The LP Questionnaire – Fat Tony(A Nigerian Hiphop Artist)

fattonyHave you ever gotten scabies from a hotel room? Fat Tony has.

Fat Tony (government name: Anthony Obi) hails from Houston, Texas. When he isn’t busy eating lemongrass tofu or being a regular customer at Whataburger, he can be found concocting some of the dopest underground raps today. His effortless delivery over his oft-collaboration partner Tom Cruz’s hypnotic tracks show why Fat Tony has racked up nods from A$AP Rocky and Bun B to the Houston Music Press Awards as a three-time winner of their “Best Underground Hip Hop” title.

You can (read: should) catch Fat Tony on Wednesday March 13 at 12:15am at The Stage on Sixth Patio and again Friday March 15 at 1:15am at Hotel Vegas.

The LP Questionnaire
Name: Fat Tony

1. Pretend you’re 15. Name three songs you’d put on a mix tape for your girlfriend/boyfriend. I’m a wee little 15 year old chap in ’92, and I’m putting these songs on a tape for my bae so she gets the message loud & clear. ‘Cause I heard if you don’t use it, you lose it.
Color Me Badd – “I Wanna Sex You Up”
Salt-N-Pepa – “Let’s Talk About Sex”
TLC – “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg”

2. Which evil villain would make the best President? The Joker. He’s got the testicular fortitude to take on whatever comes his way. And he got hella charisma (i.e., “swag”).

3. What was your favorite cartoon as a child? The Simpsons, easily. Bad ass Bart Simpson was my role model.

4. What superpower do you wish you had? I wish I could fly like Superman so I’d never sit in Houston traffic ever again.

5. What would the title of your autobiography be? Smart Ass Black Boy For Dummies

a Nigerian truly making name for himself.

Samsung Galaxy 3 Beats Apple IPhone To Best Smartphone Award

SKOREA-US-SAMSUNG-APPLE-IT-INTERNET-PATENT-STOCKSSamsung continued a great year last night by picking up the smartphone of year award at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona beating off the challenge of Apple and its iPhone, HTC Droid DNA, Nokia Lumia 920, and Samsung Galaxy Note II. It was one of four major awards for Samsung, compared with none for Apple.

The S2 beat the iPhone 4s at last year’s show.Samsung was device manufacturer of the year and Apple won the tablet category.

In the 2013 entry level/feature hone category Nokia’s Asha won out over three other Nokia phones and the Samsung C3312. Google’s Nexus 7 won the tablet race. You can see all the awards here.

For people interested in car sharing BMW Mini with partners Sixt and Vodafone, won the award for Best Mobile Product or Service for Automotive.

But it is the best smartphone award that carries most kudos. Samsung not only won that. They won best device manufacturer and best Best Mobile Enabled Consumer Electronics Device for the Galaxy camera, and Best Mobile Infrastructure for Smart LTE Networks (they also won the CTO Choice award for their LTE technology).

It rounds off a year in which Samsung has had to defend its reputation against copycat charges in the American courts. And it shows that outside of north America Samsung enjoys widespread admiration among its peers. It remains to be seen, however, whether the run will continue for Samsung with the S4, which seems to be hitting snags.

[Forbes.com]

Moneyball For Music: The Rise of Next Big Sound

It’s a cloudy midwinter morning at Next Big Sound’s
New York headquarters, and the scene is pure
startup. The walls are exposed brick. The bagels are
free. The music is guilty-pleasure indulgent: ‘N
Sync, in honor of Justin Timberlake’s newly
announced album.
But here they’re not just listening for fun. As the
singer’s falsetto soars over the clatter of ergonomic
keyboards, Next Big Sound’s employees are
quantifying the impact of Timberlake’s news,
counting 308,200 Twitter followers, 335,800
Wikipedia page views and 4.6 million Vevo views
more than the two weeks prior–data that weren’t on
the radar when his last album came out in 2006.
“The consumer in that world heard ‘SexyBack’ on
the radio and went to Virgin Megastore,” says Alex
White
, the 26-year-old who cofounded Next Big
Sound four years ago. “The consumer now goes to
Spotify and streams Justin Timberlake’s entire back
catalog and then follows him on Twitter to see real-
time updates and watch his behind-the-scenes
YouTube videos. It’s a totally different consumer
experience, but the industry still needs to track that
behavior.”
White’s company is the one doing the tracking.
Think Moneyball , but for music. Next Big Sound
takes all the data spewing into the ether–Pandora
spins, Facebook likes, digital downloads–and
packages them into one central dashboard. For $20
per artist per month, the Billy Beanes of the music
world (managers, concert promoters and label
executives) can access the service in hopes of
finding the next Nick Swisher (or Justin
Timberlake).
The music business is ripe for disruption. According
to one study, artist discovery and development is a
$4.5 billion industry, and Next Big Sound removes
some of the guesswork. For example, the company
has found that musicians who gain 20,000 to 50,000
Facebook fans in one month are four times more
likely to eventually reach 1 million. With data like
that, Next Big Sound promises to predict album
sales within 20% accuracy for 85% of artists, giving
labels a clearer idea of return on investment.
“The market is under pressure to become more
efficient,” says Foundry Group’s Jason Mendelson,
an investor who, along with IA Ventures and others,
has helped Next Big Sound amass $7.5 million in
venture funding.
Just as advanced analytics took time to infiltrate
baseball’s wizened ranks, Next Big Sound’s
numbers weren’t universally accepted by
executives who’ve long touted their “golden ears.”
But White’s data finally have them listening. He’s
got multimillion-dollar deals with two of the three
major record companies, and with many sublabels
of the third.
“In the past year most labels have started using
tools like this,” says Jason Feinberg, vice president
of digital strategy at Epitaph Records. “Next Big
Sound is kind of leaving them all in the dust.”
White, who grew up playing three musical
instruments, seems ideally suited to run the show.
In college at Northwestern he majored in
organizational change with a minor in business and
a concentration at the music school. During his
senior year he came up with a site that would let
anyone create his or her own fantasy label–and
discover “the next big sound.” The first user to sign,
say, Justin Timberlake would get points for every
virtual mogul who signed him subsequently.
After raising $25,000 in angel investments, White
ditched a job with Pricewaterhouse Coopers to build
out his brainchild. He and cofounders David
Hoffman
and Samir Rayani landed a slot at startup
incubator Tech Stars in Boulder, Colo., but their idea
died on arrival. “We didn’t know how to build it into
a big business,” says White. “We were almost out
of money, and we wanted to switch to something …
but we didn’t know what we wanted to switch to.”
On a whim they decided to see what would happen
if they started tracking streaming music. From 2
a.m. to 8 a.m. on June 5, 2009 they recorded the
number of plays for Akon on MySpace–and awoke
to find the singer had logged half a million plays
overnight, an order of magnitude more than they’d
expected. That turned into a free weekly e-mail
report to industry insiders; by the following summer
they had an audience in the tens of thousands and
officially launched Next Big Sound.
After Foundry led a seed round of just under $1
million in September 2009, White went to work on
winning industry players like music consultant Mike
“Goon” McGinley, who said Next Big Sound would
never work. Then White sent him numbers that
showed the inefficacy of a Live Nation ad campaign
run on behalf of Tom Petty, one of McGinley’s
clients. Goon changed his tune. White discovered
this when he received a call from an irate Live
Nation executive: “How the hell did Goon get these
numbers? We need to have this to be protected.”
Later that year Live Nation bought Next Big Sound’s
chief competitor, BigChampagne, for an
undisclosed sum. That makes sense: Both
companies offer intelligence on where an artist’s
music is being played, which helps when planning
tours (Jay-Z, for instance, used Spotify data to
guide where to play shows in the U.K.). Next Big
Sound could be an attractive buyout target, too. It’s
already pulling in seven figures annually and
expects to be profitable by the end of 2013.
Meanwhile, there are numbers to crunch, and the
company’s ranks are swelling with new hires,
poached from the likes of Apple, Microsoft, William
Morris, the NSA and even the New York Yankees.
White remains mindful of his company’s Moneyball
heritage–he took his board of directors to see the
film the day it came out.
“Data has transformed industries before,” says
Alex White. “Music’s the next one.”

