Tag Archives: Warner Bros.

Celebrity Cyber Report – Barry Jenkins, Prince

Barry Jenkins

Barry Jenkins, director of the Academy Award winning film “Moonlight” has signed a deal with Amazon. Jenkins will write and direct a dramatic series based on the best selling book “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. The streaming television series will follow the life of a young escaped slave named Cora.

Jenkins was a relative unknown until he directed “Moonlight.” His work includes the film “Medicine for Melancholy.” He directed one episode of the Netflix series “Dead White People“, and one episode of Futurestates on PBS

If you follow the Oscars you will remember that “Moonlight” was at the center of an onstage debacle at the Oscars.  The award for Best Picture was mistakenly given to the film “La La Land“. The mistake was quickly corrected and the statuette was handed over on stage. Moonlight also won for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor.

Jenkins’ Pastel Productions will executive produce the series in cooperation  with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment. Pitt and Plan B also produced “Moonlight.”

Jenkins praised the partnership with Amazon saying the streaming service’s “reference for storytelling and freeness of form” as being “wholly in line with our vision.”

Prince

Prince is reborn online. His Royal Purpleness had a rocky relationship with the Internet and his music was rarely found online. But since his tragic death Prince’s music has returned to online streaming.

Prince’s music hasn’t been on Spotify  or any music streaming service for years. Prince fans can still buy it on iTunes,  but its availability on Apple Music is very limited. 

Prince was always very protective of his work and felt the Internet cheated artists of their true value. He removed his music a from the major streaming services, with the exception of  JayZ’s Tidal. But with his death things are changing. The Purple One is back.

Prince’s albums and compilation albums from Warner Bros., 27 of them, have returned to to streaming sites. Albums now available include some his most popular including “For You”, “Prince”, “Dirty Mind”, “Controversy”, “1999″, “Purple Rain”, and others.

Prince, the man is no longer with us. But Prince the artist lives on and continues to produce music. CEO of Warner Bros. Records, Cameron Strang  said in a statement that the company is “deeply aware of our responsibility to safeguard and nurture his incredible legacy.” Warner Bros. is planning to release a re-mastered edition of Purple Rain. In addition the company is also working on two albums of Prince’s unreleased music,  and two live concert films scheduled for relaese early this summer.  Prince has an agreement with Warner Bros. to license his pre-1996 music releases. 

Prince’s music catalog, including unheard rare releases, landed on the streaming services after the Grammy’s. You can hear his mighty Purple legacy on streaming music services, including Apple Music, Amazon Unlimited, Deezer, Google Play, Pandora and Spotify.

Celebrity Cyber Report – Jay-Z, Dave Chappelle, LeBron James

LeBron James Uninterrupted & Unstoppable

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LeBron James

Pro athletes will tell you nothing is more frustrating than seeing snippets of an answer to a question in the newspapers that end up being misleading or out of context . Its a major issued between athletes and sport reporters.

That’s all about to change thanks to NBA star LeBron James. James is launching a new social media platform named LeBron James’ Uninterrupted.  The platform will allow sports stars to speak out unfiltered and uninterrupted.

Sports stars have transcended beyond just athletes to become celebrities with commercials, endorsement deals and even television and movie roles. Warner Bros. and Turner Sports have seen this transition and decided to invest $15.8 million in James’ platform. According to the Hollywood Reporter the idea was originally financed by James himself along with his manager Maverick Carter. The new money from Turner and Warner Bros. help will expand content, focus on big names in sports and expand to mobile, web, and social media platforms, and even to TV and film.

LeBron told the Hollywood Reporter “It’s giving athletes an opportunity to have a platform where they can speak about any issue. They don’t have to wait to be in front of a camera.”

Already Uninterrupted has been used by athletes to speak out. New England Patriot tight end Rob Gronkowski updated his fans about his recent injury. Other athletes that have used the platform include Ronda Rousey and Serena Williams.

James has an already impressive entertainment presence. He has appeared in Amy Schumer’s summer hit Trainwreck and he and Carter have a partnership with Warner Bros. through their company Spring Hill Entertainment.

The partnership with Warner Bros. is impressive. Together the two companies are slated to create content across multiple platforms including the web, documentary and feature films and scripted and reality television. LeBron’s entertainment venture has an expanding project portfolio besides the Uninterrupted platform. This includes Disney XD’s inspirational series Becoming, the Starz’ breakout scripted comedy Survivor’s Remorse and an upcoming prime-time game show for NBC.

Another young black man without an advanced education making big business moves.

Jay-Z & Tidal Music

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Jay-Z

Hip-Hop mogul Jay-Z has announced the hiring of a new CEO for his Tidal music streaming service. Starting in January Jeff Toig, a streaming music veteran will take over the reins of Tidal Music. Toig’s resume includes positions as chief business officer at Soundcloud and a founding role in Cricket Wireless’ streaming app Muve Music.

Jay-Z refuses to give in to the constant rumors and so-called expert analysis that predict that Tidal is dead or dying. Among the rumors is hints of a partnership with Samsung but nothing has been confirmed.  This is the third CEO in just over six months at Tidal. With a new CEO Jay-Z is hoping the veteran executive can spark new life in the artist owned venture.

What Jay-Z is doing is trying to do is compete in a highly competitive space with Apple Music, Spotify and other more established music streaming services. 

But the real interesting fact of this story is that a young black man educated on the streets of Brooklyn just hired a Harvard Business School graduate  to run one of his many business ventures! The world is changing.

Dave Chappelle & Yondr

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Dave Chappelle

Comedian Dave Chappelle, like many performers, have become fed up with the presence of cell phones at their performances. Because of the steady advancements in technology many performances are being recorded and shared on YouTube and other websites. Performers are also fed up with the distraction of phones ringing during performances.

 Chappelle has joined forced with the tech start-up Yondr to shut down cellphone users during his performances. Yondr makes cellphone cases that prevents people from using their cellphones inside the venue where he will be performing. The phone case locks once it enters a defined area. If the user wishes to use the phone they must leave the area causing the case to unlock.

Chappelle is booked to perform 13 sold-out shows at Thalia Hall in Chicago beginning on December 3rd. People attending the show will have to place their phones inside of Yondr’s smartphone sleeves before entering the venue.