A listener wants to know how the creators of his favorite online videos get paid. It’s a surprisingly complicated question, and Ryan and Bridget have to go viral themselves to find out the answer. Accompanied by their new dog and a bunch of influencers, we’ll learn all about the wild economics of online videos. Put on your tap-dancing shoes, we’re making content!
And now … tips for grown-ups listening to “Million Bazillion” with kids
Here are some questions you can ask to find out what your child learned in this episode.
- What’s one way popular video services make money?
- How do these sites get data on us? Why would that information be so valuable to them?
- What are some other ways “influencers” might make money?
Some kids are more media literate — especially about YouTube and TikTok — than we give them credit for. But if the concepts in this episode are tricky for your kid, consider viewing our episode on advertising again. It talks about more straightforward TV commercials before delving into celebrity endorsements, paid online reviews and other sneaky ads kids might get taken in by.
If you and your child are interested in learning more about how those smiling, dancing influencers on TikTok make money, this New York Times piece digs into all the ways people can make a living on the platform.
Finally, Common Sense Media has a bunch of great guides for parents on how to help young people navigate life online.
We’d love to hear your kids’ money jokes, money poems and best money tips so we can feature them on the podcast! Send them to us using this online form.
And we want to hear what parents think about Million Bazillion! You can help us by filling out a short audience survey: marketplace.org/survey
Million Bazillion: S3 E5 Video Platforms Script/Transcript
Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Scripts may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.
(SFX: PARK AMBIENCE, BIRDS CHIRPING)
BRIDGET: Ok, and now breathe deep, bend the knees, and reach the fingertips up to volcano pose and… hold.
RYAN: (OUT OF BREATH) Wow, Bridget. You were right, this daily yoga break in the park really helps clear my head. Where did you learn this routine?
BRIDGET: From an online yoga video channel. Now let your arms relax and breathe.
RYAN: I do have one suggestion- maybe we jazz this part up with a little tap dance?
(SFX: TAP SHOES TAPPING TOGETHER)
BRIDGET: Have you been wearing those tap shoes this whole time?
(SFX: DOG COLLAR JANGLING)
BRIDGET: Hey, have you noticed that dog over there?
RYAN: Yeah, what about it?
BRIDGET: It’s been circling us for a while. He doesn’t have a leash and I don’t see the owner anywhere.
RYAN: Hmmm. Maybe it’s a stray?
DOG: Uh, yeah, that is correct. I am a stray dog.
RYAN: Oh ok. See? it’s a stray d-…. WHAAAAAA? WHATTT?!?
BRIDGET: Um, wait a minute. Excuse me, dog? Did you just talk?
DOG: Yep. I can talk. You got any food on you? Or some cheese? Or some jerky?
BRIDGET: This is the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen!
RYAN: It’s the most incredible thing anyone’s ever seen! A talking dog!
BRIDGET: We need to report this to, like, a…. science place. What’s like NASA, but for dog discoveries?
DOG: Eh, ‘fraid I can’t help you there. Now, back to the food question, mind if I sniff around inside your backpack?
BRIDGET: What are we gonna do? This is a major curveball right at the top of the show!
RYAN: I know! This isn’t like when a dog talks in a kids’ movie. In real life, it’s weird! And now we have to stop and do the opening theme music like everything’s normal?
<OPENING THEME MUSIC>
BRIDGET: (DAZED) Welcome to Million Bazillion. I’m, um, sorry, I’m Bridget.
RYAN: I’m Ryan. And We Help Dollars Make More- (FRANTIC) sorry this is bananas, we found a talking dog, people! We should cancel today’s show.
BRIDGET: (FRANTIC) We do have a question. We should probably play the question, right?
DOG: Is the question “Where’s the food?” Cause I have the same question.
BRIDGET: Ahhh, he just talked again!!
RYAN: I can’t even… I can’t even deal! We need to compose ourselves! Let’s play the question!
IGGY: “Hi Million Bazillion. My name is Iggy. In the websites where popular video makers can share content, I’d like to know how do those websites have enough money to pay those popular video makers? That all, bye!”
BRIDGET: OK, thanks for the question Iggy, it’s just that we’re dealing with a talking dog right now, named uh… what’s your name?
DOG: (THINKING) I wanna say Fff- Fossie? Bil- Bilbo?- eh, I don’t really know. Dogs don’t always pay attention to their names. Unless, wait, is “Stop Eating That!” a name?