Grammy Winners 2013: The Full List

The 55th annual Grammys are over, and unlike last
year, a wide range of artists is heading home with
hardware.
Adele stole the show in 2012, winning all six
awards for which she was nominated. In 2013, Dan
Auerbach and the Black Keys were the biggest
winners, taking home four trophies. Skrillex
claimed three, as did Gotye, Jay-Z and Kayne West.
Mumford & Sons won just two Grammys, but scored
the biggest one of the night: Best Album for Babel.
The group’s latest effort was also a major
commercial success, moving 1.4 million copies in
2012, which made it the No. 4 best-selling album of
the year.
“We had no idea about winning,” said lead singer
Marcus Mumford to a group of reporters assembled
at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “So we didn’t
write anything down.”
Plenty of top artists took home only one or two
awards, spread across 81 categories. Among them:
Fun., Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney and a host of
others.
So, without further ado, here’s the full list of
Grammy winners for 2013 (to see all the nominees,
check out Grammy.com):
1. RECORD OF THE YEAR
Somebody That I Used To Know
Gotye Featuring Kimbra
Wally De Backer, producer; Wally De Backer &
Francois Tetaz, engineers/mixers; William Bowden,
mastering engineer
Track from: Making Mirrors
Label: Universal Republic
2. ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Babel
Mumford & Sons
Markus Dravs, producer; Robin Baynton & Ruadhri
Cushnan, engineers/mixers; Bob Ludwig, mastering
engineer
Label: Glassnote
3. SONG OF THE YEAR
We Are Young
Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate
Ruess, songwriters (Fun.Featuring Janelle Monáe)
Track from: Some Nights
Label: Fueled By Ramen; Publishers: WB Music, FBR
Music, Bearvon Music/Rough Art/Shira Lee Lawrence
Rick Music/Way Above Music/Sony ATV Songs
4. BEST NEW ARTIST
Fun.
5. BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Set Fire To The Rain [Live]
Adele
Track from: Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Label: XL/Columbia
6. BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
Somebody That I Used To Know
Gotye Featuring Kimbra
Track from: Making Mirrors
Label: Universal Republic
7. BEST POP INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM
Impressions
Chris Botti
Label: Columbia
8. BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
Stronger
Kelly Clarkson
Label: RCA Records/19 Recordings LLC
9. BEST DANCE RECORDING
Bangarang
Skrillex Featuring Sirah
Skrillex, producer; Skrillex, mixer
Track from: Bangarang
Label: OWSLA/Big Beat/Atlantic
10. BEST DANCE/ELECTRONICA ALBUM
Bangarang
Skrillex
Label: OWSLA/Big Beat/Atlantic
11. BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
Kisses On The Bottom
Paul McCartney
Label: Hear Music
12. BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE
Lonely Boy
The Black Keys
Track from: El Camino
Label: Nonesuch
13. BEST HARD ROCK/METAL PERFORMANCE
Love Bites (So Do I)
Halestorm
Track from: The Strange Case Of…
Label: Atlantic
14. BEST ROCK SONG
Lonely Boy
Dan Auerbach, Brian Burton & Patrick Carney,
songwriters (The Black Keys)
Track from: El Camino
Label: Nonesuch; Publisher: McMoore McLesst
Publishing
15. BEST ROCK ALBUM
El Camino
The Black Keys
Label: Nonesuch
16. BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
Making Mirrors
Gotye
Label: Universal Republic
17. BEST R&B PERFORMANCE
Climax
Usher
Track from: Looking 4 Myself
Label: RCA Records
18. BEST TRADITIONAL R&B PERFORMANCE
Love On Top
Beyoncé
Track from: 4
Label: Columbia Records
19. BEST R&B SONG
Adorn
Miguel Pimentel, songwriter (Miguel)
Label: RCA/Bystorm Entertainment; Publisher: Art
Dealer Chic
20. BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM
Channel Orange
Frank Ocean
Label: Def Jam
21. BEST R&B ALBUM
Black Radio
Robert Glasper Experiment
Label: Blue Note
22. BEST RAP PERFORMANCE
N****s In Paris
Jay-Z & Kanye West
Track from: Watch The Throne
Label: Roc-A-Fella Records, LLC
23. BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
No Church In The Wild
Jay-Z & Kanye West Featuring Frank Ocean & The-
Dream
Track from: Watch The Throne
Label: Roc-A-Fella Records, LLC
24. BEST RAP SONG
N****s In Paris
Shawn Carter, Mike Dean, Chauncey Hollis & Kanye
West, songwriters (W.A. Donaldson, songwriter)
(Jay-Z & Kanye West)
Track from: Watch The Throne
Label: Roc-A-Fella Records; Publishers: Hit-Boy
Music/Very Good Beats, Hip Hop Since 1978, Dean’s
List Productions, Unichappell Music
25. BEST RAP ALBUM
Take Care
Drake
Label: Cash Money Records
26. BEST COUNTRY SOLO PERFORMANCE
Blown Away
Carrie Underwood
Track from: Blown Away
Label: 19 Recordings Limited/Arista Nashville
27. BEST COUNTRY DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
Pontoon
Little Big Town
Label: Capitol Records Nashville
28. BEST COUNTRY SONG
Blown Away
Josh Kear & Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie
Underwood)
Track from: Blown Away
Label: 19 Recordings Limited/Arista Nashville;
Publishers: Global Dog Music/Lunalight Music, Big
Loud Songs/Angel River Songs
29. BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
Uncaged
Zac Brown Band
Label: Southern Ground/Atlantic
30. BEST NEW AGE ALBUM
Echoes Of Love
Omar Akram
Label: Real Music
31. BEST IMPROVISED JAZZ SOLO
Hot House
Gary Burton & Chick Corea, soloists
Track from: Hot House
Label: Concord Jazz
32. BEST JAZZ VOCAL ALBUM
Radio Music Society
Esperanza Spalding
Label: Heads Up International
33. BEST JAZZ INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM
Unity Band
Pat Metheny Unity Band
Label: Nonesuch
34. BEST LARGE JAZZ ENSEMBLE ALBUM
Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You)
Arturo Sandoval
Label: Concord Jazz
35. BEST LATIN JAZZ ALBUM
¡Ritmo!
The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band
Label: Clare Fischer Productions/Clavo Records
36. BEST GOSPEL/CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN
MUSIC PERFORMANCE
10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)
Matt Redman
Track from: 10,000 Reasons
Label: sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records
37. BEST GOSPEL SONG
Go Get It
Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell & Warryn Campbell,
songwriters (Mary Mary)
Label: Columbia; Publishers: EMI April Music, It’s
Tea Tyme, That’s Plum Song, Wet Ink Red Music
38. BEST CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC SONG
(TIE)
10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)
Jonas Myrin & Matt Redman, songwriters (Matt
Redman)
Track from: 10,000 Reasons
Label: sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records; Publishers:
Thankyou Music/sixsteps Music/
worshiptogether.com Songs/Said And Done Music/
Shout! Publishing
Your Presence Is Heaven
Israel Houghton & Micah Massey, songwriters
(Israel & New Breed)
