Tag Archives: Kevin Durant

Celebrity Cyber Report – Oprah Winfrey, Akon,

Apple, making a push into the streaming television market, scored a major coup by signing Oprah Winfrey to a multi-year deal to produce streaming content. The Wall Street Journal reported that Winfrey is expected to become part of Apple’s billion dollar push into direct-to-consumer video streaming.  Although what Oprah will produce has not yet been determined the programming is expected to debut in 2019.  

Apple stated to Reuters, “Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.”

Apple is in stiff competition with streaming giants Netflix and Amazon to produce original streaming content. Apple has signed other big name celebrities including Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Octavia Spencer and Kevin Durant to produce shows for their platform.

Even with this huge deal Apple is in hardball competition with Netflix and Amazon. Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama signed a deal to produce content for Netflix. Netflix and Amazon have both invested heavily in their streaming content by spending $6.3 and $4.5 respectively in 2017 alone.  

Akon

Singer Akon (Courtesy Dagency)

Singer Akon is jumping into the cryptocurrency game. The singer announced at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity  the launch ofAkoin” to finance his “Akon Crypto City,” a 100 percent crypto-based city in Africa.

According to the Page Six website Akon said  “I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people, and brings the security back into the currency system, and also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves, and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down.”

According to the Akoin website Akon Crypto City is being developed in African on land donated by the President of Senegal. The city will be modeled on the fictional country of Wakanda from the movie “Black Panther.” According to Akon the new city will offer everything any normal city would including homes, retail businesses, parks, universities and schools.

The singer, who is of Senegal-descent, has moved his career efforts to giving back to African communities in recent years. In 2015 Akon  launched Akon Lighting Africa in an effort to solve chronic shortages of electricity in African nations.

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Mo’Nique, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Kevin Durant

Oscar Winner Mo’Nique

Mo’Nique

Comedienne and actress Mo’Nique has called for a boycott against Netflix. According to the Oscar winning actress the streaming television service is guilty of gender and race-based pay inequities. Mo’Nique said she was offered $500,000 for a comedy special where white comedienne Amy Schumer was offered $11 million. Black comedian Dave Chappelle received $20 million for his three comedy specials . Mo’Nique said she challenged Netflix on the gap, but received contradictory answers. Mo’Nique said se was told by Netflix that  “we don’t go off resumés” when justifying her pay. But then  it reportedly defended Schumer’s revenue by citing her experience.

Mo’Nique also learned that she was not the only black female comedienne who may have been short changed by Netflix. According to a tweet from fellow comedienne Wanda Sykes Netflix offered her “less than half” of that $500,000 for a Netflix special. Mo’Nique hasn’t objected to the compensation Netflix offered other performers but is asking why the figures for her and Sykes were so much lower.

 

Jada Pinkett-Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith

Three generations of actress Jada Pinkett-Smith‘s family will join Facebook for a talk show that deals with social issues. Smith, her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris will come together to discuss their individual perspectives on various topics. According to Deadline, the inter-generational talk show will be executive produced by Pinkett-Smith along with Ellen Rakieten and Miguel Melendez. EntitledRed Table Talks the show was originally streamed in 2012 on the YouTube channel. 

 

NBA All Star Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

NBA superstar Kevin Durant is joining forces with YouTube to expand its sports content offerings. Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman have agreed to develop programming based on Durant and his fellow professional athletes under the umbrella of their Thirty Five Media video business.

After moving to the Bay Area to play for the Golden State Warriors Durant became interested in tech investments. He is not alone, teammate Andre Iguodala is another big tech investor. According to Kleiman, Durant became interested in YouTube after meeting YouTube executive Neal Mohan at the star’s 28th birthday party.

Durant’s YouTube channel is a fan favorite giving them documentary-style productions offering peeks into the life of an all-star professional basketball player. It also gives players a direct venue to interact with fans.  In less than a year, Durant’s channel has scored more than of 21 million views.

Durant told TechCrunch, “Outside of the incredible relationship that we’ve developed with the team at YouTube it’s a huge destination for video content where sports fans, including myself, spend a lot of time, and we really wanted to create content where fans are most likely to find and engage with it.”

Celebrity Cyber Report – JayZ, Kevin Durant

JayZ

Rapper/entreprenuer/business mogul JayZ is launching a venture capital fund. The brother has the Midas touch and knows how to use it. In 2011 the husband of Beyonce invested in Uber and that blew up. The ride company is worth 200 times what was when he invested. He launched RocaWear. BOOM! That blew up. He purchased Tidal and jumped into the streaming media game. He is also invested in several alcohol beverage brands. Put simply this black man knows where to put money to make money.

JayZ and longtime friend and business partner and RocNation co-founder Jay Brown are hooking up withPrimary Venture Partners and GlassBridge Asset Management to form the new firm, Arrive. Primary acting as advisor to guide JayZ’s investments, and GlassBridge will provide business infrastructure support. JayZ is currently looking for the right mind to lead the fund.

JayZ  and RocNation have an impressive track record when it come to investing. Check it out.

  • Stance The Jays’ Roc Nation invested $6 million in the premium sock company Stance. It’s gone on to raise a total of $116 million from top Silicon Valley investors.
  • Uber Jay Z invested when the company was valued at just $300 million. Now Uber is valued at $62.5 billion.
  • JetSmarter JayZ personally invested in JetSmarter’s in 2014 and 2016. The “Uber for private jets” startup is hoping people will pay huge upfront membership fees for free luxury flights later.
  • DevialetRocNation’s most recent investments is with high-end french speaker maker Devialet. It’s too early to tell but Devialet speakers get rave reviews and are sold at Apple stores.

But not all has been rosy for the rapper. Investing is a gamble and sometime you lose. JayZ dropped money on Viddy/Supernova an “Instagram for video” concept in 2012 before Instagram became the Instagram for video. The company failed, was re-branded as Supernova, and was sold. No profit there.  RocNation invested in BlackJet a private jet startup in 2012. BlackJet crashed taking JayZ’s money with it.

JayZ and RocNation are expected to focus on seed-stage funding of tech startups.

NBA All Star Kevin Durant

Last summer the Golden Sate Warriors landed the most sought after NBA baller, probably in the history of the game, Kevin Durant. The Golden State is the home of Silicon Valley, the home of high tech gold. Making himself at home Durant and his agent Richard Kleiman unveiled a start-up of their own, the Durant Company, with an expanding portfolio of investments in tech companies like Postmates and Acorns. The portfolio also holds investments in hotels, restaurants, film and television development. Durant is  also investing with Ronald Conway, one of Silicon Valley’s top angel investors and consulting with Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’s widow, on his own charity foundation.

Durant may have caught the tech investment bug from his teammate Andre Iguodala, who is an investor in Twitter, Facebook and Tesla. By the way Durant drives a black Model S Tesla.

See also: Durant Puts His Money and Celebrity Behind Postmates.