RYAN: Probably not your name. What about your owner or “pet parent” or whatever they’re called?
DOG: Ehhhh, I got separated from him days ago. I’ve been looking for him. He had a lot of hair on his face, kinda like a dog.
BRIDGET: OK, so a guy with a beard.
DOG: Yeah. If only there was a way for him to find me. But in order for him to find me, we’d need to get the word out to a lot of people. Everyone would have to know my face… and voice.
RYAN: Wait… a… minute. I just had a brilliant idea. Bridget, you know I’m no mathlete. But even I can put two and two together. This dog. This talking dog could be our ticket to online fame. We can do this all in one fell swoop. We post a video online of this dog talking, it becomes a viral sensation, we find out firsthand how websites afford to pay video makers. One, we answer Iggy’s question and two, we find this dog’s owner. It’s three birds with one stone!
BRIDGET: What’s the third bird?
RYAN: Oh, with the money we make, we pay off my credit cards. But that’s a lesser bird. The main birds are we answer Iggy’s question and reunite this dog with his kindly, bearded human.
BRIDGET: Ok, sounds like a plan. Dog, what do you think?
DOG: Hey, whatever’s clever. Can we eat first, though?
BRIDGET: Oh, of course, yes. We’ll be right back.
–Asking Random Kids NOT SO Random Questions–
ANNOUNCER: And now it’s time for Asking Random Kids NOT SO Random Questions. Today’s question is: If money could actually talk, what would it say to you?
RANDOM KIDS: “Put me in your piggy bank.” “Umm, spend me.” “Please don’t feed me to your pets.” “Do not waste your money.” “Your hands are so sweaty.”
ANNOUNCER: That was Eloise in Illinois, Roman in Michigan, Aida in Georgia, Matteo in California, Eliza in Maryland, and Michael in Connecticut. This has been Asking Random Kids NOT SO Random Questions.
BRIDGET: Ok, so, we’ve got snacks now. And to recap so far, our plan is to make this talking dog a viral star in order to reunite him with his owner and also learn how websites pay content creators so we can answer Iggy’s question. Kind of confusing, but I’m still with you. Barely.
DOG: (EATING) Thanks for lunch, I was hungry.
RYAN: (EATING) OK, dog, first thing’s first. We should name you. What’s a strong name that says, “Hello, world! I’m a dog who can talk!”?
DOG: Hmmm. How bout Talky?
BRIDGET: “Talky.” Honestly, I kinda love it. It’s simple.
RYAN: (EATING) “Talky!” Iconic. One name. Like Lizzo. Or Cher. Or no… Elvis. And we will be your Colonel Tom Parker.
DOG: I don’t know who any of those people are, but I assume this is a good arrangement.
BRIDGET: Ok, so I did a little research and turns out that even some of the most successful content creators and influencers aren’t actually paid that much by the websites that host their videos.
DOG: Wait, wait. What’s an “influencer”?
BRIDGET: An influencer is, like, someone who’s really popular online — and they’re usually good at “influencing” people, getting other people to do the things they suggest. Like say, buying something or liking a new song.
DOG: And what’s “content”?
RYAN: “Content” is a word people use to describe pictures and words and videos and podcasts and any kind of writing, art or music on the internet.
DOG: So, like, if I took a picture of my hot dog?
RYAN: That’s content!
DOG: And the Mona Lisa?
RYAN: Also content! Now, now, we’ll deal with the whole business side later. First, let’s make a great video.
(SFX: SMART PHONE “RECORDING” BEEP)
RYAN: (EATING) Ok, we’re rolling. Talky, just talk a bit. Aaaaand action!
DOG: Uhhh, I’m Talky, the Dog. As you can see, I can talk. I love peanut butter. I don’t like when the mail comes. I’m looking for my human. He has a beard. Um… like and subscribe…That’s it.
(SFX: SMART PHONE “END RECORDING” BEEP)
RYAN: Talky, that was perfect! A star is born!
BRIDGET: Now, let’s upload it to the biggest video sharing platforms out there: ViewVid and TrimTram.
(SFX: TYPING, CLICKING ON KEYBOARD SOUND)
RYAN: Aaaaaand the video has been uploaded!
