Spears vs. Carey: Who will be a better judge of voice talent?

Article submitted by www.iclimber.com

Mariah Carey has just signed a deal to become the next judge on “American Idol,” expecting a paycheck of reportedly $18 million. Fellow pop star Britney Spears will reportedly be receiving $15 million for her talent judging skills on “The X Factor.” While we know which star is getting the bigger paycheck, the more important question remains: Which diva will do a better job?

It’s hard to say. Both stars have many things in common; they’ve earned multi-platinum hits, they have dedicated fans, and they both enjoy international fame. They also share a reputation for “loopy behavior,” according to FoxNews.com.

When it comes to Spears, the opinions are mixed. Editor of bsideblog.com, Ben Mandelker, doesn’t think Spears will be interesting to watch. He told FoxNews.com that although Spears has a reputation for loopy behavior, she might not say anything Bizarre. Mandelker thinks she will most likely be given a list of “appropriate responses” that she can or can’t say, turning her into a “robot,” instead of a “loopy” judge. However, not everyone thinks she will be boring to watch. “American Idol” expert Richard Rushfield told FoxNews.com that he is “waiting to see what Britney does,” implying she might have some wiggle room to display her wild behavior.

When it comes to Carey, Mandelker thinks she has the potential to be an “insightful judge,” as long as she is honest with the contestants. Editor of mjsbigblog.com told the news outlet that Carey will be good for the show if she is a “little nutty,” replacing what people loved about Paula Abdul.

Big Reputation Management Problems for Celebrities

Article submitted by www.iclimber.com

Halle Berry, Eva Mendes, and Jessica Biel are among some A-list celebs getting disheartening news about their online rankings: they have all made it to the top cadre of McAfee’s list of Most Dangerous Celebrities to Search for Online. Twenty-two-year-old Emma Watson, famous for her portrayal of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies has the singular (dis)honor of being the chart-topper in this most disagreeable instance.

Nobody wants to be passed up for a project just because they don’t look like a safe bet. Whether it’s on account of going through real personal issues or simply unfounded bad publicity, you can do something to protect your name online — as well as your employment prospects.

How Celebrities Can Improve their Online Reputation:

  • Set up multiple sites with your name in the domain like CelebrityName.com; make sure each site is different from the others so that they’re not flagged down by duplicate content filters
  • Set up social media profiles to become active on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the like.  (Note, our sister company iClimber offers mass social profile creation services.)
  • Work with an online reputation management company to get help developing and managing the content on your sites and social media accounts.
  • Taken together, all the points above can help push down negative sites on search results for your name

Is the Vilification of Paparazzi Justified?

Written by: Omar Amanat

Summary: Paparazzi are undoubtedly hated by the community, but they also pay an important role in modern culture.

The much-disdained paparazzi are some of the most inconsiderate and selfish individuals to ever work in the journalism industry. But, is it fair for the people to verbally assault them as much as they do?

The Term “Paparazzi”

Paparazzi was coined in the 1960 Federico Fellini film “La Dolce Vita”. One of the characters that appeared in the movie was named “Parazzo”, which by definition is an Italian word that’s used to describe the irritating buzzing sound made by a mosquito – the word in itself is pejorative.

Now, most of these photographers are stereotyped as being intrustive and physically aggressive to celebrities. You see it everywhere. As long as there is a celebrity spotting, there are bound to be dozens of paparazzi littering the streets. Why? Because people want to see the latest in their favorite movie and television stars.

Legitimate Paparazzi?

There are two types of photographers that cover today’s modern culture, red carpet photographers and paparazzi. The main disparity between the two is that red carpet photographers are credentialed and formally invited to shoot events. Paparazzi, on the other hand, aren’t invited and tend to follow celebrities wherever they are without consent. Another major difference between the two is red carpet photographers maintain a respectful distance as opposed to the intrusive nature of paparazzi – they don’t care what happens, as long as they get a story out of it.

