The Young Turks’ Francis Maxwell on Music, Gaming and the Future of Online Video

“No-one is going to do authenticity better than YouTube.”

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  • It sounds like The Young Turks, aka The Largest Online News Show in the World, had themselves blast at CES 2016 in Vegas last week.

    “Every year I come to CES, and I’m amazed at how much techies like to party,” said TYT host Francis Maxwell, who stopped by the Monster Booth for this year’s first episode of the What’s Trending Podcast.

  • Our own Shira Lazar talked with Maxwell about some of last week’s trending topics, including a recent Twitter trend called #UnpopularMusicOpinionHour, where many people claimed the Beatles were overrated. Maxwell certainly disagreed with that one.

    “People should be born knowing the Beatles. It should be a class at school. You’ve got to teach about the Beatles, you’ve got to teach about the Rolling Stones, all these influences that continue to influence music today.” That said, he’s also a big fan of modern pop stars like Drake. “I think that he’s done a lot for the music industry. He’s able to combine the rap industry and hip-hop with catchy tunes. Hotline Bling is going to be the song everyone’s talking about for the next four or five years.”

    Video games and virtual reality were also a big focus of CES, and Maxwell was really interested in the new innovations on display, including the latest gaming headphones from Monster.

    “People are trying to immerse themselves in the game as much as possible. Monster has the new headphones with Fatal1ty, who’s a professional gamer, and they’re trying to immerse gamers in every way possible. Sound is a huge part of playing the game. So they’re trying to push the boundaries of technology and push people into the game itself. People out there take video games so seriously, and rightly so.”

    Indulging his Young Turks side for a minute, Maxwell wondered why we can’t devote the same innovative thinking to reducing gun violence. “Why not use some of the technological advances we see in warfare for common use of guns?” he said. “If you can use technological advances to further iPhones and create the iPhone 10, why can’t you do it for a serious issue like this?”

    A conversation about the viral hit “Making a Murderer” on Netflix led Shira to ask him about YouTube dealing with competition from other video and streaming platforms. Maxwell said that YouTube is still the leader for authentic viewer experiences, which is how The Young Turks sets their news reporting apart from mainstream news networks.

    “No-one is going to be able to do authenticity better than YouTube. That’s how it started, that’s how it’s going to finish. From the Young Turks, no-one communicates news better than us because of the way we deliver it. We can’t be bought, we can’t be adjusted. And that’s what makes YouTube, YouTube.”

    You can listen to the entire podcast on Soundcloud or download it on iTunes.

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