Track from: Jesus At The Center Live
Label: Integrity Music; Publishers: Integrity’s Praise!
Music/Sound of the New Breed, Regenerate Music
39. BEST GOSPEL ALBUM
Gravity
Lecrae
Label: Reach Records
40. BEST CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC
ALBUM
Eye On It
TobyMac
Label: ForeFront Records
Come To The Well
Casting Crowns
Label: Beach Street/Reunion Records
41. BEST LATIN POP ALBUM
MTV Unplugged Deluxe Edition
Juanes
Label: Universal Music Latino
42. BEST LATIN ROCK, URBAN OR ALTERNATIVE
ALBUM
Imaginaries
Quetzal
Label: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
43. BEST REGIONAL MEXICAN MUSIC ALBUM
(INCLUDING TEJANO)
Pecados Y Milagros
Lila Downs
Label: Sony Music
44. BEST TROPICAL LATIN ALBUM
Retro
Marlow Rosado Y La Riqueña
Label: Pink Chaos Productions
45. BEST AMERICANA ALBUM
Slipstream
Bonnie Raitt
Label: Redwing Records
46. BEST BLUEGRASS ALBUM
Nobody Knows You
Steep Canyon Rangers
47. BEST BLUES ALBUM
Locked Down
Dr. John
Label: Nonesuch
48. BEST FOLK ALBUM
The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile
Label: Sony Classical
49. BEST REGIONAL ROOTS MUSIC ALBUM
The Band Courtbouillon
Wayne Toups, Steve Riley & Wilson Savoy
Label: Valcour Records
50. BEST REGGAE ALBUM
Rebirth
Jimmy Cliff
Label: UMe/Sunpower
51. BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM
The Living Room Sessions Part 1
Ravi Shankar
Label: East Meets West Music
52. BEST CHILDREN’S ALBUM
Can You Canoe?
The Okee Dokee Brothers
Label: Okee Dokee Music LLC
53. BEST SPOKEN WORD ALBUM
Society’s Child: My Autobiography
Janis Ian
Label: Audible, Inc.
54. BEST COMEDY ALBUM
Blow Your Pants Off
Jimmy Fallon
Label: Warner Bros. Records/LoudMouth
Entertainment
55. BEST MUSICAL THEATER ALBUM
Once: A New Musical
Steve Kazee & Cristin Milioti, principal soloists;
Steven Epstein & Martin Lowe, producers (Glen
Hansard & Marketa Irglova, composers/lyricists)
(Original Broadway Cast With Steve Kazee, Cristin
Milioti & Others)
Label: Masterworks
56. BEST COMPILATION SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL
MEDIA
Midnight In Paris
(Various Artists)
Label: Madison Gate Records, Inc.
57. BEST SCORE SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, composers
Label: Null/Madison Gate
58. BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA
Safe & Sound (From The Hunger Games)
T Bone Burnett, Taylor Swift, John Paul White & Joy
Williams, songwriters
(Taylor Swift Featuring The Civil Wars)
Label: Big Machine Records/Universal Republic;
Publishers: Sony ATV Tree Publishing, Taylor Swift
Music, Sensibility Songs, Absurd Music, Shiny Happy
Music, Baffle Music, Henry Burnett Music
59. BEST INSTRUMENTAL COMPOSITION
Mozart Goes Dancing
Chick Corea, composer (Chick Corea & Gary Burton)
Track from: Hot House
Label: Concord Jazz
60. BEST INSTRUMENTAL ARRANGEMENT
How About You
Gil Evans, arranger (Gil Evans Project)
Track from: Centennial – Newly Discovered Works
Of Gil Evans
Label: ArtistShare
61. BEST INSTRUMENTAL ARRANGEMENT
ACCOMPANYING VOCALIST(S)
City Of Roses
Thara Memory & Esperanza Spalding, arrangers
(Esperanza Spalding)
Track from: Radio Music Society
Label: Heads Up International
62. BEST RECORDING PACKAGE
Biophilia
Michael Amzalag & Mathias Augustyniak, art
directors (Björk)
Label: One Little Indian / Nonesuch
63. BEST BOXED OR SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION
PACKAGE
Woody At 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial
Collection
Fritz Klaetke, art director (Woody Guthrie)
Label: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
64. BEST ALBUM NOTES
Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles
Billy Vera, album notes writer (Ray Charles)
Label: Concord
65. BEST HISTORICAL ALBUM
The Smile Sessions (Deluxe Box Set)
Alan Boyd, Mark Linett, Brian Wilson & Dennis
Wolfe, compilation producers; Mark Linett,
mastering engineer (The Beach Boys)
Label: Capitol Records
66. BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, NON-CLASSICAL
The Goat Rodeo Sessions
Richard King, engineer; Richard King, mastering
engineer (Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer &
Chris Thile)
Label: Sony Classical
67. PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, NON-CLASSICAL
Dan Auerbach
68. BEST REMIXED RECORDING, NON-CLASSICAL
Promises (Skrillex & Nero Remix)
Skrillex, remixer (Nero)
Joseph Ray, Skrillex & Daniel Stephens, remixers
Label: Cherry Tree/Interscope
69. BEST SURROUND SOUND ALBUM
Modern Cool
Jim Anderson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper,
surround mastering engineer; Michael Friedman,
surround producer (Patricia Barber)
Label: Premonition Records
70. BEST ENGINEERED ALBUM, CLASSICAL
Life & Breath – Choral Works By René Clausen
Tom Caulfield & John Newton, engineers; Mark
Donahue, mastering engineer (Charles Bruffy &
Kansas City Chorale)
Label: Chandos
71. PRODUCER OF THE YEAR, CLASSICAL
Blanton Alspaugh
72. BEST ORCHESTRAL PERFORMANCE
Adams: Harmonielehre & Short Ride In A Fast
Machine
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco
Symphony)
Label: SFS Media
73. BEST OPERA RECORDING
Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen
James Levine & Fabio Luisi, conductors; Hans-Peter
König, Jay Hunter Morris, Bryn Terfel & Deborah
Voigt; Jay David Saks, producer (The Metropolitan
Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
74. BEST CHORAL PERFORMANCE
Life & Breath – Choral Works By René Clausen
Charles Bruffy, conductor (Matthew Gladden,
Lindsey Lang, Rebecca Lloyd, Sarah Tannehill &
Pamela Williamson; Kansas City Chorale)
Label: Chandos
75. BEST CHAMBER MUSIC/SMALL ENSEMBLE
PERFORMANCE
Meanwhile
Eighth Blackbird
Label: Cedille Records
76. BEST CLASSICAL INSTRUMENTAL SOLO
Kurtág & Ligeti: Music For Viola
Kim Kashkashian
Label: ECM New Series
77. BEST CLASSICAL VOCAL SOLO
Poèmes
Renée Fleming (Alan Gilbert & Seiji Ozawa;
Orchestre National De France & Orchestre
Philharmonique De Radio France)
Label: Decca Records
78. BEST CLASSICAL COMPENDIUM
Penderecki: Fonogrammi; Horn Concerto; Partita;
The Awakening Of Jacob; Anaklasis
Antoni Wit, conductor; Aleksandra Nagórko &
Andrzej Sasin, producers
Label: Naxos
79. BEST CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL COMPOSITION
Hartke, Stephen: Meanwhile – Incidental Music To
Imaginary Puppet Plays
Stephen Hartke, composer (Eighth Blackbird)
Track from: Meanwhile
Label: Cedille Records
80. BEST SHORT FORM MUSIC VIDEO
We Found Love
Rihanna Featuring Calvin Harris
Melina Matsoukas, video director; Juliette Larthe,
Ben Sullivan, Candice Ouaknine & Inga Veronique
video producers
Label: Def Jam
81. BEST LONG FORM MUSIC VIDEO
Big Easy Express
Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic
Zeros & Old Crow Medicine Show
Emmett Malloy, video director; Bryan Ling, Mike
Luba & Tim Lynch, video producers
Label: S2BN Films