The Role of Magazines

If people didn’t read magazines or didn’t care about celebrities, the paparazzi might not even have existed in the first place. But, in today’s culture that wants the latest tabloid on meltdowns, divorces, and other personal events, it’s undoubtedly a hit. If you asked any paparazzi, they’d tell you if you don’t like it, don’t read the magazines. In many cases this is true, but it doesn’t give them a pass to continue their reckless abandonment of dignity.

The Importance of Music in Our Society

Art and music are basic human activities. Humankind can not really function without art and music. As humans we always strive to create things be they small or big. Also as humans we strive to create sound or get involved with sound in some way. People have always found meaning in music by playing, creating, listening to its emotions and to the challenges that it poses… Music, classical music in particular, has immense value for our society, whether it is known explicitly or not.It is however known worldwide that there is still a certain stigma that is attached to music by some people, it is not seen as a priority. Many people still believe for instance that classical music is for the rich, the old, or the educated. Even worse, the pretentiousness and elitism that some artists exhibit is amplified by television shows, commercials, plays, books, this distances musicians from society. While some of this stereotype may be near the truth, as with nearly any stereotype, it is not entirely true. Despite the influence that music has on society, the majority decide that music is not for them, simply because they believe it has no relevance. People need to believe that everyone can find enjoyment in music.The most common way one could involve himself or herself with music is by listening to or attending a concert. This is an experience that people can and do enjoy. It is also important because a concert venue creates a unique experience one can hardly find in any other place. Where else can one sit with other people and enjoy music in silence when there are no other distractions? There are so many things in music to which one can listen and bring attention. It is not only enjoyable but it stimulates and tickles the mind. One can call one’s attention to the melodies or to the themes, the harmony, the relaxing rhythms, the colour of the sounds, how the sounds are produced and how they all relate to each other, while trying to figure out how the composer contrived the piece. Classical music is not only pleasing to the ear and to the mind but it is also nurturing to the soul. It has been said that music has emotional value. Music affects one’s mood as it has many characteristics. Music in most cases makes people feel good and calm as well as evoking other emotional responses. It is the emotional response that draws most people to experience music. With classical music the listener has an array of options as to how to experience the music.Society at large can also experience music and can gain from it, in this case, music is usually experienced as a hobby. People play in community ensembles (orchestra, band, choir), take lessons, play, compose, and nearly do anything else a musician may do, while maintaining their regular lives. In general, to an amateur musician, music is important to him/her through enjoyment and through the thrill of playing or creating music and not having to commit the entire life to it. It is an important part of one’s life and fills a need or an urge to create music. Music can be a way of escape or a stress reliever as it can be for anyone.Through all levels of education music is extremely important. Students learn many important and necessary values for life as music challenges the mind. Learning to read music is learning a different language with abstract sonic meaning. One not only has to comprehend and decipher unique symbols on paper, one has to know how to execute them and execute them well. Those learning music also have to learn what sounds good and to develop a critical ear.With a critical ear, one knows how to practice, rehearse, analyze and to criticize a musicperformance. Also, performing music encompasses playing with others as well as alone which both necessitate certain skills. Also one can learn tremendously from studying/analyzing music, composing, reading about music, understanding the history of music and its association with historical and current trends, and knowing what to listen for in music.With all this, students of music, whether it be at the elementary, middle school, high school, at college level or studying alone, learn self discipline through study and practice. They develop technical motor skills, express themselves through sound and problem solving, cooperate and collaborate with others, ignite a creative mind, develop a critical mind that understands quality and taste, and most importantly understand that music has a lot to offer. Anyone who studies music learns some or all of these skills whether they know it or not. People who do not make a career in music but have studied it will take these skills and apply it elsewhere. Music is the only discipline in which obtaining varied skills is possible.It is a tragedy that in our society music is looked upon as an extra discipline that it is not essential to the function of our society and culture. It is usually regarded as a “fun” thing to do when one is not working and most people do not realize that one can experience and learn tremendous amount. It is up to us as artists and advocates of music to have people realize the importance of our discipline. With our society continually becoming more materialistic, superficial, quick to judge and with people not aware of its importance, it is possible that no one will be listening, no one will be watching, no one will be experiencing our art. People need to be shown the importance of our art and its value to them, especially those who have power to influence society. If society is shown the value of music, the arts will be better funded, better appreciated and will thrive even more.


