Both Samsung and LG to Announce Google TV Products in 2012

Publication: Adweek

Title: Samsung Nears Agreement on Google TV; LG to announce its own Google product in January

Article by: Emma Bazilian

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/samsung-nears-agreement-google-tv-136668

 

According to to Adweek and the WSJ, Google is expected to roll out Google TV in 2012 with two of the world’s largest TV manufacturers- Samsung and LG.

Apparently, Google is talking with Samsung to create a TV that will run Android software and have web surfing capabilities, like the Android smartphone.

While Samsung wont announce the Google TV product at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January, LG is expected to reveal its own LG Google TV at the trade show.

TV manufacturers are hoping that Google-enabled televisions will boost TV sales and Google is hoping to compete with Apple, who has already created buzz around its own smart TV.

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The T-Pain Effect

Publication: Fast Company

Title: We Are All T-Pain

Article by: Jason Feifer

 http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/161/t-pain-autotune

 

In this article Fast Company meets with T-Pain about the importance of branding yourself as a musician and exploring ventures outside of the record business.

The article explains the evolution of Auto-Tune:

“Cher’s “Believe” used the trick in 1998, earning it the name the “Cher effect.” T-Pain followed in 2005–an unknown rapper with a thing for top hats, who Auto-Tuned so consistently and colorfully that by 2009 he had three platinum records and had unseated Cher in Auto-Tune lexicon.”

And how T-Pain came to capitalize on the Auto-Tune technology.

According to Fast Company,

“We were like, what the hell do we do? Do we tell Pain, ‘Don’t use Auto-Tune anymore?'” says his manager, Michael Blumstein of Chase Entertainment. (Note: When you’re on a first-name basis with T-Pain, just call him Pain.) But no. The man had found a niche, an identity. “It just got to a point where, from a business standpoint, you’ve got to capitalize on it. It’s sitting right there in front of you.”

In 2009 the “I am T-Pain” app was released and sold more than 2 million units at $3 a piece.  Both T-Pain and Antares (the company that licensed the software) made a nice profit.

T-Pain has since split with Antares and developed his own software with a company called iZotope.  The software sells for $99 and is called the T-Pain Effect.

He has a new toy microphone out on the market for $40 called I Am T-Pain.

According to the article:

“… Auto-Tune has become a catchall verb, like Photoshopping. So T-Pain’s task is to change the lexicon one more time, to own it outright. “I drop the software off to every studio I go to,” he says. “I know Wayne’s using it. Kanye’s using it. Drake thought about it. There’s a lot of people, man. I love it. I love it. It’s all-out war.””

Spotify to Announce “New Direction” on November 30

Publication: Mashable

Title: Spotify Hints at ‘New Direction’

Article by: Samantha Murphy

http://mashable.com/2011/11/21/spotify-event/

 

On Wednesday November 30th, Spotify will be holding it’s first US Press event.  Invitations went out a week ago and indicate that the company has “exciting new” to share.

The call for a press event is happening at a time when Spotify is facing competitive pressure- especially from the free Google Music Service, “which allows users to upload, share and browse songs, and then listen to them on the go via cloud storage on Android devices.”  In addition, there is growing concern over the streaming aspect of the Spotify business.  Many labels and publishers have pulled out of various other streaming services, because it reportedly hurt record sales.

“At Spotify, we continually strive to innovate and deliver exciting new experiences for our users,” Spotify said in an email statement to Mashable. “In New York on November 30th, we are holding our first press conference to unveil the latest major development from Spotify – and a new direction for the company.”

The press event on November 30 will explore what’s on the horizon for Spotfiy.  The event will be broadcasted online.   Speculation points to the possible announcement of a Spotify music store.

Whipped Cream and Fluffy Marshmallow- The Latest from Smirnoff Vodka

Publication: The Examiner

Title: Smirnoff gets fluffy with new flavors

Article by: William Dowd

http://www.examiner.com/drinks-in-national/smirnoff-gets-fluffy-with-new-flavors

Smirnoff is introducing two new sugary flavored vodkas- Whipped Cream and Fluffed Marshmallow.

According to Smirnoff’s PR team, these sacchariferous flavors epitomize “the decadent side of sweets.”

The flavors are intended to be sweet shots or and an ingredient in cocktails.

Ashton Kutcher Lets PR Team Manage @Aplusk

Publication: Adage

Title: After Penn State Flub, Ashton Kutcher Will Let PR Team Manage Twitter Account: Picked the Wrong Week to Get Indignant Over Paterno’s Firing

Article by: Ken Wheaton

http://adage.com/article/adages/penn-state-flub-ashton-kutcher-pr-team-manage-twitter-account/230955/

 

Ashton Kutcher has announced that he will no longer manage his Twitter account, @Aplusk, after he tweeted : “How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste.”  Alledgedly he tweeted this before he had full knowledge of the situation at Penn State. He announced his account will be managed by his team at Katalyst, so that the quality of the content may be reviewed before it’s published.

Adage sites that:

“Gawker, among others, picked up the story, calling his silence “the only good thing to come out of the Penn State scandal” and pointing out that “standing up for Paterno, who barely blinked when he learned his underling was a potential child predator back in 2002, is at odds with Ashton’s … crusade against child sex slavery.””

This secondary management seems to be an increasing trend among celebrity tweeters.  Although, it seems a little against the spirit of Twitter- which is sort of supposed to be about personal, impulsive updates.  On the other hand, celebrities are really more “brands” now and not “personalities.”  Plus, celebrity PR managers must feel better about having their clients tweets censored a little before they’re published.

Universal and Sony Buy EMI

Publication: Adweek

Title: Universal and Sony Buy EMI for $4.1 Billion: Record company splits in two

Article by: Dan Walker Smith

http://www.adweek.com/news/press/universal-and-sony-buy-emi-41-billion-136527

 

Adweek has reported that record company EMI has been bought in two deals with Sony and Vivendi’s Universal Music.  According to Adweek,

“The company will now be split into two divisions. Universal bought EMI’s recorded music group for $1.9 billion on Friday, while a group headed by Sony picked up EMI’s music publishing division for $2.2 billion. The combined value of the deals was $4.1 billion. EMI was previously owned by Citigroup.”

The New York Times reports that the breakup of EMI “completes the biggest shift in music’s corporate structure in almost a decade.” Although the deal is subject to regulatory approval, if it goes through, the number of major record companies will be reduced to three.  Sony and Universal will have a larger presence than they already have.

According to the New York Times Universal has plans to sell around$680 million worth of assets to combat competition concerns.

Possible Google Music Store Info Leaks

Publication: Mashable

Title: Possible Google Music Store Screenshots Surface

Article by: Todd Wasserman

http://mashable.com/2011/11/14/google-music-store-wednesday/

Mashable has reported that there are Google Music Store screenshots circulating around the web.  According to the screanshots and information gathered by the blog TechnoDroidVe, song price range is $0.99-$1.29.  Albums are priced $8.49 and $9.99.

The existence of Google Music Store has been speculated about for sometime.  Especially since the release of Google Music Beta, which was released in May.

Google Music Store would be in direct competition with iTunes Match, the Apple cloud-based offering, and Amazon Cloud player.