(SFX: ELECTRONIC ASCENDING, GOING-UPWARD TYPE SOUND)
RYAN: And, wow, look! The views are already climbing!
BRIDGET: …And climbing!
DOG: …And climbing!…
(MUSIC: APM “PUSH THE LIMIT”)
RYAN: (SINGING) Then a month goes by with the views still climbing, a month goes by and Talky’s star is rising, the dog’s videos keep doing well!
BRIDGET: Well, it’s been a month, and Talky’s video has gotten hundreds of millions of views.
RYAN: Not to mention all the other videos we’ve made with him: Talky Does 60 Impressions in 60 Seconds, Talky Bit My Finger, Talky Listens to Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” for the First Time…
TALKY: Yeah, that last one I really didn’t get.
RYAN: Talky’s now the biggest pet influencer online, except for some baby ducklings taking a bath- but forget about them! Surely today’s the day those websites will be sending us a big money check!
(SFX: MAILBOX OPENING SOUND)
TALKY: Bark. Bark. Bark. Bark.
RYAN: Easy, Talky, it’s just the mail. Arrrghh! Still no big money check from ViewVid or Trim Tram??!? Just this tiny little check for $3.14! I assumed this was like TV where the actors all get paid for being there! I’m sure Big Bird gets paid for being on TV. In birdseed, I assume.
BRIDGET: Well, I tried to explain this weeks ago, the internet is not like TV. Most of the most popular personalities on these big video sites aren’t actually paid directly by the site for creating these videos.
RYAN: What? That makes absolutely no sense! We’re making content here! Someone must be getting rich from all Talky’s views and I want it to be meee-us! I need an explanation!
BRIDGET: Okay so like, right now on ViewVid, the site is running little ads before Talky’s video. Anytime someone clicks on Talky’s video, an ad runs before it. Companies pay to get their ad there.
RYAN: Yep, I’ve seen those!
BRIDGET: Well, Talky earns a few pennies every time someone watches one of those ads before they watch his video. And by the way, a lot of content creators and video makers don’t make anything off their videos, they don’t get enough views. But I guess when you’re a talking dog, people have to see it to believe it.
RYAN: So what’s the deal, is ViewVid not making any money?
BRIDGET: Oh, they’re making money. They make money from every advertisement you see. They’re also earning something more valuable than a dollar today, if you catch my drift.
TALKY: Milk bones?
RYAN: The respect of those who’ve doubted them?
BRIDGET: No, data! Data is information. And what companies really want is information about YOU and what you’re doing online. Every time you spend a few more minutes watching videos, the company is learning more about you. They can sorta start to build a little list of what you like, what you find funny, and who they think you are as a person.
TALKY: Or a dog, right?
BRIDGET: Oh, that too. Like, let’s say you LOVE watching videos of people doing cool hair styles. Now ViewVid knows you might be someone who would buy a hairbrush. And they also might figure out – oh, you watch videos by people with curly hair, maybe YOU have curly hair. They add “has curly hair” to the list of things about you. Might seem like a silly thing for them to know but all those little details add up over time.
RYAN: Ah, and by then, I might be powerless to stop them! They know me too well!
BRIDGET: And they have tools and tricks to keep you watching more, even when you KNOW it’s time to go do something else! They look at the videos you’ve already watched, and then try to show you ones you might also like so you keep watching!
TALKY: Yeah, I’ve heard about this- the “algorithm.” Even dogs know about it.
BRIDGET: And SOME websites will even gather up all the information they learned about you, and sell that to advertisers. And that’s another way they might make money.
TALKY: Oh, is that why I get random emails for flea shampoo?
BRIDGET: Could be.
RYAN: Well I think we answered a whole lot of Iggy’s question right there. The video sites make a lot of money from advertising. But they don’t actually pay very much of that money to the people making the videos. But I always see videomakers showing off how much money they’re making! I heard about a baker who baked a cake that looked so much like a shoe, they made enough money to buy a house but then the house turned out to be a cake! How are all these bakers making money? How can I- er, I mean Talky, make some money on his videos?
BRIDGET: I guess he could do what some of those other videomakers are doing and work with a sponsor?
TALKY: Wait, wait. What’s a “sponsor”? Explain this to me like I’m a dog.
BRIDGET: Okay so, you know how we generally feel about advertising?
TALKY: Someone telling me to buy something? Two thumbs down, and I don’t even have thumbs!