HIGHLIGHT: The mind behind the mobile phone manufacturer’s Internet moves spells out Nokia’s latestmusic initiative, and how the U.S. and record labels fit into its plans. Anssi Vanjoki, executive VP/GM of multimedia at Nokia, is the visionary force behind the company’s efforts to converge mobile phones with the Internet, including Nokia’s N series of multimedia smart phones… This week, Nokia unveiled a new initiative called Comes With Music. The program offers anyone buying select Nokia phones a full year’s worth of free music as a sort of subsidized subscription plan. The service, which won’t be publicly available until sometime in the first half of next year, works like this: Those buying certain Nokia phones will be able to download as many songs as they like, at no additional charge, for a year. The cost of the music is built into the device, and Nokia will pay record labels the appropriate licensing fees. Users will then be able to keep all the music they’ve downloaded even after the year is up. There are restrictions. Like other subscription tracks, any music downloaded via the service can’t be burned onto a CD unless the user buys the track à la carte (which the user will have the opportunity to do). The tracks will also contain digital rights management technology that will limit their compatibility with other devices.  Universal Music Group is the first label to sign on to the program, and Nokia says it is in discussions with others as well. Nokia’s effort closely resembles the Total Music strategy UMG has quietly been promoting in recent months, which seeks to provide various devices with similar unlimitedmusic; the cost of around a year’s worth of music licensing is included in the price of the device. The Comes With Music news comes on the heels of a much broader Nokia effort to expand its influence beyond simply making phones to operating a suite of Internet services focused on entertainment. Its new Ovi service includes, among other things, a music service that will let users subscribing to participating operators buy and download full songs. It also includes games, video and social networking services. Other music efforts include a recommendation and discovery service overseen by David Bowie and a line of multimedia and music phones spearheaded by the N95. The company bought digital music service provider Loudeye last year for $60 million. The acquisition remains at the core of every music-related service Nokia has, including Comes With Music. But Nokia’s stab at mobile social networking — MOSH — has angered some labels. Warner Music Group (WMG), for instance, has refused to license its catalog to the Ovi music store because the MOSH service allows users to share copyrighted content.Vanjoki took a few moments at the Nokia World conference — where the Comes With Music service was announced — to tell Billboard how music in general fits into Nokia’s broader digital entertainment future.What are you trying to accomplish with the Comes With Music initiative?Comes With Music is part of a bigger plan that Nokia has. For a number of years, Nokia has developed the software know-how to become an Internet company. Digital and the Internet has shaped many industries that have been based on a more analog world. Music is just one. So new business models are necessary for the industry to take a different turn and prosper in the digital age.When we look at how people are turning their mobile phones into small computers, these phones are becoming the access point for how people are going to live their digital lives. This kind of functionality follows people everywhere. Music is everywhere and is very important to almost everybody. So we wanted to offer an alternative to getting it that is legal, that is making music consumption normal and easy to use, and at the same time obey the business rules that exist.Is the price of the year’s subscription included in the cost of the device, and do you pay the labels from that?We’re not giving any of the details of the setup behind Comes With Music between us and the music labels. The only thing we’re saying is that both ourselves and Universal, and the other music companies who join in, will find this a profitable venture for all parties.What about users?Users will not have to pay anything extra. It’s embedded in the total price in the product. Can they transfer Comes With Music files to a computer?Yes, all themusic that you get you can download directly to your mobile [phone] or your PC — and the music is residing on either or both. We also keep a vault for you where all the music that you have purchased is kept for the record should you lose any of it. We’ll hold this vault for you even after your [subscription] comes to an end. Can I play Comes With Music tracks on other portable devices?Yes. You have rights to transport those songs to five additional devices.And I can keep the music even after the year is up even if I don’t buy a new phone?It doesn’t matter. The music you get is yours to keep for as long as you want, regardless of what device you own.How does it work with the Ovi à la carte music service?From a functional standpoint, the Comes With Music service is built on the platform of our Ovi music service. When you get the device that comes with music, the way you download themusic you want to the device is done through the Ovi music store. Should the music you want not be available from the labels that are part of Comes With Music, you can still buy any music under the normal business conditions, as in single downloads.Your Ovi music service and the Comes With Musicplan seems limited to the European market. Why not a stronger music presence in the United States?Our Ovi music store we started in the U.K. We’re rolling it out to major European and Asian markets next. We have not announced our plans for North and South America yet, but it will be there as well. The same will go for Comes With Music. We have not given any territorial information at this time. It’ll be a surprise.But is there anything that keeps you from having a stronger U.S. presence?No, there is nothing that keeps us from it. The very simple reason is the very low population of devices that Nokia has in the U.S. market at the moment. We are in the process of improving our distribution methods in the U.S.WMG is one label voicing concern about MOSH and the ability for users to share content, which led to it not licensing music for the Ovi service. How do you intend to alleviate those concerns?We are in very constructive and very warm-spirited discussions with all the labels, including Warner.


