Israel/Gaza-SiriusXM This Week

This is a live show.

Tune in Saturday May 18th to Faction Talk, channel 103, at 4 PM East, 1 PM West.

Phone #: 844-686-5863

Twitter: @lefsetz

If you miss the episode, you can hear it on demand on the SiriusXM app. Search: Lefsetz


YouTube is a great way to advertise, and it’s free! For me, YouTube isn’t about monetization (I have enough subscribers, but don’t post material often enough to qualify). It’s about creating awareness of my “brand” that’s monetized in other ways.

Those “other ways” also promote the YouTube channel. For one of my eBooks, all the audio examples are in a YouTube video, with links to specific parts of the video for specific topics.

I think success today is all about creating a feedback loop. “Live gig/streams” is one obvious feedback loop, but there are many other ways to create feedback loops using the tools available today.

Thanks as always for your thought-provoking essays.

Craig Anderton


YouTube premium is one of the best deals in entertainment. It’s actually less than $13.99 per month if you subscribe for a year and do it directly through YouTube instead of through Apple or another source. And in addition to ad-free YouTube, you also get ad-free YouTube Music, which has a huge catalog comparable to Spotify and Apple Music. Most of the “television” I watch is through YouTube on my flatscreen TV, so it’s a great cable alternative for me. And many of the cable networks and news channels also have YT channels, so you can still get a good amount of the content you’re missing by not having cable. I also subscribe to streaming networks like Hulu, Max, Peacock, and Netflix on and off as I need them, or for a year at a time if they have huge discounts deals, which some of them do.

Anthony Ferrara


Im a teacher now, working with teens and have kids of my own.

In the grand scheme YouTube is all that matters.  Sports still brings people to tv but only for sports fans.

Every once in a while a show will get trendy (suits) and theyll binge it.

But YouTube is by far the most important aspect of their viewership.  Theres an entire world of rockstar celebrities people have never heard of.

YouTube shorts have only entrenched the addictions and why not many kids are super worried about tiktok.  They all say “eh youtube shorts is basically the same thing”

I dont see these kids ever shifting to “normal” television.

The future of content will look nothing like it does today.

Nick Lawson


yt premium – $14/mo – is all i have and i love it … and i watch everything … nothing compares.

Gary Mendel


One of my best recent days was when I paid for YouTube and got rid of the commercials.   I could spend all day watching music gear demo videos, jam tracks and DIY build your own “whatever” stuff.   I probably spend 50% of my TV viewing on YouTube.

We still pay for everything else and Hulu maybe comes in second.   Tubi is free and has tons of surprising stuff.

Tim Redman


If Alphabet spun out YouTube completely what would it be worth? Same as Netflix? More?

It is a sleeping giant within the Alphabet that people dont really have their arms around, IMO.

Jake Malloy


Yes! You NAILED IT… RIGHT ON Bob! This is where the RIGHT undiscovered tunes/artists LIVE! It’s where I go to discover and hear/see the music that matters to me, along with my Apple Music.

Olie Kornelsen


Hi Bob—I have YouTube Premium and it is 90% of my TV viewing.  I’m watching podcasts, farmer and truck driver videos, old movies and documentaries, etc.  Some of the content is just as well produced as anything on the networks. The choices are mindboggling.  If it wasn’t for live sports, I’d get rid of everything else.

Steven Monk


$13.99 per month and worth every penny. We are 62 and 73 years old and watch on our LG TV.

Us Ferbs


YouTube is pretty much all I watch.  Get news from Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, France,  (all in English).

Doug Thompson


I’m approaching 60 years old. My media habits have changed, and I personally believe COVID is responsible for accelerating the change. My time is spent with sporting events on my TV (often on as simple background noise) via the FloRacing app, the MLB app, or network sports events on YouTube TV. Toss in some Food Network programming, and that’s about it for what used to be considered “cable” television.


Meanwhile, YouTube consumes a lot of time on my laptop and phone. I have a headphone obsession, and there is a lot of headphone content on YouTube. Pickleball Tournaments are on YouTube, in fact, my favorite pickleball player videos her rec games and puts them up on YouTube, garnering a thousand views each. If there are a thousand views of something that random and unimportant, imagine a thousand times a thousand times a thousand for other hobbies. I watch young people critique Yacht Rock songs. Old episodes of Craig Ferguson’s Late Late Show. I watch a parrot who sings while his owner plays the guitar. I watched severe weather outbreaks with “Ryan Hall y’all” a few weeks ago, 110,000 people were watching.