Grammy Awards 2013: The Real Winners And Losers

When last year’s Grammy Awards ended, it was
clear that Adele was the show’s sweetheart, hauling
home six gramophone statuettes.
This year’s ceremony didn’t have as clear a winner
as the British sensation, who added to her lifetime
total with a win in the “Best Pop Solo Performance”
category, but it put a spotlight on artists outside the
vaunted pop realm.
Dan Auerbach, one-half of rock duo the Black Keys,
took home the most awards for the night, reeling in
four Grammys, including those for “Best Rock
Song” and “Best Rock Album.” While the Black
Keys won three awards in 2011, this year’s show
felt like a coming out party of sorts, which arguably
included the strongest live performance of the night
with “Lonely Boy.” The pair, however, were shut out
of the bigger categories of the night, namely
“Record Of The Year,” which went to Gotye, and
“Album of the Year,” which went to Mumford &
Sons’ Babel.
Accepting the award on behalf of his band, Marcus
Mumford and his so-called “sons” claimed the
show’s biggest prize, which despite their 12 total
nominations was only their second award (the band
had won earlier in the day for their role in the long-
form video winner Big Easy Express).
“We were in the [pre-telecast] stuff and we had six
nominations … and one after the other [the winner
was] like Black Keys, Black Keys,” said Mumford.
“We thought last year was Adele’s year and this
year was the Black Keys’ year… We didn’t really
care about winning.”
Some may see Mumford & Sons as representing a
return to commercial viability for Americana/folk.
Babel was the fourth biggest selling album in the
U.S. in 2012, moving 1.4 million units.
“They’re one of my favorite bands ever,” said “Best
Country Album” winner Zac Brown (of the Zac
Brown Band) about Mumford & Sons. “It’s great
seeing real music getting the spotlight.”
While some may debate electronic dance music
(EDM) and its place in “real music” there’s no
denying the genre’s growth at the award’s show.
Sonny Moore, better known as Skrillex, swept the
traditional EDM categories, winning three awards
for “Remix Recording,” “Dance Recording” and
“Dance/Electronica Album.” The number two
grossing electronic DJ with revenue of $15 million
in 2012, Skrillex is just one manifestation of how
the industry has turned its attention from typically
pop-focused electronic contributions to “the scene
that came out of the underground,” said Moore.
“The difference [now] is the culture we come from
is what’s getting the limelight,” he later added.
That limelight is coming not only from the
Recording Academy, but from the business side as
well. Officials at the International Music Summit
recently noted that the EDM industry could be worth
over $4 billion annually, and current negotiations
for DJ residency deals in places like Las Vegas
suggest that figure could be much bigger as more
revenue is derived from live shows as opposed to
album or song sales.
While the awards seemed spread out across various
artists this year when compared to 2012, one
nominee who came away empty-handed was Chris
Brown. Polarizing because of his out-of-studio
antics, he lost out to brawl partner Frank Ocean in
the “Urban Contemporary Album” category, and
was later singled out on Twitter for failing to give
the winner a standing ovation with the rest of the
crowd.
If early indications are correct, it would also seem
as if CBS is another loser on the night. Last year’s
production was the second most-viewed show in
event history with 39 million tuning in, mainly
because of Whitney Houston’s death the night
before. Given the high bar set last year, it looks
nearly impossible to CBS to break that number.

[Forbes.com]

Can Swizz Beatz Match Dr. Dre’s Monster Legacy?

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Swizz Beatz once described himself as an “entrepreneur-slash-monster,” and that moniker has never been more fitting.

Yesterday the multihyphenate musician announced that he’d invested in Monster, the electronics outfit that originally manufactured Beats By Dr. Dre. Noel Lee, Monster’s chief, also named Swizz to the company’s advisory board.

“They built an empire, and my job will be to push the envelope–turn the lights of the castle up really bright and help Monster take its next big step forward,” said Swizz in a statement. Added Lee: “The products that we have planned are revolutionary in technology, sound, and style. We need the talents and reach of Swizz to help bring these products to life in the eyes of the consumer.”

In other words, Lee is hoping that Swizz will be the second coming of Dr. Dre. The hip-hop legend cofounded his eponymous headphone line with Interscope Records chief Jimmy Iovine and quickly developed a mutually-beneficial manufacturing arrangement with Monster. After gobbling up more than half of the $1 billion headphone market in the U.S.—and selling a chunk of equity to handset maker HTC, making Dr. Dre the world’s highest-paid musician—Beats declined to renew its deal with Lee last year.

The Head Monster has said there are no sour grapes. “Working with Dre and working with Jimmy was one of the best experiences of my life,” Lee told me at South By Southwest last year.

