Hey! Today’s update is breaks down the Oscars attempts to integrate hip-hop and whether it makes a difference. I also included a collection of articles on J.Lo’s touring deal, Bruno Mars movie deal, and more.
Thanks to everyone who has start referring their colleagues! Go to trapital.co/referrals to get started.
Jennifer Lopez & Live Nation Partner in Multi-Year Touring Deal: Exclusive (Justino Aguila / Billboard)
Just days after her history-making Super Bowl LIV performance seen by a global audience of 100 million, Jennifer Lopez has signed a major multi-year touring deal with Live Nation, Billboard has learned exclusively.
“Jennifer Lopez has given fans spectacular live performances for decades through sold out tour dates and her Las Vegas residencies,” said Brad Wavra, senior vice president touring, Live Nation.
NOTE – last week I wrote about my issues with the Super Bowl Halftime Show “Bump.” This is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s safe to assume that a) J. Lo’s performance helped influence this deal, and b) this deal is far more valuable than an 1100% week over week streaming bumps that often get reported after these shows.
Disney Makes Bruno Mars Deal; Platinum-Selling Singer Will Star In, Produce Music-Driven Theatrical Film (Mike Fleming Jr / Deadline)
After months of discussion, Disney has set a deal with Bruno Mars. The studio will develop a music-themed theatrical narrative feature that Mars will star in and produce. The plot is being kept under wraps, but I’m told that it will consist of mostly original music that he will create and perform.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s World Tour Series Gets $200 Million Sponsor (Taylor Mims / Billboard)
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc. and partner Apollo World Touring have announced Australian renewable energy and fuel company AgBioEn as their first sponsor for their global new multi-genre event series World Tour.
Jay-Z’s Tidal Lost $37 Million In 2018 — More Than 100,000 Subscribers Jumped Ship (Marsha Silva / Digital Music News)
The music streaming service’s overall revenue grew by more than 25 percent from 2017 to nearly $150 million, according to a filing with UK governmental agency Companies House. However, 2017’s U.S. earnings were about $71.5 million, whereas American subscribers’ payments totaled $57.4 million in 2018—a loss of $14.1 million and, in turn, at least 100,000 subscribers.
Whoa: Warner Music Group is Going Public Again (Tim Ingham / Music Business Worldwide)
This won’t be the first time that WMG goes public: the firm traded on the New York Stock Exchange before becoming a private entity in 2011, when Len Blavatnik and his Access Industries bought the company for $3.3bn…
Why? Try the fact that WMG rival Universal Music Group recently locked in a whopping company valuation in excess of $33bn thanks to its agreement to sell 10% of its company to a Tencent-led consortium. Blavatnik must know that, in comparative terms, WMG is now worth many multiples of that $3.3bn he paid nine years ago.
Hip-Hop Can Only Help the Oscars So Much
ABC and The Academy weren’t shy about their desires to make the Oscars seem more relatable. They’ve made several attempts over the years, but yesterday was a true kitchen sink moment.
Janelle Monae’s opening act represented several “popular” movies. Chris Rock came back to give yet another slew of #OscarsSoWhite jokes. Eminem randomly performed his 2002 Oscar-winning song “Lose Yourself.” Utkarsh Ambudkar pulled a Skillz and did a mid-show rap to recap the awards given. And to top it all off, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith brought his First Take, talking heads analysis to the show’s post-game recap. It was the mashup no one asked for, no one needed, but makes sense in the context of the Oscars’ goals.
For the past decade, the Oscars has wanted to seem more relatable with the “in” culture. The show lost one-third of its viewership since 2014. And while most broadcast programming has suffered a similar decline in the digital streaming and social media era, these broadcasts look inward to solve their challenges. Hip-hop is popular culture. That won’t stop anytime soon. According to Forbes, and contrary to common beliefs, Gen Z is much more likely to tune in to the Oscars than millennials, Baby Boomers, or Gen X.
The actual Oscars show was still a mess and felt off-balance, but it accomplished its mission. The Slim Shady performance was the top social moment from the show. It was a surprise guaranteed to yield strong reactions —one way or another—from the audience. Before the show, the producers could have nearly guaranteed that Martin Scorsese’s reaction to Eminem’s performance would be a GIF-able moment. (I could hear Marty in my head watching “Lose Yourself” and saying this isn’t cinema. Or Billie Eilish’s reaction to anything. These subtleties drive interest over time.
Despite these attempts, the Oscars still face two challenges in achieving its goals of relatability increasing viewership, interest, and money for ABC.
First, GIF-able moments and social media commentary are far more valuable with on-demand content or ticketed experiences. Clips of Joaquin Phoenix dancing on the “Joker steps” drove more people to buy tickets for the movie. Memes from Bird Box got more people to watch the Netflix movie. But it’s tough to monetize Eminem’s surprise performance. Sure, people may tune in who weren’t planning to already, but there’s a finite time horizon. The live broadcast ends in a few hours, and content isn’t evergreen.
It’s similar to a Super Bowl matchup. A close game in the 4th quarter may draw people in for the last 30 minutes, but it’s rarely enough to make a sizable impact. The audience who already planned to watch is the one that’s most likely to tune in.
Second, The Oscars is in less control of its brand than most other businesses. Most brands focus on the perception their customers have and the internal attempts to shape customer’s perception. The Oscars are concerned about those two things AND the elephant in the room—the 8,000+ member voting Academy that can sway the brand’s identity with the movies selected to win.
The Academy would never say this, but the programming is geared toward the audience that went wild on Twitter for Bong Joon-ho and Parasite’s victories. It wants the audience that made fun of The Shape of Water, loved that Get Out won a screenplay Oscar*,* thinks Beyonce should have beat both Adele and Taylor Swift for the Grammy’s Album of the Year, and so on. Next year, the Oscars could get Three 6 Mafia to do “Hard Out Here for a Pimp” and Terrance Howard to do “Whoop That Trick” from Hustle & Flow. It would dominate Black Twitter, and people would go wild! But if a movie like Green Book wins that same year, all that engagement goes out the window.