Kevin Hillstrom


Everything makes it to YouTube..

If you like news, ALL the major domos have a channel..You can watch clips from CNN, MSNBC, ABC, etc..Without having to pay $120/month for cable! The minor domos are in the space, big time. The Don Lemons, Cuomoes, Tucker Carlsons, Megan Kellies, etc..I’ve seen some shorts of Bill O’Reilly, wearing more makeup than a Reno streetwalker (not quite as much as Dr. Phil’s wife), yelling and railing against bloviating..

Like comedy? It’s (YTube) the new Comedy Central..Don’t get a Netflix deal? No worries.. EVERYBODY is on there.. George Carlin gains has a new audience, every decade..You can watch the talk show monologues..Maybe a guest interview, that YOU choose..Comedian podcasts..For FREE..

Like MUSIC? Watch videos, concerts, live feeds, interviews..Learn how to play songs and instruments.. Learn how to FIX SH*T! How to Cook.Exercise.Meditate.Speak Armenian. Darn socks.WHATEVS! And the PODCASTS! Why listen on a phone? WATCH them..On TV..(You should film yours, I’d gladly pay.)

You can tell everything you need to know about a person, from their YouTube feed..

My neighbor is 70..I showed him the ropes, when he cancelled cable..I visited recently, and perused his thumbnails..

Old TV shows.. They’re ALL there..Free movies.Poker and chess strategists.. Diabetes doctors..Old songs, with young girls dancing to them..Trivia and history..Cat videos..

It’s not that hard to figure out..The app comes pre-installed now..There’s a You Tube button, ON THE REMOTE.. Seinfeld recently ranted about workers coming home, wanting to laugh, and turning on network TV..What century is HE living in!?


Not all creators get paid from the service itself..NOT a problem..The fans are often patrons, and send money and gifts to support their favorite channels..It’s enough to live off of, for many ..

In some ways, Tik Tok follows the Chinese child labor factory system..All these kids toiling away, basically, for free..It’s not exploitive, because you CAN get paid, if you KEEP working..(As opposed to Netflix, who pays for their product.)

You Tube is my desert island app..Not sure how the island would get WiFi or electric, but, you know..

James Spencer


The ads on YouTube are crazy, it’s unwatchable because of the amount of ads, and I won’t pay for something that’s already making so much bank on ads, the whole service is such a scam it’s unbelievable…

I’ll watch it when I need to know something, or following a link, otherwise it’s intolerable.

As far as streaming, they’re trying to get back to me spending the same as when it was all or nothing cable, and THEY will have to get next to the new reality, which is if I have to start spending that much money, then I’m gonna start lopping off this or that service, there’s always BitTorrent and/or videgames….in any case this version of Predatory Capitalism requires my consent and I do NOT.

They don’t have a RIGHT to ever expanding profits, they have a right to TRY for them, and they’re not trying in ways that work for me.

Create something amazing, something that I HAVE to see because it’s so great (GOT/Sopranoes/LOTR/Dexter/etc fill in the blank), and yeh, I’ll buy it for that because it’s so good, but right now it looks like they’re trying NOT to go long, instead filling the pipe with weird aftermarket bullsh*t, and stuff from other countries, which sometimes has a gem in there but is mostly half-assed junk.

And btw, ever noticed that so many of these new series have a really good premise and a decent first coupla episodes, and then quickly devolve into personality driven micro-dramas that most closely resemble soap operas, because it costs little to go straight into that scripting mill bs as opposed to fleshing out giant new ideas with the attendant effects and manpower etc? And nowadays they ALL do that, and for me that’s unwatchable and obvious….

Wade Biery


You always talk about building a fan base from the bottom up and how important word of mouth is. Did you see the following article about the comedian who works in people’s houses and is making a living. It’s a fun read.

Perry Resnick


“What’s on TV? For Many Americans, It’s Now YouTube – People spent nearly 10% of their TV-viewing time watching the service, home to videos by creators like MrBeast”

Free link:

Seems obvious from afar, but the devil is in the details.

Yes, people are all over YouTube on their smartphones, on their tablets and computers. But those uses are not counted in the above statistic:

“YouTube’s share of total TV time as measured by Nielsen looks only at the YouTube app on smart TVs, which is free and comes with ads (an ad-free version costs $13.99 a month).”

