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Posts Tagged ‘Billboard’

Weird Al Went Viral, Topped the Billboard Charts


Weird Al Yankovic has been making musical parodies for 30 years if you can believe it. His latest album is “Mandatory Fun.” And for the first time in more than 50 years, a comedy album is topping the Billboard 200 chart, selling 104,000 copies in its first week of release.

To promote the album, Weird Al released a video a day for about a week, each one reaching different level of viral. He launched with a star-studded bang, releasing “Tacky,” a play on Pharrell’s uber-popular song “Happy.”

New York magazine has a few reasons why the album is doing so well. We have a couple of our own.

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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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Drake Fires PR Firm for ‘YOLO’ Mistakes

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On his way to the club to make it rain with $73. YOLO, indeed.

Being the publicist of an idiot celebrity is nothing more than a logo and cash grab. Where’s the fulfillment in constantly being pressured to cover someone’s tracks because he or she can’t cover his or her mouth?

Take this fool, Drake.

Reports have come out via Billboard that Drake and ID-PR have parted ways because of the now infamous (and all-too-classy-response) Rolling Stone cover story that was to feature the doltish “singer/rapper” but instead this Philip Seymour Hoffman had to go take heroin and die. Hoffman gets the cover. Drake thought he was snubbed.

And the rest is after the jump (and there’s more where that came from)…

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Billboard Charts Go Digital (Now With Even More Rihanna!)

Rihanna Billboard cover While we focused on superstorms and elections over the past month, a certain famous American business made a big change right under our noses.

Billboard magazine, long seen as the ultimate tastemaker in American pop music for its top singles list, decided to join the 21st century by revising its algorithm to include digital sales and online streaming services like Pandora and Spotify when determining which songs are most popular in a given week.

Sounds like progress, right?

Quite a few people in music don’t think so, because these changes give “stars with a pop-oriented sound and broad crossover appeal an advantage over other artists”. We have to agree: the fact that Psy’s “Gangnam Style” ruled the “rap” charts for more than a month while Taylor Swift continues to dominate the “Hot Country” category tells us that something in this new equation is a little off.

This excellent infographic demonstrates the fact that a mere six artists have all but dominated the Billboard charts over the past five years. According to most predictions, these new algorithms will result in more number one hits for Rihanna, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Flo Rida while making the climb to the top of the charts even steeper for independent artists and those who work in “niche” genres like country, rock and roll and, you know, pretty much everything but “pop.”

Billboard’s editorial director Bill Werde defended the changes on his tumblr page, but the whole story is ominous news for the vast majority of those who work in or care about the music business. Some have created petitions urging Billboard to abandon its new model, but based on the puny number of signatures collected so far we can’t see that working.

What do we think? Will these changes make it harder for music reps to promote their clients? How will the industry adjust?

(As a bit of a bonus, here’s Werde talking to Mediabistro’s Donya Blaze about the challenges of music journalism): Read more

K-Pop’s PR Push to Win the West

If you’re one of the 430 million people who watched PSY’s “Gangnam Style” on YouTube recently, you are probably both curious and confused by the international phenomenon known as K-Pop. You are not alone!

Luckily, John Seabrook of The New Yorker just published a fascinating article about the carefully choreographed process that fuels the fast-growing world of Korean pop music—and its top PR teams’ plans to win Western fans with their dizzying mix of contemporary production, eclectic stage shows and a shocking amount of plastic surgery.

South Korea’s top three entertainment PR firms have essentially come to run the K-Pop industry by adopting the British/American boy band business model…on steroids. And they’ve completely dominated the Asian music market by beating predecessor J-Pop at its own game and winning the Chinese public over with their bizarre videos and promo events.

Now music publisher and promoter SM Entertainment—whose Twitter profile reads “Follow us for 10 years, we’ll make you pretty and famous”—plans to take over the United States, one flashy tour at a time. Founder and former entertainer Lee Soo-man is often described as the creator and mastermind behind the K-Pop phenomenon who made good on his plans to recreate American pop for the Asian market, and he inspires conflicting emotions among fans.

The industry is hardly limited to music; K-Pop idols frequently star in ad campaigns, soap operas and feature films. There’s even a term, “hallyu”, for the incredible influx of South Korean culture that has blanketed the continent over the past decade, and the country’s government has aggressively promoted its distribution as a form of “soft power.”

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Tips on World Domination (from the Man Who Brought You Bieber)

Anyone with more than a passing interest in public relations and pop culture at large should take a look at The New Yorker‘s fascinating profile of Scooter Braun, a master media manipulator who may be the world’s most successful manager but describes himself as “a camp counselor for pop stars.”

His current claim to fame? An extremely profitable partnership with the world’s favorite pre-pubescent crooner, Justin Bieber.

In case you haven’t heard, Braun is a former Atlanta-based party promoter who worked with various area hip-hop stars and discovered Bieber while browsing YouTube for clips to help promote his biggest client at the time, singer Ne-Yo. After a bit of pleading with Bieber’s mother, he managed to persuade the two to relocate to the ATL and join forces with R&B veteran Usher. This move gave Bieber the credibility he needed to pass muster as a lily-white soul singer capable of reducing tween girls across the globe to incoherent screeches while simultaneously looking innocent enough to win parents’ approval.

Despite appearances, Bieber was not quite an overnight sensation, and the route he took to superstardom was anything but traditional.

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Oh No! Not Taylor Swift!

Sometimes the ones we love the most end up breaking our hearts—first we learned about Lance Armstrong’s big dive, and now we hear that Taylor Swift may no longer be the official spokeswoman for innocence and wholesomeness in pop music!

On the positive side, Swift scored her first Billboard #1 hit this week by breaking sales records with the awkwardly-titled single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (wonder what that song is about?). Yet the sun-starved starlet apparently took her first walk on the PR wild side over the weekend by “crashing” a wedding involving a member of the family whose name starts with a “K” and ends with an “ennedy.” Read more

Revolving Door: CNN/Mashable Rumors, ‘Game Change’ Premiere Photos, and More

As we mentioned on the Ticker, CNN could be preparing for a $200 million purchase of Mashable. Reuters blogger Felix Salmon got the news from an “unnamed” source. The New York Times seconded the tip, saying there are “advanced talks” happening. TechCrunch adds that the move would vastly extend CNN’s reach. PR Daily points out that the reporting of rumors such as this show the turn that traditional media is making, which could ultimately have an impact on the way media pros do their jobs.

Following the premiere of the HBO film Game Change about the 2008 McCain/Palin campaign for the presidency, the media has been questioning elements of the story. You can check out photos from the event here.

Billboard magazine has lost a number of its top staffers including EIC Danyel Smith and publisher Lisa Ryan. TheWrap says cost-cutting and low morale are to blame for the high-level departures.

Janet Robinson, the former CEO of The New York Times, got a $24 million compensation package when she left the company. She’s now a member of Fleishman-Hillard‘s International Advisory Board.

ImpreMedia, publishers of La Opinión, El Diario, and other outlets for the Hispanic community, has announced that US Hispanic Media Inc has become the company’s controlling shareholder. Staff and editorial coverage will remain the same. US Hispanic Media Inc is a subsidiary of Argentina’s S.A. La Nación, publisher of La Nación.

The Boston Globe‘s Boston Globe Magazine has unveiled a redesign that focuses more attention on local coverage of events, nightlife, and relationship issues. [via]

NY1 newscaster Pat Kiernan spoke with FishbowlNY about his on-air test run as co-host of Live with Kelly Ripa.

Click through for more media moves.

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