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Music

Beyoncé and Her Agency Come OUT as ‘the World’s Biggest Brand’

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Who, me?

OUT magazine scored a coup this week with Beyoncé’s first interview following the “surprise” release of her last album.

While Queen Bey (hashtag #BeyOut) does offer some insights into the development of the album and her status as “the hardest-working person in showbiz”, the most interesting part of the feature offers readers a glimpse inside the team that helped her earn all these (unofficial) titles.

“Meet the people behind Beyoncé” includes profiles of several principals at Bey’s agency Parkwood Entertainment.

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Jack White Will Make ‘The World’s Fastest Released Record’ On April 19

jack white posterYessss! Jack White is coming out with some new music on April 19.

Here’s the kicker: he’s going to record it at 10 am, making a limited edition version of the title song from his new album “Lazaretto,” then it’ll be immediately made into records (like actual records), then the 45s will be taken back to Third Man Records in Nashville and sold to fans on the spot.

“As long as there are fans in line waiting to buy the single, United will continue to press and deliver them to Third Man to sell. Even if it takes all day,” it says on the Third Man website.

Fans can buy tickets to watch it all go down and hear what could be the final concert for Whirlwind Heat (will they re-enact this video?!).

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The Beastie Boys and GoldieBlox Settle Their Differences

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#BanBossy

The biggest pop culture intellectual property story of late 2013 is over: GoldieBlox and the Beastie Boys have settled.

A company spokesperson explained the details to Rolling Stone. The settlement includes:

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Taylor Swift Breaks Up with Her Publicist

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Paging Page Six: pop ingenue and serial dater Taylor Swift ended her longest relationship today by parting ways with her publicist of nearly seven years.

According to a Billboard exclusive, the resignation of Erickson Public Relations founder Paula Erickson—who has served as Swift’s publicist since 2007—led to a decision to bring PR operations in-house via management company 13 Management.

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A Snapshot of the Early Days of Marketing Hip Hop to America

tanning of americaTonight, part two of  The Tanning of America airs, the Vh1 documentary that takes a look at the history of hip hop in America and the rise of African-American stars in television, film and music. The film is inspired by the book of the same name written by the founder and CEO of Translation, Steve Stoute. The four-part series looks back at shows like those created by Norman Lear in the 1970s, rap music in the New York City of the early 80s, and the impact all of that has had on both pop culture and politics of today.

We saw the first couple of parts at a screening last Thursday at the Paley Center in New York City. Compared with the humble beginnings depicted on screen, the event had a definite luster about it. Stoute, Nas, Rev. Al Sharpton and Gayle King were among those participating in a panel discussion. Mona Scott-Young (who’s also in the film) and Jerry Seinfeld were among those in the audience.

One thing the documentary makes clear is that the road from the Bronx to Vh1 was paved, in part, with marketing and PR opportunities.

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Drake ‘Disgusted’ at Rolling Stone, Which Dropped His Cover Shot for Philip Seymour Hoffman

Last Friday Rolling Stone told Drake and his media team that it would pull his planned cover for one featuring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. The corresponding interview/profile, posted today after a teaser, also included some negative comments Drake made about friend and collaborator Kanye West‘s most recent album—quotes he apparently meant to be off the record.

For some reason, however, the rapper didn’t get pissed about it until this morning.

This tweet followed two since-deleted messages:

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U2 to Unveil New Song During Super Bowl Spot, Offer Free Downloads to Benefit (RED)

a812d18636ceff861a80c8920a9dedc6Come Super Bowl Sunday, you may be buying many things–beer, chips, a box of ever-elusive Velveeta, or even David Beckham’s underwear–but U2 and AIDS charity (RED) are hoping you’ll also choose Sunday as the day to download the band’s new song, “Invisible” (for free!).

During a commercial break in the big game, the song will premiere in an edited version of its music video, after which, “Invisible” will be available for free download on iTunes for a 24-hour-period. Every time the song is downloaded during those 24 hours, Bank of America will make a $1 donation to (RED)–up to a total of $2 million. All the funds will go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The promotion is the launch of a new partnership between the banking giant and (RED), which, since it was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 with the aim of engaging businesses in the fight against AIDS, has teamed up with big-name brands like Apple, Starbucks and The Gap to raise more than $240 million for the Global Fund. Read more

Beyoncé and the New Face of Music Promotion

Last night’s Grammy Awards left one thing more exposed than Beyoncé‘s backside: the fact that the pop music promo game has changed. Queen B makes the rules and everyone else follows along, basking in her shadow.

It’s not really all that simple, of course: plenty of successful acts move through the usual channels when it comes to marketing and earned media. But when one reaches the heights occupied by the top of the pops, rules no longer apply.

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Arby’s Uses Pharrell’s Wacky Hat To Get In On The Grammy Action

arbys pharrell tweetAs far we we’re concerned, Pharrell Williams can wear all of the hats. The man, easy on the eyes, also made “Happy,” “Get Lucky,” and “Blurred Lines.” And that was just last year.

But Pharrell is also well known for his fashion sense. Very cool, a little quirky, the hat he wore to the Grammys generated as much talk as anything else on the awards show, sparking comparisons to one that Canadian mounties wear, Smokey the Bear, and even getting it’s own Twitter feed.

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But some clever someone also noticed a resemblance between Pharrell’s hat and the Arby’s logo. Not wasting any time, Arby’s shot out the tweet above.

pharrells hat

It was just one of many brands that are mostly unrelated to the music industry that tried to capitalize on the Grammys Twitter action.

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Renee Fleming at the Super Bowl: a PR Win for Opera

Do you like opera? (And no, for the last time, Josh Groban does not count.)

For an industry hoping more people say “yes”, yesterday’s announcement that superstar soprano Renee Fleming will sing the National Anthem before Super Bowl XLVIII is a PR coup. We certainly get the appeal: The Guardian describes her as an ”unlikely…superstar” who “can seem positively down-to-earth” compared to the divas usually tasked with singing at the Big Game.

…and here she is doing a ditty by some dude named Wolfgang.

So how did the opera world score this win?

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