Dre’s departure still left a big hole. Monster’s collaborations with other artists including Earth, Wind & Fire (earbuds optimized for brass and percussion) and the estate of Miles Davis (headphones shaped like trumpets) were certainly innovative. Yet they didn’t match the explosive success of Dr. Dre’s eponymous product.

Can Swizz Beatz help Monster craft another Beats By Dre? That’s sort of like asking if Tim Cook can create the next iPod—possible, sure, but unlikely. Beats took off for many reasons, some of them having little to do with its namesake. Take, for instance, the host of other celebrity endorsers including Lady Gaga, Diddy and LeBron James.

Perhaps more importantly, Universal Music Group invested in Beats and lent its considerable muscle to promoting the headphones. In recent years, videos for just about every artist on the recording giant’s roster features Beats product placement.

Swizz and Monster do have a few advantages. The Bronx-born producer brings plenty of experience as a brand ambassador (he’s shilled for Reebok and Lotus in recent years). He’s also got a built-in publicity platform with 1.5 million Twitter followers, nearly three times as many as Dr. Dre. And there’s no reason that he, along with wife Alicia Keys, shouldn’t be able to recruit additional celebrity co-signs.

Equalling the feats of Beats By Dr. Dre may not be the most likely outcome of Swizz’s Monster agreement. Indeed, there are no immediate plans for a Swizz-branded headphone line. The company wouldn’t reveal how much he paid for his stake, or how much equity he received. But if he can help create something even half as successful as Beats, his investment in Monster—and Lee’s investment in him—will have been quite a wise one.

Regardless, diversifying his business interests through the deal with Monster fits the personal philosophy Swizz explained to me nearly five years ago when I first wrote about him for FORBES. He was 29 years old then, but he’s been living by the words he told me ever since.

“Some people are lucky to make history by having one goal,” he said. “I figure, if you have a bunch of goals and give each one you’re serious about a shot, you keep digging and digging until you can scrape something up. At the end of the day, I’m into making history.”

[Forbes.com]

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Actress Jessica Alba Leverages Fame For Entrepreneurial Success

j alba

0514_jessica-alba-pose_400x559-214x300In January, actress Jessica Alba was once again on the press circuit, meeting with magazines and daytime shows to talk about her work. But this time she wasn’t publicizing a movie premiere—she was promoting the launch of her new startup, The Honest Company.

Alba, 31, became an entrepreneur out of necessity. Pregnant with her first child in 2008, the actress read the book Healthy Child Healthy World by Christopher Gavigan and realized how difficult it would be for an average mom to keep her house toxin free. She teamed up with Gavigan and serial entrepreneur Brian Lee (LegalZoom and ShoeDazzle) and used her own money to start The Honest Company, a website that offers monthly deliveries of nontoxic diapers and cleaning products to new moms.

“My inspiration was really just being a mom and trying to look for the safest and healthiest products for my baby,” says Alba, mother of two daughters, a 3-year-old and a newborn, in an interview with Forbes.

Because eco-friendly products are often neutral or brown, Alba was also adamant that they offer beautiful design at an accessible price point: “I’m not a beige girl. I like colorful things.” A monthly supply of eco-friendly diapers in patterns like plaid, floral and skull-and-crossbones costs $79.99, which she insists is affordable for most parents.

In March, the company closed a $27 million Series A investment led by General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Institutional Venture Partners. Alba, who owns a significant stake, says she prefers building a business to just endorsing a product. “I’m big on data and statistics and hard facts,” says Alba. “This is my passion.”

She is part of a growing trend of celebrities leveraging stardom to get in on early-stage investments or launch their own businesses. Ashton Kutcher made smart investments in Skype, Spotify and Airnub, while Justin Bieber gained stakes in startups like Enflick and Tinychat and his girlfriend Selena Gomez put her money into mobile photo application Postcards on the Run. Meanwhile, Alba follows in the footsteps of leading ladies like Zooey Deschanel, who launched website Hello Giggles, and Bethenny Frankel, creator of SkinnyGirl products.

“It’s exciting and fun,” says Alba. “As tiring as it can be sometimes, it’s really cool to be able to sit here with these products. When we went to the factory where our bottles were being filled, seeing a pallet with The Honest Company hand soap—I know it’s so dorky, but—that was one of the best days of my life.”

Justin Timberlake And Jay-Z: A New Model For A New Music Industry

Early this morning, just seconds after the clock
struck midnight, hordes of Justin Timberlake and
Jay-Z fans all around the world put on a suit and tie.
Though both stars boast their own clothing lines,
last night’s activities weren’t the result of a new
formal sleepwear collaboration. The duo did,
however, debut something else: a new song
literally titled “Suit & Tie.” The track features
production by Timbaland, who crafted the sound
behind Timberlake’s last album and many of Jay-
Z’s greatest hits, and a guest verse by the rapper
advocating “tuxedos for no reason.”
The song itself—Timberlake’s breezy vocals atop a
swirly tickling of piano keys and occasional bursts
of brass and bass—might remind Jay-Z fans of the
rapper’s early collaborations with Pharrell Williams,
around the time he changed men’s fashion by
lyrically eschewing basketball jerseys in favor of
dress shirts.
Throughout “Suit & Tie,” though, Timberlake
repeats a refrain: “Let me show you a few things.”
The track, along with the impending debut of his
new album, The 20/20 Experience, does exactly
that—not just for menswear aficionados, but for the
music industry on the whole.
Timberlake released his last album, FutureSex/
LoveSounds, in 2006. Back then, most consumers
would go to their local bricks-and-mortar music
store to get it on CD. Technologically advanced
listeners might then rip the tracks to their iPods.
YouTube was in its infancy, and Spotify was years
from its U.S. debut. In that world, physical recorded
music was still perhaps the most crucial part of an
artist’s revenue stream.
“That was six or seven years ago,” says Alex
White, cofounder and CEO of music data provider
Next Big Sound. “It doesn’t feel like that long ago,
but everything has changed.”
In 2006, FutureSex/LoveSounds was the No. 5 best-
selling album, moving 2.4 million units. This year,
the No. 5 album was One Direction’s Up All Night,
which sold 1.3 million. Over that period, total U.S.
album sales have fallen from 588 million to 316
million. Many artists have taken a look at those
numbers and realized that forcing out an album
every year just isn’t the best use of their time—
musically or financially—and like his partner in
rhyme on “Suit & Tie,” Justin Timberlake appears to
be one of them.
Timberlake, of course, has plenty of other ways to
earn cash. He rakes in millions for his movie roles,
has a lucrative sideline moonlighting as a featured
artist on other musicians’ tracks, opened a line of
restaurants, and has even branched into the realm
of venture capital with investments in MySpace and
others. So why rush to release new music?
“I don’t want to put anything out that I feel like is
something I don’t love,” Timberlake said in a video
he released last week to tease his album. “You just
don’t get that every day. You have to wait for it.”
The new model for Timberlake and others: spend
the bulk of your time focusing on the myriad
business and artistic ventures available to savvy
musicians, then make one truly terrific album once
every five years or so—and tour it like a madman.
“It’s one thing that just seems to be a golden
thread through any bad times economically is this
ancient model of musician and audience,” says
Peter Spellman, Director of Berklee College of
Music’s Career Development Center and author of
Indie Business Power. “No matter what the
technology… it delivers an experience that you
can’t put into words. We all know what that’s like,
we feel that, and I think people still gravitate to
that.”
And no matter how infrequently an act records new
music, fans can appreciate the live experience
when it comes around. One need look no farther
than Timberlake’s collaborator on “Suit & Tie” for
an example. Jay-Z released an album every year
from 1996-2003 before taking a job as president of
Def Jam and then founding Roc Nation, a joint
venture with Live Nation.
Since abandoning the annual release schedule, Jay-
Z has put out just three solo albums in the past
decade but still manages to sell out arenas around
the world when he does tour. And thanks to his
other business ventures, he’s among music’s top
earners year after year—even when he’s not
releasing new material.
Now it seems Timberlake is following the same
model. The rest of the industry ought to take note.

