Tag Archive: Justin Timberlake


Justin Timberlake Proves Streaming Isn't A Death Sentence For Music Sales

Do music subscription services threaten music sales? Not if you ask Justin Timberlake.

John Paul Titlow for readwrite.com wrote that the rise of all-you-can-stream services like Spotify have made some artists nervous about the model’s potential impact on music sales. It’s why bands like Coldplay have delayed the arrival of new albums on Spotify and others, like the Beatles and AC/DC, are holding out all together. Logically, it makes sense: If you make your music available to stream for free, people are less likely to buy it.

Right? Not always. Read more here: http://bit.ly/11gJpZA

Ahead of its release on March 19, Justin Timberlake’s new albumThe 20/20 Experience was streaming in its entirety not just on Spotify and Rdio, but at the iTunes store itself. Anybody who wanted to could quickly and legally access the album for a week. Then it was released. And it became the most pre-ordered album in iTunes history, surging past his record label’s sales expectations by 63%.

It’s good news not just for Timberlake himself, but for the music subscription model that he plans to embrace when MySpace — of which he is part owner — launches its own service later this year.  MySpace will join GoogleAmazon, Beats and God knows who else in entering the digital music subscription market in 2013.

Timberlake’s experience would seem to debunk the thesis that streaming can’t support artists and thus isn’t in their best interests. Indeed, his success will likely make him a poster child for the music subscription revolution as the industry marches toward a future in which music is rented more than it’s owned.

But hold on a second. For one thing, we’re not all Justin Timberlake. The pop megastar released his first solo album over a decade ago, after years of global success as a member of a massively popular boy band. In the same way that Radiohead’s 2007 experiment in “pay-what-you-want” record sales didn’t create a new model that worked for everybody, artists can’t necessarily look to Timberlake for cues about where their careers might be headed.

What The 20/20 Experience launch does show is that subscription services, while not ready to replace paid downloads as a revenue stream for the industry, can be a critical tool for marketing and ultimately driving sales. In time, the revenue available to streaming services may reach more sustainable levels. In the meantime, it’s nice to know the artists who embrace them aren’t shooting themselves in the foot by doing so.

Streaming may have promise, but it’s no silver bullet. The music market’s digital future is going to be a hybrid of approaches, some of which will work better than others in particular circumstances. Timberlake’s success is interesting — meaningful, even — but the way forward still isn’t a simple one.

Photo via Flickr user Edward Kustoff, CC 2.0

 

Justin Timberlake Manager Johnny Wright on Secret Plans Around ‘20/20 Experience,’ Touring, Myspace,  More

Justin Timberlake has a rare ability to seem to be everywhere without actually being in that many places. In a way, the marketing around his new album, The 20/20 Experience – out on RCA today – has taken a note from the way he managed to keep his solo musical career in the spotlight by not releasing any music of his own for six years: It might seem like he’s ubiquitous, but he’s not. He’s just chosen what he’s doing to promote the album very strategically for maximum impact: Some strategic online marketing; a couple of high-profile branding and radio campaigns; appearances on the Grammy and Brit Awards, “Saturday Night Live” and a week on “Jimmy Fallon”; a few buzz-building concerts; announcing a summer stadium tour with Jay-Z — sure, it’s all big, and it all came within two months. But compared with a lot of other album-release campaigns, it’s much more quality over quantity — and very, very few artists could be so selective and still go so big.

As RCA Records president/COO Tom Corson told Billboard.biz, “While it feels like he is everywhere, he has been going with less-is-more. The looks he has been getting have either been large events or strategic. He hasn’t been doing every TV or print opportunity.”

But perhaps most impressively of all, Timberlake, his management and label kept the entire project — and the marketing campaign around it, exhaustively detailed in this timeline — secret from the public for months. A couple of gossip sites reported that an album was underway, but the reports were denied and word didn’t get out. The fact that David Bowie – who had been largely off the radar for nearly a decade –announced that he’d completed a secret new album a couple of weeks before Timberlake announced his only adds to the skill of the stealth campaign around The 20/20 Experience.

Here, in a phone conversation last week from the set of the Fallon show, Timberlake’s longtime manager Johnny Wright talks at length about how the album came together, how they and RCA planned an international marketing campaign so quietly, the partnerships around the album, Justin’s role with Myspace, touring plans and much more.