BRIDGET: Right, companies still want to sell you stuff. But we’re all getting so smart about ads, when a commercial comes on before a video we want to watch, we just skip it.
TALKY: Oh yeah, I’m always like, “5 4 3 2- SKIP.
BRIDGET: So these companies came up with a different idea. Instead of just paying a famous athlete, to be in a commercial that you’ll ignore…they’ll “sponsor” them. So they pay them AND give them free stuff to promote. Let’s say it’s fancy shoes. The athlete might still be in a commercial for the fancy shoes, but they also wear the shoes when they post photos of themselves online. You see those photos and think….wow, if this super cool athlete likes this thing, I should like it too.
RYAN: Wait, so you’re saying NASCAR drivers don’t actually love all the products printed on their racing suits?
TALKY: This is mind blowing.
BRIDGET: And here’s the thing with some of those famous videomakers on ViewVid and TrimTram…they seem like normal people who just happen to be very cool.. But they’re actually a business. Some of those video stars have a huge team around them, helping them make their videos.
TALKY: And I just have you and Ryan? Where’s my team?
BRIDGET: But the people watching these videos don’t get to see what’s really going on on the other side of the screen. And when those videomakers tell us they really like something, we TRUST them. And we might not even realize…this is an Advertisement! We’re being advertised to!
RYAN: And these sponsorships, they work?
BRIDGET: They sure seem to. Some people think the world-wide business of advertising will be worth a trillion dollars in a few years. Ever since internet “influencers” became a thing about 15 years ago, advertisers have been really excited to pay them to like things.
RYAN: So, tell us, Talky, is there anything you love enough to do a sponsored post for?
TALKY: Um. Lemme think. Sunshine. Belly rubs. Barking at the mail carrier.
RYAN: Ok, more specifically, anything you like buying enough to do a sponsored post for?
TALKY: Hmmm. Not really. How bout I do a video where I tell everyone, “the best things in life are free”?
RYAN: (SIGHS) I just don’t see the money there.
(SFX: INCOMING EMAIL SOUND)
RYAN: What’s that?
BRIDGET: We just got an email from HoundChow Brand Dogfood. They want to pay Talky to do a video where he reviews their dogfood… as long as his review is 100 percent positive.
RYAN: Talkyyyyy, this is your big shot. What do you think of HoundDog Brand ChowFood?
BRIDGET: HoundChow Brand Dogfood.
RYAN: HoundChow Brand Dogfood. It’s your favorite, right?
DOG: To be honest, I’d rather eat CAT food than THAT brand of kibble.
RYAN: Alright well now it’s your favorite dog food and you eat it everyday and Action!
(SFX: SMART PHONE “RECORDING” BEEP)
DOG: What up, Talky Nation! How my besties doing? Today, I’m unboxing an exciting new product: HoundDog Brand ChowFood.
BRIDGET: (WHISPERS) HoundChow Brand Dogfood.
DOG: HoundChow Brand Dogfood. And let me take a bite (EATING) Hmmm, I love it so much. Four out four bones. 100 percent positive review. No additional nuance. Sound off in the comments with the ways you think this is the best dog food. And be sure to like and subscribe.
(SFX: SMART PHONE “END RECORDING” BEEP)
RYAN: Cut! Perfect! Talky, I have the chills!!
DOG: (SPITS OUT FOOD) I thought it tasted bad, but the aftertaste is worse.
BRIDGET: (HUSHED) Ryan, don’t you feel kinda weird asking Talky to do a post for dog food he doesn’t even like?
RYAN: Bridget. A, you said yourself, this is how online influencers make money. They’re not your friends. They’re selling something. B, Talky is living the classic showbiz dream of too much fame, too fast. Those stories always end well. Every single one.
BRIDGET: Really? I can’t think of any that ended well.
RYAN: Wanna bet? Let’s see how it ends… when we come back.
-MIDROLL (CREDIT BREAK)-
(SFX: KEYBOARD CLICK CLACKING)
RYAN: I got great news, Talky!! The HoundChow sponsored post is our biggest video yet!
TALKY: Wow. Bigger than my first video when all humanity learned that dogs could talk?