7 Business Laws Of Justin Timberlake: Be A Rock Star In Your Career

Justin Timberlake is young, handsome and multi-
talented, but the success behind his 50-million sold
records, six Grammy Awards and four Emmys lies
as much in his brand management as it does in his
slick dance moves. For instance, the world was
abuzz with JT news yesterday as, on Twitter, he
promised a big reveal. And what was behind his
announcement? A commercial for new music,
which, on Sunday at midnight Pacific Standard
Time, will, once again, create buzz. How does Justin
Timberlake stay fresh and continue to dazzle while
so many of his peers fade away? And what can you
learn from the young star? Here simply, the seven
simple laws of Justin Timberlake, and how you can
apply his wisdom to increase your own sales.
1. Appearances matter. We’re not just talking
about fashionable haircuts and Prada suits, but
check out the production values on Timberlake’s
commercial and the slickness of his new site. Every
time you present to the world, it’s a reflection of
your company. Make sure all your promotional
material is spiffy and, when it’s time to meet
investors, look the part. You want to be the best in
the world? Own it. And it doesn’t have to cost a
million bucks.
2. Diversify. Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Beyonce
all released films in concert with their latest
records, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Justin
Timberlake not only appears in movies, sometimes,
like with The Social Network, garnering huge
acclaim, but he’s also a partner in MySpace. Use
your momentum to expand your portfolio,while
minimizing risk and increasing revenue streams.
For authors, it means speaking engagements. For
bankers, it means books and appearances on CNN.
And for businessmen it means smart investing.
Timberlake gets rich without doing a thing.
3. Collaborate, and share the praise. The
reason Justin Timberlake has remained current is
that he’s hired the best that money can buy.
Timbaland makes his music, which is like having
Google‘s Eric Schmidt design your website. And
Timberlake’s the first to acknowledge his
producer’s contributions. And why not? By
complementing your team, you’re really
complimenting yourself: look how smart you are to
hire such great people. Turn your team into stars.
4. Work the press. Every media organization in
the world carried a Timberlake story yesterday, and
for what? A 30-second commercial promising more
to come. Apple also does this beautifully. They
make news with every one of their launches. Never
waste an opportunity to draw publicity, even if the
announcement you’re making is simply: more
announcements to come.
5. Marry up. Another parallel between Justin
Timberlake and Justin Bieber, two of the last
decade’s richest performers, is how they both
increased their fame with equally famous partners.
For Timberlake, his marriage to Jessica Biel, right
before starting his album cycle, keeps him current
and fresh in people’s minds. Like Forbes‘
contributor Zack O’Malley Greenburg recently
pointed out in Empire State of Mind: when Pepsi
hires Beyonce, they don’t exactly also get her
partner Jay-Z . . . but it’s still more than booking
one star at a time.
6. Make ‘em wait. In ten years, Timberlake’s
released two albums. How can he survive with such
limited output? See rule number two, he’s getting
paid in a variety of ways. If you can keep your
output to a maximized minimum — do less, but get
more from the work that you do — it will increase
the value of your product. Create a cult and raise
prices: this way, it’s not only news when you do
something, it’s news that you’re even thinking of
going in this way.
7. Own your sector. If you’re making widgets,
make the best widget there is. And if you’re writing
pop songs, make sure they can compete with the
Rihannas of the world. There’s no use getting into
web marketing, e-commerce or the production of
pants if it’s not to be the very best there is. Set the
bar high for yourself: be BMW, be Coca-Cola, be
Forbes. Justin Timberlake doesn’t make music to
reach number 25 on Billboard. The only reason he
makes music — and you should start a business —
is to be number one.

Why Your Favorite Movie Won’t Get An Oscar Nomination.

The Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow
morning and despite the Academy’s best efforts, it
looks like the biggest films of the year will be
mostly shut out of competition. Don’t expect big
nominations for The Avengers, The Dark Knight
Rises or The Hunger Games.
Since 2008, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts
and Sciences has been playing with the formula for
Best Picture in the hopes of getting more popular
films nominated (and boosting viewership for the
Oscar ceremony which last year was watched by
fewer people than watched the Grammy Awards).
First they increased the number of nominated films
from five to ten. This year, to complicate things,
there could be as many as ten nominees or as few
as five. In order to qualify for a Best Picture nod, a
film has to be the top pick of at least 5% of the
Academy voters.
That means there’s room for a wild card. Our in-
house film expert, Mark Hughes, thinks that could
be Skyfall or The Hobbit (which would ruin the
premise of this post). I think Skyfall has a decent
chance of being a spoiler. It has a prestige director
in Sam Mendes, it’s earned almost universal praise
from critics and it’s the first Bond movie ever to
bring in $1 billion at the box office.
But I suspect we’re going to see a very blockbuster-
light list of nominations. The films that are getting
the most award buzz are Lincoln, Les Miserables
and Zero Dark Thirty. While Lincoln and Les Miz are
doing well at the box office (earning $144 million
and $172 million so far respectively), they aren’t
near the top earners of 2012. Zero Dark Thirty has
only been playing in a few theaters. It expands into
wide release this weekend.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing that big
blockbusters don’t get nominated. Films that earn
over $1 billion at the box office don’t really need
any more publicity or anything else to help boost
DVD revenue. Smaller films, like Zero Dark Thirty,
rely on that Oscar boost. Nominations focusing on
smaller films is good for the overall Hollywood
ecosystem, even if the people running the awards
would like to spice things up a bit.
The awards are scheduled for February 24th on
ABC. Seth MacFarlane is this year’s host.

