Slate’s If Then on Facebook’s plan to have you rate the media, Amazon’s store of the future, and the business savvy of Jake and Logan Paul.

How Teen YouTube Stars Turned “Merch” Into a Wildly Lucrative Industry

How Teen YouTube Stars Turned “Merch” Into a Wildly Lucrative Industry

Decoding the Logic of Silicon Valley
Jan. 24 2018 3:19 PM

Dudebros Every Day

Journalist Taylor Lorenz takes us inside the cultish, male-dominated world of teen YouTube stars and explains how they make millions.

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On this week’s If Then, Slate’s April Glaser and Will Oremus talk about Facebook’s fraught plan to rate the media and the cool yet creepy Amazon store that automatically bills you for your purchases. The hosts are joined by Daily Beast technology and culture reporter Taylor Lorenz to talk about the incredible fame, wealth, and influence of young YouTube stars—and their startling business savvy. And, as always, Don’t Close My Tabs: Netflix’s price hike and an inside scoop on last year’s bizarre blowup by the CEO of HQ Trivia.


Stories discussed on the show:

Don’t Close My Tabs:

Podcast production by Max Jacobs.

If Then plugs:

You can get updates about what’s coming up next by following us on Twitter @ifthenpod. You can follow Will @WillOremus and April @Aprilaser. If you have a question or comment, you can email us at

If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.