RYAN: Yes! I mean, I purchased a few hundred thousand bot friends of mine to watch to it. But yes, it’s our biggest video! And surprise number two: we’ve been nominated for an Influencer Award! That’s right, we’re up for an Influenzie for Cutest Pet Post. The awards take place a week from now in a house in Nooooorth Hollywood! And they’re flying us out! Talky, Bridget, pack your bags with your formalist of wear!
BRIDGET: Are we sure we wanna go to this? Now that I know a little more about how this influencer stuff works, I’m not sure I like it so much.
TALKY: Bridget, come with us. (whisper) You’re the one I actually trust.
BRIDGET: Aww, Talky. That’s a nice thing for you to say, but I don’t know if I deserve it.
TALKY: Me neither, but you’re also the only one who knows how to explain money stuff.
BRIDGET: Ok, Talky. I’ll come with you and I’ll try not to let you down.
(MUSIC: HOLLYWOOD FANFARE)
(SFX: CROWDED COCKTAIL PARTY)
RYAN: Wow, I can’t believe we’re really here at the Influenzies!
TALKY: Yeah, this is wild. What’s the food situation here?
RYAN: All the most popular influencers are here.
BRIDGET: Look, it’s Sammi D’Angelo! She’s the biggest star on Trim-Tram. I love her dancing!
SAMMI: Hi everyone! I’m Sammi and I love to…
(SFX: DANCE BEAT)
SAMMIE: (TO THE BEAT) …Dance and smile, and dance and smile and dance, and dance and dance and smile and dance, and dance and smile and dance! Woooo!
RYAN/BRIDGET/TALKY: (CLAP) Wow! Good job! Nice Dance!
SAMMIE: Hey, do you wanna buy some Trim Tram Coins?
BRIDGET: What’s a Trim Tram Coin?
SAMMIE: It’s like a credit that you can gift to your favorite Trim Tram. And you purchase it with real money.
TALKY: So how is it different than just giving you money?
SAMMIE: It’s a Trim Tram Coin.
TALKY: Yeah. But what am I buying? I don’t get it exactly.
SAMMIE: It’s a Click Trim Tram.
TALKY: Bridget, can you help? I’m lost here.
SAMME: It’s a Trim TramCoin.
BRIDGET: That’s ok. It’s hard to keep up. These companies are still trying to figure out ways to make more money. Sometimes it’s kinda weird.
SAMMIE: Hey, fam, look at me again, it’s time to …Dance and smile, and dance and smile…
TALKY: Wow, these influencers are fun to watch, but I sorta feel like I can’t stop. How long have we been in here, five minutes or five hours?
BRIDGET: This is one reason why parents try to limit how much time their kids can spend on these sites and what they can do on them.
TALKY: Yeah, gotta wonder what all these videos and notifications and ads do to your brain if you look at them for hours and hours a day?
BRIDGET: Exactly. We’re starting to get more research on how spending too much time on social media can be bad for you like making you think other people have it better than you, even when they don’t. (DISTRACTED) Oh, wow it’s Sheryl from my favorite Yoga videos! She’s so much cooler than me and has everything I want.
BRIDGET: Sheryl, can I tell you, I’m such a fan of your yoga. No one downward dogs like you, dog.
SHERYL: (BRITISH) Oh that’s so wonderful to hear, dear! Do you use the free version or pay for the ad-free app?
BRIDGET: Um… the free version.
SHERYL: Oh, that’s a bit disappointing, innit? I thought you were a real fan.
TALKY: What’s her problem?
RYAN: Eh, she’s trying to upsell you into some paid version. That’s another thing all these personalities do. They give you a free version, and once you become a fan, make you pay for a better version.
BONNIE: (SCHMOOZY) Talky! Hello, I’m Bonnie Savage. I manage all the big pet influencers. Got a minute?
RYAN: That’s ok, Bonnie. We manage Talky and he’s doing very well.
BONNIE: Ummkay, well if you ever want to take your online career to the next level with some merchandising, let me know-
TALKY: What’s merchandising?
BONNIE: Stuff with your face on it! Merchandising! Talky T-shirts, Talky coffee mugs, a Talky Video Game, Talky Chewable Children’s Vitamins. Not to mention personal appearances! Forget competing in a dog show, how would you like to host a dog show! Here’s my business card. It has no writing on it. Just my scent. Toodle a loo!
TALKY: OK, thanks.
(SFX: AWARDS SHOW FANFARE)
RYAN: Oh wow, the awards are starting!