13 Little Things You’re Doing to Sabotage Your Success

In an average week, I interact with over 500 people
in some business capacity. These people vary from
students and professors to venture capitalists and
entrepreneurs. Some I’ve just met. Others I’ve
known for years. Regardless of age, stage, or
profession, it constantly amazes me the little things
these very different people do to sabotage their
future success.
1. Grammar: This is not something to “LOL”
about. Misspellings, lack of capitalization, and
generally poor grammar say you’re uneducated,
inattentive to detail, or, frankly, just don’t care.
Poor grammar is like a giant fluorescent warning
sign that says: “Steer clear.” Please use spellcheck
tools, reread your note, and if it’s something
“important,” have others proof it, too.
2. Flaky McFlakerson: We all have our “off”
moments when crap comes up, but consistently
failing to show up or deliver quickly takes its toll.
Chances are, you’re either disorganized or a
megalomaniac. Either way, it’s a deal breaker. And
no, your constant string of excuses doesn’t help.
Just do what you said you would when you said
you’d do it.
3. Quick Sale: Nothing’s worse than getting slimed
at the cocktail party by the undercover used-car
salesman. As a general rule, never ask to get
before you give. Add value before you expect value
in return. And for goodness’ sake, please don’t
sneak-attack sell anyone.
4. Talking Crap: You said, “He’s so annoying the
way he _____.” I heard, “I’m sure I’ll find something
annoying about you and tell everyone about it.” You
said, “The last company we worked with was
terrible, oh, and the one before that, too. Just
awful.” I heard, “I’m really difficult to deal with, will
be a terrible partner, and will share my
misinformed opinions with everyone I meet.”
Unless there’s a material breach of ethics involved,
keep your trap shut.
5. Over-promising: Expectations matter. If you
promise me a miracle, I’ll expect it. If you promise
me a little, I’ll be happy with a little and delighted
with a little more. Being impressive is mostly about
being reasonable in your projections and hitting
them consistently.
6. Not My Fault: We’re human. Mistakes happen.
But ever noticed how some people always have a
scapegoat and even a backup scapegoat? The
finger is always pointing in the other direction.
Occasionally, another person might have played a
role. Most of the time, it’s your own fault. Own it.
7. Lack of Patience: I’ve found that nothing
worthwhile comes quickly or easily. Regardless of
your goals, they will take focus, hard work, and
plenty of time. Stop looking for the secret sauce or
the quick fix. There aren’t any.
8. Pretend Motives: Actions have a funny way of
exposing motives, particularly over time. You can
pretend you want to help, but if it’s not in your
heart, it will be obvious. Think deeply about why
you want something, and make sure you’re
transparent about it. Nothing is more off-putting
than thinly veiled grabs at money, fame, or power.
9. Without Intention: Each day is packed with
questions of how to spend your time, money,
emotions, and focus. Do you know why you do what
you do? I see lots of “ping pong people” bouncing
between distractions. Pick something meaningful to
accomplish and attack it. You’ll be amazed at what
you can do.
10. Overcommitting: You can’t juggle an endless
number of commitments. Every time you say
“yes,” you’re saying “no” to something else.
Eventually, things break down and blow up. Ask
yourself if the commitment in question will help
achieve your goals. If not, politely decline.
11. Complication: Even seemingly small choices
matter. Life is packed with small corners to be cut,
victimless crimes to be committed, and endless
opportunities for one-night stands. Suddenly, a life
that seemed so simple becomes complicated. But it
doesn’t have to be. Don’t fool yourself into
believing that this one time is different, because
it’s not.
12. Subtraction by Addition: When things get
hard, the inclination is to do more. Work more
hours. Demand more from others. In the short term,
it feels great. Your brain rewards you for “doing
more.” But when you look back, you’ll find you
accomplished less. Instead, focus on addition by
subtraction. Spend more time thinking, and less
time doing. Be still. Be alone. Be thoughtful.
13. B.S.: Most, it seems, have a flair for the
dramatic. The temperature is always five degrees
warmer or cooler than the forecast. Employee
count, revenue, or profits are a multiple of reality.
As someone who fights this urge, I can tell you it’s
wildly unhealthy and quickly destroys trust. Just be
honest and confident. Stop comparing yourself, and
be grateful for whatever you actually have.
Confession time: I’m sensitive because I’ve made
each of these mistakes. They’re easy to make — and even easier to keep making. Being aware has helped me, and I hope it helps you, too.

How the Cloud and Big Data Are Changing Entertainment

From Amazon to Wal-Mart, companies are carving up the fast-growing market for direct digital delivery of movies to the living room.
It’s a classic case of the disruptive entrants and a
strategic inflexion point: New technology threatens
the status quo, as streaming video propelled
through the cloud by big data takes on the DVD and
Blu-ray. Discs are a venerable golden goose egg for
studios, which last year generated some $18 billion
in sales and rentals.
The strategic technological shifts that are driving
this business change are our old friends: cloud
computing and big data.
Change is a Constant
With DVD sales declining and streaming services
growing, it’s already clear who’s going to be the
loser of this high-tech Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
But the sub-plots are tantalizing: Hollywood studios
are hell-bent on retaining profits from movies after
they leave the theater, while technology companies
and online retailers jockey for supremacy in movie
streaming.
To say that movie streaming has been a hit would
be an understatement. According to Dan Cryan,
senior director of digital media for market research
firm IHS, “We’ve hit the point this year where by
some measures, people are watching more movies
online than physical discs.”
Like the music CD before it, the DVD is under siege
—and for a similar reason. Just as iTunes lets you
download individual songs rather than entire CDs,
streaming services, cable and satellite companies
now allow customers to rent movies as well as buy
them.
With rentals accounting for the vast majority of
streaming business, Hollywood so far doesn’t face
a direct threat to DVDs. Yet there is an indirect
threat: Every movie rented can mean one fewer
DVD bought.
And the growth of streaming has irreparably
damaged the traditional channels for DVD
distribution, driving video rental stores out of
business, and reducing shelf space for DVD sales.
(Ironically, Dish Network scooped up the failing
Blockbuster video store franchise and now streams
its movies to Dish subscribers.)
What really caused the studios to prick up their ears
was the emergence of cloud-based streaming
services from Amazon and Wal-Mart’s Vudu, which
rent and sell movies soon after they appear on
DVD. Moreover, both of those services are readily
available via online menus of newer TVs and Blu-
ray players, making it easy to find, pay for and
view a movie without getting off the couch.
The growth of movie streaming could really kick
into high gear if Apple gets into the integrated TV
game. Right now, you can buy or rent a movie from
the iTunes cloud, but not directly to your TV.
Today’s smart TV user-experience is generally
pretty poor, which is why Apple is rumored to be
developing an Apple HDTV.
But What Do I Want to Watch?
Whether a consumer is browsing the shelves of a
traditional video rental store or choosing a movie
from the cloud, discoverability is a huge user
challenge.
That’s why many of the streaming services are
investing in big-data analytics, to help give
consumers suggestions of what movies they might
want to watch. Amazon has long been the poster
child for this type of feature, with its People who
bought X also bought Y schtick.
Hollywood is determined not to follow the music
industry down the path of inertia. The labels’ failure
to counter the move to digital downloads led to lost
opportunities and a race to catch up to market
realities. The big movie studios already have
created new revenue models based on licensing
agreements, and they’re taking advantage of the
competition among streaming services to get the
most lucrative deals possible.
At the same time, several big studios are trying to
beat the streamers at their own game. EPIX, the
cable channel backed by Paramount, Lionsgate and
MGM, offers streaming movies over Internet-
connected TVs. And in an attempt to steer
consumers away from movie rentals and back to
DVDs, most big studios have banded together to
support UltraViolet, which offers a cloud-based
copy of certain discs, and lets anyone move their
discs to the cloud for a couple of bucks each.
In the long run, however, you can always count on
DVDs for beverage coasters.