Billboard.Biz: When did the planning for The 20/20 Experience really begin?
Johnny Wright: I guess the conversation really started off three years ago, when I thought maybe Justin would be interested in going back into music. We had a general discussion about how, [because] a lot of the physical record sellers were gone, by the time we’ve got music again we need to think about different ways to deliver it. So we started a general conversation about maybe putting an app together, and maybe doing a situation where we [released a song] every month. There were multiple things we actually talked about, but there wasn’t any movement for him to go back into music [at the time].

[Last year], probably around the late part of May/first week in June, he asked me to dinner and he said, “Guess where I’ve been the past couple of nights?” I said I don’t know, where? He said, “I’ve been in the studio with Timbaland.” I said what are you guys working on? And he said, “I’m working on my stuff.” I was kind of shocked because, you know, I wasn’t prepared for that!

Immediately that started the conversation of, “Okay, how are we gonna put it out?” I like to do this thing where we do a countdown clock and then deliver music from it — so what are we gonna deliver? At one point we even talked about having the countdown clock go into streaming the whole album, but then obviously we had to have conversations with the label and partners who wanted to be involved with the release of his music. So we ended up compromising and putting a single out and shortening the window to the album [release], because [usually artists] put the single out then wait three or four months for the album. But we said we really want to do this in a shorter period of time, so let’s put the single out and [release the album] seven or eight weeks after that — make it a short window, and because we have such a short window, we have to make a big impact.


Justin Timberlake and manager Johnny Wright (second from right)


We were lucky that there were some [big] platforms coming up in that window of eight weeks: One of them was the Grammys, so let’s go have a conversation to see if we can perform a song there. Another one was the Brit Awards in the UK, then “Wetten, dass..?” a huge television show in Germany, and then Justin’s relationship with “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” As the plan between us started to come together, it was like, instead of doing the single on every one of these performances, why don’t we perform a different song? We figured at some point the album would in some way get out, but we kind of wanted to deliver it to them first in visual way. So when we performed on the Grammys, that was the first live television performance of “Suit & Tie” with Jay-Z, and then we segued into a new record from the album called “Pusher Love Girl.” For the Brit Awards [and Wetten, dass…?”] we performed “Mirrors,” another song off the album. And then when we came back to do “SNL,” we decided to do “Suit & Tie” and because visually no one in America had seen “Mirrors,” so we did that. And knowing that we had five nights on “Fallon,” it was like, let’s deliver a bunch of new records. The theory was that by the time we got to the release of the album, at least half of it would have been performed on major TV platforms.

And then we have relationship with iTunes where we agreed to allow them to stream the album a week before it was released, because again we weren’t afraid of letting people hear the music. We want people to be engaged; this whole album is an experience. And then from a radio perspective we had Clear Channel Radio, CBS, and all of our radio friends that embraced us — Clear Channel is doing what we call a “road block” [within] 24 hours, playing the new single every hour. And now on Monday night, we’re gonna take over 175 radio stations and have a live performance from El Rey in L.A., where Justin is gonna perform a half hour and Ryan Seacrest is gonna do an interview with him.

We have Target and Budweiser, who became a big partner with us, and we created two big TV commercials promoting the album. That gave us a great visibility and they’re the underwriters of the event that we are going to do in L.A. So in a short period of time we were able to have a great relationship with radio, we were able to stream the album, we were able to have a great relationship with iTunes, we were able to have able to have a relationship with a lot of great TV partners being a part of Justin’s career. Everybody basically came to the table and presented an opportunity for us to get a lot done in a short period of time. And it’s been a fun experience. We were very lucky that we had all these opportunities and these partners that wanted to give us these platforms. Read more the interview here: Justin Timberlakes Promotional Run-Up to The 20/20 Experience: A Timeline | Billboard.

 

 

<p>Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience"</p>

Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience

Have you heard of the 800 lb. gorilla? Next week, Justin Timberlake will be the 800,000 lb. gorilla as it looks like “The 20/20 Experience” will sell up to 800,000 copies, making it the fifth biggest debut of the decade.

Sales projections for “20/20” keep increasing. At the beginning of the week, it appeared that his first album in seven years would sell at least 500,000; then the number soared to 750,000 and with two days left until the chart close, it’s at 800,000, according to Hits Daily Double.

At that rate, the title will handily sell more than the rest of the nine titles in Billboard 200 top 10 combined. In fact, no one else looks to even top 50,000 copies.