HIGHLIGHT: Lawyers for the TV hit and a Tampa software firm take their show to court. One contest features crooners ages 16 to 28 in a glitzy battle for fame and record contracts. Its season finale last month drew 31-million TV viewers… The other contest features Hillsborough County school kids singing songs like On Top of Old Smoky for college scholarship money. Its March finale at Busch Gardens drew dozens of parents and friends.American Idol. Reading Idols. Nobody is likely to confuse the two. But that hasn’t stopped lawyers for the Fox TV megahit and Tampa-based Electronic Learning Products Inc. from trading legal salvos over Reading Idols and whether it infringes on the American Idol brand.Electronic Learning upped the tempo last week when it filed a preemptive lawsuit in Tampa federal court.Though neither party would comment on the dispute, the seeds of war apparently were planted in February. That’s when Electronic Learning – the fledgling software company behind Tune in toReading, an innovative, karaoke-style program that helps low-achieving students improve their reading skills – filed an application to trademark the “Reading Idols” name. The firm recently had begun sponsoring contests under that name as a reward for area students whose schools used the software.FremantleMedia North America Inc., the Burbank, Calif., entertainment giant that trademarked the phrase “American Idol” in 2003, saw the filing as a threat. In a June 6 letter, it gave Electronic Learning until June 14 to drop the Reading Idols name and trademark bid, or face litigation. Its argument: that the public naturally, and incorrectly, would assume that American Idol sponsored or was otherwise connected to Reading Idols.Indeed, legitimate licensees pay a hefty bounty to tapAmerican Idol’s brand magic. Last year, for example, Kraft Foods introduced an Idol-like singing contest centered on its classic Oscar Mayer hot dog jingles. American Idol stars participated in a kick-off ceremony, the grand prize was a trip to the American Idol finale show, and American Idol’s logo appeared on millions of hot dog packages.But instead of waving a white flag last week, Electronic Learning filed suit, asking a federal judge to make FremantleMedia retreat.It’s not the first time FremantleMedia tried to enforce the American Idol trademark. Last year, for example, it sued Highend Holdings LLC, a company out of St. Petersburg and Odessa, for sponsoring exotic-dancer contests under the name America‘s Naked Idol and attempting to trademark it.Was American Idol the inspiration for Reading Idols? Electronic Learning’s lawsuit doesn’t say. But a company spokeswoman may have given the secret away in a recent interview with TampaBaysMediaTalk.com. After the students performed at Busch Gardens in March, she said, audience members were invited to vote for their favorite performer at ReadingIdols.com. “Similar,” she said, “to some television shows that you might watch.”Scott Barancik can be reached at barancik@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8751.FAST FACTSReading Idols’ roots– In 1994, Electronic Learning Products started selling SingingCoach, which teaches singers to sing on pitch and in rhythm.– A mother of a student said her child’s reading comprehension improved because of the product.– Since the beginning of this school year, Tune in toReading software has been installed in more than 60 classrooms throughout Florida. The software assesses students’ reading levels, then assigns them songs.– As a reward for students whose schools use the software, Electronic Learning sponsors contests under the Reading Idols name. Hillsborough students recently competed in the contest, with college scholarships as prizes.