And if you’ve cut the cord and are using YouTube TV to watch CBS or ESPN, the channel gets the credit, not the platform.

Boy have we come a long way. Used to be that everybody was tech ignorant. They didn’t know how to record on their VCRs, the television was seen as a dumb screen. But today, people are using Roku, et al, as well as the apps built into smart TVs, to watch YouTube.

Think about that. They’re carrying YouTube around in their pocket all day, but they still want to sit on the couch and fire up YouTube on the flat screen. And they know how to do it!


Now 10% may seem low, until you realize that only the Disney channels have more.

In other words, the streamers and the traditional cable outlets are the Spotify Top 50, and YouTube is rock…and all the rest of the non-“hit” genres.

People don’t want the mainstream stuff. They’d rather even watch amateur stuff than expensive Hollywood programming. We can analyze why, but that’s secondary to the fact they do.

And the same thing is happening in music. People don’t want the narrow lane stuff, the action is in the rest of the marketplace, stuff that never shows up in a hit playlist.

But you wouldn’t know this reading the hype, all about this or that act breaking records.

Let me tell you, as big as the fan base is for K-Pop, those outside of the bubble don’t care at all, and have no interest in caring, they’re not paying attention.

And this is the case with so many “superstar” acts.

And the lift is much lighter in music, which is not Balkanized, pay your streaming service of choice ten or so dollars a month and you can listen to all the tunes, you get to click what you want, and active users click, passive users listen to playlists.

It’s trending more and more in this direction. The share of superstar music listening keeps going down, while the great ignored by media mass keeps growing. But just like you can’t make sense of the cornucopia of what’s on YouTube, no one can make sense of the rest of the music pie, SO THEY IGNORE IT!

Oh, you’ll see a review of this or that obscure act somewhere in the paper, but the truth is most of these other genres don’t live on Spotify, but live. Streaming is just the come-on, to go to when you need a jolt, where you might do discovery. But once you’re a fan, you go to the gig.

So we have all these acts that can sell tickets but can’t have a “hit.” Used to be the other way around, you needed a major label deal and a hit in order to be able to tour, now that is not the case.

This is the major labels’ worst nightmare. They no longer have a monopoly on distribution, all they’ve got is their catalogs. Without them, they’d lose their leverage and a lot of their income and have to stop being lazy and compete.

Like in tech, where what you did yesterday does not matter. Everyone looks to the future.

As should musicians. Forget the past, it doesn’t apply. If you’re complaining that it’s not the way it used to be, you’re missing the point, and missing your mark. Today is different and it’s never going back to what it once was. The public is hungry for all kinds of music, and it’s your job to provide it. See the modern era as an opportunity, not as an impediment. Furthermore, for those complaining about low streaming payouts, how much do you think your 10,000 streams are worth? If you were paid $1000, it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Just be thankful people can listen to your music essentially for free.

So for all these years we’ve been hearing about the battle between Netflix and the nascent streaming outlets, everybody’s ignored YouTube, which lives on most TVs. Just like the non-“hit” music lives on Spotify, et al.

And YouTube doesn’t even pay creators unless they hit a viewer threshold. But then it does, but the only way to make bank is to have a ton of views. What’s the difference between this and Spotify? NOTHING!

People were shocked by this “Wall Street Journal” article. Just like they’d be shocked that many have ignored the Drake/Kendrick rap war as well as Taylor Swift. The media doesn’t tell us this, but it’s true. If you live in a bubble, that’s fine, but don’t tell us the rest of the world is interested or cares about your bubble.

And what goes viral on YouTube? You can’t quantify it. Sure, train-wreck has a certain appeal, but other than that, it’s about capturing something unique in a bottle, the zeitgeist. It’s all about creativity. If you put out a video like someone else’s viral video people laugh at you. No, you’ve got to go your own way. People are looking for something fresh, that titillates them, that they want to pass on to their friends.

Believe me, that’s not a me-too hip-hop track. That’s not news.

What is news, which is not covered by the news media, is innovation, bleeding edge stuff that no one sees until it gains mass.

That’s how you make truly hit music and have a career.

John Ondrasik-This Week’s Podcast

John Ondrasik, aka “Five for Fighting,” recently returned from a performance of his song “OK” in Tel Aviv. We talk about this as well as John’s songs about Afghanistan and Ukraine as well as his hits “Superman” and “100 Years” and how he made it. John is erudite and articulate, you’ll want to listen to to this.