In addition to Timberlake, the other debuts will be Kacey Musgraves’ excellent “Same Trailer, Different Park” (read our interview with the up-and-comer here) at No. 4, with sales of around 40,000, and an expanded edition of the soundtrack to “Les Miserables” at No. 7.

Otherwise, it looks like Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” will be at No. 2, Luke Bryan’s “Spring Break…Here To Party” at No. 3 and this week’s No. 1, Bon Jovi’s “What About Now” at No. 5.

Pink’s “The Truth About Love” climbs several notches to No. 6 on the strength of her well-received concert tour and her new single with fun.s’ Nate Ruess, “///. Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” is at No. 8,  Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” at No. 9, and Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” at No. 10, according to Hits Daily Double.

David Bowie’s “The Next Day” which bowed at No. 2 this week, likely drops to No. 11 with sales of 21,000-24,000.

In case you’re wondering, the top two biggest debuts of the decade so far belong to Taylor Swift, followed by Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne. Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/news/justin-timberlakes-the-20-20-experience-dominates-next-weeks-billboard-200#zThmwysDedYuoVgE.99

 

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So which one do you prefer?

David Joseph, chairman of Brit Awards 2013, says singer’s speech should never have been cut and hints of planned surprise during his last ceremony at helm

Adele at Brit awards 2012

Adele gave the finger to organisers at the 2012 Brit awards ceremony when her album-of-the-year acceptance speech was cut short. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

When Adele gave her spine-tingling performance of her ballad Someone Like You at the Brits in 2011 a small miracle happened – the boisterous music industry for once fell silent, and listened. Last year, the singer again provided the most talked about moment of the evening by giving a frustrated one-fingered gesture to presenter James Corden after he cut off her acceptance speech for best album to make way for the final performers, Blur.

But at the Brits on Wednesday, the singer, who has dominated the UK and US charts since 2011 despite releasing only the single Skyfall last year, may finally get her moment to thank her fans.

Joseph, who is standing down as chairman after this year’s Brits, promised to go out with a bang. The show, broadcast live on ITV, will feature performances from stadium rockers Muse, Mumford & Sons, who have been nominated for three awards, Justin Timberlake, and Emeli Sandé, who leads the nominations and is up for four awards.

One Direction – who had two of the bestselling albums in the US last year – are nominated for best British group, and will perform One Way Or Another on the night. Robbie Williams, Ben Howard and Taylor Swift will also feature. “I would like to bow out saying we have made a bit of a difference,” said Joseph. “I want it to be great for the artists this year.”

During his three-year tenure, Joseph has overseen some of the biggest changes in Brits’ history: the venue changed to the O2, artists were included in the voting academy, a greater emphasis was given to album of the year, and the Brits statue was designed by well-known artists, this year featuring Damien Hirst‘s trademark spots.

“It think we’ve achieved everything we set out to do, we started off saying it was a bit chaotic and we wanted to make it more about music than about a TV show,” he said. “I think we did manage to make it more like the Grammys, with more gravitas.”

He denied suggestions the awards were too safe. “If people are looking for explosive controversy, we still don’t know what’s going to happen on the night. I’m not encouraging stage invasions, but they are magical moments that happen; no one has control over that.

“The lineup goes from pop to discovery to indie. It’s not dull; it’s a brilliant showcase for music.” The Brits remain important as a showcase for a certain moment in music, he said. “Shop windows and curation are massively needed when there is so much media fragmentation. Plus fans, viewers and, most importantly, artists love awards.”

This year’s Brits will also celebrate a year that saw four of the five best-selling albums in the US come from British artists, and will feature an international success award for the first time. “It’s amazing what is happening with British music overseas. We are thrilled about it, four of the top five is exceptional. It shows good taste,” he said. “When as an industry you realise you have four of the five top-selling acts in America, the only thing you want to do next is have five of the five.”

