which is emerging as the center of YouTube entertainment business, in search of Internet gold.

DeAngelis is a college dropout who started making videos in the 8th grade when she was into gymnastics. DeAngelis’ early videos are of her doing backflips and other tumbling moves. The videos are washed out, the sound is distant. All in all, they just look like clips of a young girl having fun.

“I started by posting videos that were like my hobbies,” DeAngelis says. “Stuff that wasn’t meant to be like a genre or a channel.”

But the videos got of tens-of-thousands of hits and DeAngelis kept making them. She might have just kept making and posting videos as a hobby,  but things changed last year when she came to Los Angeles to visit a fellow YouTuber.

“She kinda took me around L.A. and I met so many other YouTubers,” DeAngelis says. “It was weird to me too. And to find out they all live close to each other and hang out was really cool. I just wanted to be a part of that whole bubble.”

And so DeAngelis dropped out of college in Florida and moved to L.A. to join a growing community of 20-somethings who’re trying to make it as YouTube stars.

“I like putting an insane amount of music in it,” DeAngelis says showing me how she edits her videos. We’re in the lobby of her apartment and these days, DeAngelis’ videos are way more polished and mostly about fashion. In the one she’s showing me, DeAngelis is modeling fall accessories that she made.

I asked DeAngelis what’s it mean to “make it” as YouTuber? Is it a role on television or a movie?  Maybe on reality TV, like Bethany Mota, who got onto Dancing with the Stars? But DeAngelis says she’s not interested in acting  

“I really want to have a clothing line because so much of my show is about fashion,” she says.

For YouTubers, making those goals come true starts at a place like Awesomeness TV, one of a growing number of multi-channel networks on YouTube.

Awesomeness is housed in a large converted warehouse in West LA. Jackie Koppel, the head of talent development, showed me around. Anybody can start a channel and post videos on the network. At the same time, Awesomeness TV also creates original videos that feature YouTubers like DeAngelis.

“So much of what we do is in-house,” DeAngelis says. “So we have editors, we have a production team, we have reality, the sales team.”

Koppel says when DeAngeles came to Awesomeness, she had about 250,000 subscribers.

“Just about 8 months later, she’s over 1.3 million subscribers,” Koppel says.

She says Awesomeness helped DeAngeles do that by plugging her into its shows.

“We have her in a scripted show with Royal Caribbean, where she went on a cruise,” Koppel says. These “branded shows” are paid for by companies that want to promote their goods.

“And then we also have her in some of our more beauty focused content like Makeup Mythbusters, that’s a show she sorta helms,” Koppel says.

And remember, this isn’t to launch DeAngelis into an acting career but to get her a clothing line.

Lisa Filipelli, is a talent agent at Big Frame, which is an independent subsidiary of Awesomeness. She says lots of people mistakenly think of YouTubers as “talent” like in the Hollywood sense of the word as in actors.

“They’re influencers, not talent,” Filipelli says. “Talent is a person who just shows up to set and they do what they do and then they’re done.”

An influencer is somebody who is constantly engaging with their audience — whether it’s on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. And Filipelli says these influencers get their audience to talk about stuff and increasingly they’re getting people to buy stuff too.

“There’s YouTubers on the New York Times best seller list and selling out tours and selling massive amount of product in stores,” Filipelli says. 

And she says, YouTubers are disrupting almost every segment of the teen consumer market. For example, instead of fashion magazines, teens are increasingly turning to YouTubers for beauty and fashion tips.  Filipelli says with more advertising money moving from television to video that trend will accelerate.

Back at DeAngelis’ apartment, she’s still waiting to make it. DeAngelis won’t say how much she makes at Awesomeness, but she does say she’s mostly living off savings.

“When I was living with my parents I didn’t pay rent and so I just saved a lot,” she says.

DeAngelis worked odd jobs and also, made money off the advertisements that ran on her YouTube videos. She says, if she runs out of money, she’ll probably go back to college. And while she’s hopeful about the opportunities ahead, DeAngelis is also conscious that her time might be limited.

“I can’t do Vine, Snapchat or like any of the new apps, like I can only do Twitter and Instagram and the basic ones,” she says. “And it almost feels like I’m getting really old."

How old, exactly?

"I’m 19.”

Quiz: How the recession affected college completion

Wed, 2014-11-19 04:04

More students enrolled in college for the first time in 2008 than ever before, but the completion rate for those students declined, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Its recent report tracks the postsecondary progress of students who entered college at the start of the recession.

How many college students who started in 2008 received a degree or certificate within six years?

PODCAST: I want a pony!

Wed, 2014-11-19 03:00

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced Wednesday they've sold royalty rights to a powerful new drug it funded and helped develop. The payout, $3.3 billion, is 20 times last year's budget for the organization, and it dwarfs the money the nonprofit originally gave toward the development of the drug. More on that. And the Carnival Corporation, which owns Carnival and Princess Cruise lines among others, is starting a new social media campaign next week to drum up business from people who've never taken a cruise before. Now, there's an online ad contest, a Twitter campaign, and more designed to change the conversation from norovirus outbreaks on ships or ships that sink. Plus, the government says the cost of raising a child to age 18 in America is up 2 percent to $245,000 this year. What that statistic leaves out, however, is what happens if that child asks for a pony for a birthday or the holidays. This week, we're collaborating with the New York Times on on something called "A Guide to Buying Just About Anything."

Pages