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.””

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.

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.

YouTube Announces Channel Strategy

Publication: Adweek

Title: YouTube Announces Channels: Video site will feel a little more like cable TV

Article by: D.M. Levine

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/youtube-announces-channels-136180

 

YouTube has formally announced their long-awaited channel strategy.  YouTube is expanding its channel lineup to include new offerings from a number of partners, including “well-known personalities and brands in the Hollywood, music, news, and sports worlds.”

According to Adweek:

“Under the new system, content creators—like Vice Media or the video game lifestyle network Machinima, for example—will have a dedicated channel on the site that they will control, continually updating it with video content. YouTube, for its part, will sell ads against that video inventory.”

YouTube will be organizing its site the way cable providers organize their channels.  YouTube’s global head of content partnerships Robert Kyncl explains that, “Today, the Web is bringing us entertainment from an even wider range of talented producers, and many of the defining channels of the next are being born, and watched, on YouTube.”

YouTube is hoping that they will be able to get people to spend less time watching television and more time watching content on YouTube.

Why Artists Like Coldplay Aren’t Bringing New Albums to Spotify

Publication: Mashable

Title: Why Coldplay and Adele Aren’t Bringing New Albums to Spotify

Article by: Lauren Indvik

http://mashable.com/2011/10/27/coldplay-adele-streaming-services-spotify/

 

Coldplay has decided that it’s latest album, Mylo Xyloto, will not be available on Spotify or any other streaming music service– just yet.  Fans will need to buy the physical CD or mp3 downloads from e-music stores like iTunes.

There is a lot of speculation surrounding this decision.  Some think Coldplay wants their audience to hear the album as “one cohesive work” (even though you can buy the singles on iTunes).  Some think it’s more financially motivated.  Mashable reports,

“Recording artists only make about three-tenths of a cent every time one of their songs is streamed, and 20 cents for every song sold on iTunes, according to estimates published in Rolling Stone.”

So it would make sense, financially, for Coldplay to hold off making their music available for free, especially since they have a very strong fanbase.  Coldplay aren’t the only ones who have made the decision to not partner with music streaming services.  Adele’s lastest album, 21, for instance, is not available on Spotfiy.  Her older album, 19, is.

It will be interesting to see if this trend plays out for less established artists, who aren’t necessarily guaranteed huge sales.  My guess is that less established/less popular artists are more focused on trying to get their music out there, in which case, services like Spotify can really help.

Rihanna: New Approach to the Album Launch: UNLOCKED

Publication: Mashable

Title: Rihanna’s UNLOCKED Redefines the Album Launch

Article by: Zachary Sniderman

http://mashable.com/2011/10/18/rihanna-unlocked-new-album/

 

For her upcoming album launch for Talk That Talk, Rihanna is taking a new approach.  She’s using the interactive Facebook app UNLOCKED that invites fans to discover new details about the album bit by bit.

Mashable reports the idea behind UNLOCKED:

“The premise behind UNLOCKED is actually pretty simple: Users “Like” the page and then go on “missions” to uncover content released by Rihanna’s label, Island Def Jam. For example, fans were asked to submit a certain amount of fake lyrics to earn the lyric sheet for Rihanna’s album. Other unlocks so far include Rihanna’s new “R” logo, the single “We Found Love,” Rihanna’s new website, album release date and album cover.”

As it turns out UNLOCKED has worked remarkably well for Rihanna.  Even though she already has a massive social media presence, she still gained nearly 1 million new Twitter followers and created over 2.5 million tweets.  She also gained more than 700,000 Facebook fans.  Her already-strong following probably aided in these impressive results- meaning a newer band shouldn’t expect the same outcome- but still, UNLOCKED has definitely demonstrated its effectiveness.

Rihanna’s label, Island Def Jam, will still run traditional advertising as well, but this new tactic shows (once again) how powerful social media can be.

“Any digital asset is going to spread online for an artist like Rihanna,” says Jon Vanhala, SVP of digital, brand integration and new business at Island Def Jam and Universal Music. The real reward is not so much unlocking the content as it is being one of the first people to share it out. “There’s social value for sure in getting something cool first and being able to share it,” Morrison says.

UNLOCKED definitely has potential to be successful in promoting products in other industries as well.

MTV O Music Awards: Steve Jobs Tribute + Turntable.FM Dance Party

Publication: Mashable

Title: MTV’s O Music Awards Will Include a Steve Jobs Tribute and a Turntable.FM Dance Party

Article by: Zachary Sniderman

http://mashable.com/2011/10/12/mtv-omas/

 

On October 31, MTV is putting on it’s second O Music Awards show, which recognizes digital music achievements.  Some of the categories include Best Music Hack, Best Music Forum and Best Web-Born Artist.

This year the show will honor Steve Jobs because of his contributions to the digital music culture.

In the spirit of digital culture, MTV will also live-stream a Turntable.FM dance party:

“OMusicAwards.com will simultaneously live stream a Turntable.FM party to break the Guinness World Record for “Longest Dance Party.” The stream will start Oct. 29 and aim to break the 55-hour record. Beats will be provided by using Turntable.FM and a fan competition. “

In an effort to bring fan participation to a new level, fans can email the award show and request to DJ a part of the Turntable.FM dance party.

“We want to do what MTV does, which is make people famous; whether that’s writing about them on the site or blasting them out over our [networks],” Connolly says. “We really want to celebrate the turntable community.”

To raise awareness for anti-bulling campaigns, any donations from the live stream of the event will be given to the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), the It Gets Better Project, the Gay Straight Alliance Network (GSA), Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and The Trevor Project.