The UK recorded music industry, one of the first to be hit by the digital revolution and piracy, was turning a corner, but still had some way to go, said Joseph. The record trade association, BPI, revealed that last year digital album sales rose 14.8% to 30.5m, although CD album sales declined 19.5% year on year to 69.4m. Combined sales fell by 11.2% to 100.5m in 2012. “A few years ago we knew were going to go through a rough patch, mainly to do with piracy and the way people were discovering music,” said Joseph. “We have taken massive leaps in the last few years, going from nearly zero to 1 million people paying for subscription music services in the past three years.” Read more about Brit Awards 2013 here: Read more here: http://bit.ly/WQ0dUD

 

Watch Justin Timberlake's David Fincher-Directed "Suit & Tie" Video
Justin Timberlake has released the entirely black-and-white video for his comeback single “Suit & Tie” featuring Jay-Z, as reported by Stephanie Sharp for pastemagazine.com

With recent rumors of a collaborative summer tour with Hova and a similarly-styled Grammy Awards performance, Timberlake channels his inner Sinatra and somewhat returns to his boy-band dance days in the new music video. The video was directed by David Fincher, who directed Timberlake before in The Social Network.

His first album since 2006, Justin Timberlake will release The 20/20 Experience on March 19.

Watch the official video for “Suit & Tie” below.

 

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Justin Timberlake is wasting no time making his comeback. Just a few hours after he brought sexy back to the Grammy stage, he released the newest single “Mirrors” from the upcoming album “The 20/20 Experience.” Timberlake’s team promised a surprise for fans post-Grammys in a tweet. They fulfilled their promise debuting “Mirrors” on YouTube. The track — produced by rapper Timbaland — is slightly over eight minutes and embraces Timberlake’s old-school, slow jam vibe heard in the previously released singles from the album.
Read more here: http://on.mash.to/WF6eF5
Photo by Kevin Winter/WireImage/Getty Images

Kelly Clarkson will also take the stage; presenters include Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Prince.

Rihanna VMA Red Carpet - P 2012
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Rihanna

Bruno Mars, Rihanna and Sting will take the stage together at the 55th annual Grammy Awards for a special performance, CBS announced Monday.

Kelly Clarkson will also perform on music’s biggest night.

Sixteen-time Grammy winnerBeyonce, who performed at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show Sunday evening (and reunited with her Destiny’s Child counterparts), has been added to the presenters list, which also includes Hunter Hayes, Jennifer LopezNCIS‘ Pauley Perrette andPrince.

More about Grammys 2013 read here: http://bit.ly/14MJjul

written by philiana ng for hollywoodreporter.com

Alicia Keys, Maroon 5 & Frank Ocean Performing at the Grammys

Alicia Keys and Maroon 5 will team up for a joint performance, and this year’s breakout nominee Frank Ocean will also take the stage at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, the show announced today.

The artists join previously announced performers Justin Timberlake, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, the Black Keys, fun., the Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Jack White, as well as Elton John and Ed Sheeran performing live together for the first time.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/11khYzH

The show will air live on Sunday, Feb. 10, at Staples Center in Los Angeles from 8 – 11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

 

Ladies and gentlemen, sexy is officially back: singer/actor/overall ubermensch Justin Timberlake has returned after six long years with a massive new single titled, “Suit & Tie” featuring Jay-Z and produced by Timbaland. It’s available digitally via iTunes, or you can stream it below.

Update: In a letter posted on his website (which you can read in full below), Timberlake announced that he’ll release a new album titled The 20/20 Experience in 2013. According to previous reports, Timberlake recorded at least 20 new tracks with Timbaland, who serves as the album’s producer.

An Open Letter to you (the fans):

I hope this gets to you the right way. It’s the only way I know to do it. Some people may criticize me for the last 3 days. But it was fun, right?? Right?!?! Besides, I’d rather speak directly to all of you. And, who can knock me for having a little bit of fun with it?

Well… No more teasing. Although, it was A LOT of fun. (Did I mention that I’m having fun with this?? Ha!)

*Makes a serious face*

So, here goes:

This year is an exciting one for me. As you probably have heard through the “grapevine,” I’m gearing up for a big 2013.

Back in June of last year, I quietly started working on what is now, my next journey with that thing I love called MUSIC.

The inspiration for this really came out of the blue and to be honest, I didn’t expect anything out of it. I just went into the studio and started playing around with some sounds and songs. It was probably the best time I’ve had in my career… Just creating with no rules and/or end goal in mind and really enjoying the process.

What I came up with is something I couldn’t be more excited about! It is full of inspiration that I grew up listening to and some newfound muses that I’ve discovered along the way.

I’m calling it “The 20/20 Experience,” and it’s coming out this year.

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.

That’s all I’m giving you for now… I know, I know! Again, with the teasing!!!

Get ready. This is going to be fun (well, at least it is for me).

–source: consequenceofsound.net

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