Happy birthday Blue Ivy! Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s daughter turns 1 years old

Blue Ivy Carter celebrates her 1st birthday today,
and she will be doing so in style.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since pop icon
Beyoncé and her rapper husband Jay-Z welcomed
baby daughter Blue Ivy into their luxurious world.
Shortly after her birth, Jay-Z released the song
“Glory,” dedicated to his first daughter.
Blue Ivy’s all-star parents also topped Forbes
Magazine’s 2012 ‘Highest-Paid Celebrity Couples’
list.
Having already received a $1 million a year luxury
nursery in the basement of the Barclays Center
from her parents, Blue Ivy’s 1st birthday will no
doubt be a big one, especially with friends and
relatives that include: Solange Knowles, Kanye
West, Rihanna, and Kelly Rowland.
Jay-Z and Beyoncé have been careful to shield Blue
Ivy from paparazzi in 2012, but we’ve put together
a short slideshow of Blue Ivy’s first year.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Baby Has Company: 5 Other Big Celebrity Babies Due in 2013

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We’re ready to start keeping up with Kimye’s baby!
Yep, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are expecting their first child, and the ecstatic daddy-to-be spilled the happy news onstage Sunday night during his show in Atlantic City. (Indeed, in rare display of unbridled joy, Yeezy was all smiles.)

Prince William and Kate Middleton: It’s literally the crown jewel of preggo news! After months of breathless, hyped, manic speculation, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced that they will be producing an heir for the monarchy. Of course, it wasn’t an easy time for Kate, whose pregnancy reveal was marked by acute bouts of morning sickness as well as the tragic death of her hospital nurse following a prank call by Australian DJs. Still, the duchess seems to be getting back to good health and good spirits: In mid-December, she made her first appearance since the baby news broke, attending the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Awards in London.

They’re not only ones getting ready to ring in 2013 with loads of excitement: Here are five other celeb couples eagerly anticipating their own little bundles of joy next year.
Let the baby-bumpin’ countdown begin!

Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson: Simpson must really love this whole mommy thing: Just seven months after she and her beau welcomed their first child, daughter Maxwell, rumors began swirling that the star could be expecting baby No. 2. After confirming the news, she soon took to Twitter to show off both her baby bump and some serious baby-mama cleavage.

Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Channing Tatum: Shall we call this the sexiest baby bump alive? The reigning Sexiest Man Alive and his stunning ladylove dropped the news earlier this month that they’re expecting their first child, who’ll inherit some truly enviable genes. Channing is more than ready to welcome their bundle of joy: Shortly before the big reveal, Channing announced that he’ll be taking a break from acting, presumably so he can devote ample time to his latest role as daddy.

Shakira and Gerard Piqué: The She Wolf is having a cub! The songbird and her soccer-star beau are gearing up for the arrival of their firstborn—and in October, the proud mama-to-be revealed that they’re having a boy. Not only that, she also gave the world a first look when she posted a sonogram of her bun in the oven. You can’t say the pregnancy has been short on excitement, though: Last week, word spread like wildfire that the pop star had given birth—but it all turned out to be part of a cheeky hoax cooked up by none other than the baby daddy himself.

. Holly Madison and Pasquale Rotella: From Playboy Playmate to kiddie playtime! The erstwhile pinup gal-turned-Girls Next Door star confirmed in August that she and her boyfriend have a little one on the way—and Rotella might have gotten himself in a bit of hot water after he prematurely revealed the baby’s gender while texting a twitpic of the sonogram. (Ta-da! Its a girl!) But that hasn’t stopped Holly from having fun with her pregnancy: Two months after announcing she was on the baby way, the proud mom-to-be was snapped dressed as Sleeping Beauty at a Halloween party in Disneyland. Yep, motherhood’s quite the fairy tale for the blond beauty.

NEWS/Robert Pattinson vs. Ian Somerhalder: E!’s Celeb of the Year Is..

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Drumroll, please! Sixty-four stars, five weeks of intense voting and shocking eliminations and one wild card round later: E!’s Celeb of the Year is Robert Pattinson. Again.
Which means that the Twilight heartthrob has officially won the tournament three years in a row (in 2009 he came in second place, losing to…Adam Lambert?!).
For his hat trick, R.Pattz can thank his legions of dedicated fans, who endlessly voted to get him to the top spot with the fervor of, well, a Twi-hard.
Sorry ’bout it, Ian Somerhalder (we still love you). So what justifies Mr. Edward Cullen’s victory this year?
Take a look back at the top 10 biggest stories of 2012
Let us count the ways: Well, there were the movies. He got down and dirty in Bel Ami (though better we forget about that one). He wowed in Cosmopolis and dominated Cannes with its debut. And then there was a little picture called The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. You may have caught it?
And there was the controversy—what would a year in the life of Robsten be without it?! 2012 kicked off with the perennially “are they or aren’t they?” that comes with any franchise coupledom. Then the summer happened, and Kristen Stewart and her Snow White and the Huntman director Rupert Sanders were involved little cheating scandal. But Robsten remains unbroken. Yay!
And the hair? Perfect as ever.
Guy gone wild! R.Pattz was offerred $100,000 to do…what?!
But Twilight is over now so there’s no chance Rob could win again next year, right?
He’s got a handful of films in the pipeline: The Rover (an Australian western), Queen of the Desert (where he’ll play Laurence of Arabia) and Maps to the Stars (which will reunite him with director David Cronenberg). Just to name a few.
And we can’t even begin to predict what will happen next with K.Stew.
On second thought, Rob might just keep winning until the end of time.

Robert Pattinson to be paid $12 million to be the new face of Dior.

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Hot on the heels of Brad Pitt’s $7 million deal to become the first male face of Chanel No:5, Dior has reportedly signed a deal to pay Robert Pattinson $12 million to be the new face of the brand. While Pattinson doesn’t seem like the most traditional choice for the high fashion brand, a look back at his many edgy red carpet looks from a plum colored suit to a powder blue one will explain this partnership. The three year deal, is one of the biggest endorsements in the actor’s career, the deal will put him on par with his on again, off again girlfriend Kristen Stewart, who is the face of Balenciaga’s “Florabotanica.” The lead actor from Twilight is not only a heartthrob but also a well accomplished actor, known for his more progressive roles. He will lend an element of youth and edginess to the high fashion brand.