- FEAST: Good evening and welcome to the Influencer Awards I’m your host, Mr. Feast and you may know me from my ViewVid channel where I give out tons of money!
(SFX: AUDIENCE “HOPEFUL” INHALE)
- FEAST: But I’m not doing that tonight. Tonight, I’m just presenting awards.
(SFX: AUDIENCE “DISAPPOINTED” EXHALE)
- FEAST: Our first category tonight is Best ViewVid Clip Uploaded Without Copyright Permission That the Site Runs Ads On and Profits From Anyway. And the winner is… A Clip From a Fast and Furious Movie That Someone Recorded Off Their TV With Their Phone.
UPLOADER: Thanks for this award! It’s been a true thrill to make 1,000 dollars a week off this clip that we weren’t supposed to have in the first place! And remember, like Dominic Turetto says in the clip, it’s all about family!
(SFX: AWARDS SHOW MUSIC)
- FEAST: And now the category you’ve all been waiting for… Cutest Pet Post.
BRIDGET: Hey, this is your category, Talky. Do you have a speech written in case you win?
TALKY: No I can’t read or hold paper, so if I win I’ll wing it.
- FEAST: And Cutest Pet post goes to… Baby Ducklings in a Bath!
(SFX: DUCKLING SOUNDS)
RYAN: We lost to baby ducklings?!??!
(SFX: GLASS BREAKING)
TALKY: Really, Ryan. It’s ok.
RYAN: Talky is a miracle! A walking, talking miracle of science! But to you, he’s just another piece of “content.” Another thing to look at for two seconds and move on to some better “content”! I’ve had it up to here with all this content! We don’t look at anything long enough to even see what we’re looking at! And everyone here is so focused on themselves, you can’t even appreciate this amazing dog!
TALKY: Ryan, calm down. Sit. Sit, boy.
BRIDGET: Ryan! You can’t just blurt stuff out and interrupt the awards. This isn’t the Oscars!
RYAN: Forget it, let’s go home… and wrap things up.
(SFX: AIRPLANE TAKING OFF)
(SFX: AIRPLANE LANDING, WHEELS SCREECHING)
(SFX: SCREEN DOOR CREAKS OPEN)
RYAN: Ok, well the Influenzies were a big waste of time. But I got big things planned for the future, we’re gonna-
OWNER: Hello, Bosco. Remember me, boy?
RYAN: Ahhh, who are you, bearded man?
OWNER: My name is Lanny. I’m this dog’s owner.
TALKY: You found me!
OWNER: I would’ve seen your videos earlier but I don’t “do’ internet. I’m still a flip-phone guy. Luckily, my nephew showed me Bosco’s videoS and I immediately rushed over.
BRIDGET: Wait a minute. Talky, is your real name Bosco?
TALKY: Ohhhh, yeaa! Bosco! That’s it!! Oh, Lanny! I missed you so much!
(SFX: COLLAR JANGLE AS TALKY RUNS UP TO GREET HIS OWNER)
OWNER: Oh, that’s a good boy, Bosco! I’m taking you back home now, to the circus.
TALKY: Oh yay! I can’t wait!
RYAN: Hold the phone! You’re from the circus? Why didn’t you say that at the beginning? We could’ve taken you home right away!
TALKY: I’ve been telling you: I don’t know words. I don’t know the circus is called the “circus.”
RYAN: You could’ve said “big tent with trapeze people” and we would’ve gotten it!
BRIDGET: Ryan, just let it go. Talky- I mean Bosco- we’re so glad you’ve been reunited with your owner, and we’re sorry for all the trouble we put you through.
TALKY: Eh, that’s alright. It’s showbiz.
BRIDGET: I am curious to know, if you’d have won that award, what would you have said in your speech?
TALKY: Hmmm, I guess I would’ve said something like: I’d like to thank the Influenzies for this honor. Nowadays, it seems like more of our entertainment is “free.” You open an app on your phone and, bam, it’s there, right? But it’s not really “free.” We’re all being advertised to more than we think. And if you’re gonna look at videos on ViewVid or Trim Tram all day, it’s good to know that this is happening. Because ultimately, it’s your decision how much you fill your eyeballs with this stuff because…
(MUSIC: ORCHESTRAL AWARDS SHOW “PLAY-OFF”)
TALKY: You’re cutting me off?
