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How do big video platforms make money?

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An illustration of Ryan and Bridget with the title of the episode, "How do big video platforms make money?"

Arnel Alinea

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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!

Arnel Alinea

And now … tips for grown-ups listening to “Million Bazillion” with kids

Money Talks

Here are some questions you can ask to find out what your child learned in this episode.

  1. What’s one way popular video services make money?
  2. How do these sites get data on us? Why would that information be so valuable to them?
  3. What are some other ways “influencers” might make money?

Tip Jar

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.

After listening to one or both episodes, try this activity from our email newsletter course, “Million Bazillion Academy,” to check kids’ understanding.

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.

Gimme 5

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

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