RYAN: Sorry, it’s a good speech, but you’re 30 seconds overtime.
BRIDGET: I think, to get back to Iggy’s question, it’s important to remember, even though all these influencer videos seem “home made,” these kinds of videos have grown into a huge business. But not many people who upload videos to these sites ever actually become famous-
(MUSIC: ORCHESTRAL AWARDS SHOW “PLAY-OFF”)
BRIDGET: Hey! I wasn’t done.
RYAN: Sorry, but I have something to say about all this social media stuff. When you’re a kid, it can take a lot of courage to express yourself or be creative in any way. It can feel like you’re sharing a big part of yourself. And these websites and apps all have ways of making you feel nervous about sharing it- with all the comments, and likes, or no likes. But imagine Beethoven- or Beyoncé as little kids, getting discouraged and quitting art because someone didn’t like a video they put up. ‘
(MUSIC: ORCHESTRAL AWARDS SHOW “PLAY-OFF”)
RYAN: Hey, wait, you can’t cut me off!
TALKY: What? You did it to us!
RYAN: Ok, I guess what I’m saying is- if you want to make things, do it for the fun of it, – not to get rich and famous. And Talky, I’m sorry. I should’ve let you make that video about how you like sunshine and belly rubs.
TALKY: And barking at the mail carrier.
RYAN: Yeah, and barking at the mail carrier.
TALKY: It’s alright, Ryan. I personally can’t wait to get back to the circus, where things make sense. You do a flip, audience claps. No “like and subscribe” or “algorithm” nonsense. Lanny, let’s go.
LANNY: Ok, buddy. Guys, thanks for taking care of my dog.
BRIDGET: It was our honor. Goodbye Bosco!
RYAN: Goodbye Talky- er- Bosco!
BRIDGET: Well, what now?
RYAN: (SIGHS) Maybe we do some yoga.
BRIDGET: OK. But I was thinking about what you said. Maybe our yoga routine could use a little tap dance break?
RYAN: You really mean it? I’ll be right back! I’ll get my tap shoes!
<CLOSING THEME MUSIC>
CLOSE MUSIC + CREDITS
RYAN: [WHILE TAP DANCING?] Thanks for listening to Million Bazillion — we help dollars make more sense.
BRIDGET: If you want to keep learning about this topic, check out the tipsheet for this episode at our website, marketplace dot org slash million. You can also send us your money questions and episode ideas there too!
RYAN: And if you want to keep getting smarter about money, sign up for the Million Bazillion Academy and get four weeks of lessons you can do at your own pace. Sign up today at Marketplace.org/MBA.
BRIDGET: We would LOVE it if you would subscribe to Million Bazillion and then leave us a rating and a review. Those help us out a whole lot!
RYAN: Million Bazillion is brought to you by Marketplace and American Public Media. This episode was written and hosted by me, Ryan Perez, and Bridget Bodnar, who’s the senior producer too. Watch my foot!
BRIDGET: This episode was also produced by Marissa Cabrera. Edited by Jasmine Romero and Sanden Totten. Sound designed by Bekah Wineman and Chris Julin. And Bekah mixed it too. Our theme music was created by Wonderly.
RYAN: Our digital producer is Tony Wagner, Donna Tam is the Director of On Demand at Marketplace. Neal Scarbrough is the VP and General Manager
BRIDGET: We are grateful for the voicing talents of Kimberly Adams, Marque Greene, Joann Griffith, Chris Julin, Jeff Peters, Mel Rosenberg, Kristen Schwab, and Bekah Wineman.
RYAN: And special thanks to the people who provided the startup funding for Million Bazillion, and who continue to help keep us going: The Ranzetta Family Charitable Fund and Next Gen Personal Finance, supporting Marketplace’s work to make younger audiences smarter about the economy.
Wow, how’d you get up to the ceiling?
BRIDGET: To all the grown-ups listening right now – we hope that you and the kids in your life are having some good conversations about money thanks to Million Bazillion. Help us keep those conversations going. Donate today at marketplace.org/givemillion. Your support means a whole lot.
The future of this podcast starts with you.
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The Ranzetta Family Charitable Fund and Next Gen Personal Finance, supports Marketplace’s work to make younger audiences smarter about the economy. Next Gen Personal Finance is a non-profit that believes all students benefit from having a financial education before they cross the stage at high school graduation.
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