Jennifer Lopez Closes Versace Fashion Show In Iconic Dress That Started Google Images

Attendees Milan Fashion Week didn’t know what they signed up for when they attended Versace’s Spring 2020 show. After all the gorgeous looks hit the runway, Donatella Versace joined none other than Jennifer Lopez when the singer closed the show in her most iconic look – the green Versace dress she wore to the 2000 Grammy Awards. 

Before Jennifer hit the catwalk, a voice went on a speaker asking Google to showcase images JLo’s 2000’s outfit. After images were showcased on the screens, Jennifer walked out for the real-life version the hot green number. 

As we’ve previously posted, Jennifer’s Grammy look is what launched Google s. “At the time, it was the most popular search query we had ever seen. But we had no surefire way getting users exactly what they wanted: J­Lo wearing that dress,” Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt said in a 2015 essay. “If you looked at the search results for the query on that day, you could see that we weren’t delivering what people were asking for.”

“We realized that we needed to do better. So the day after the Grammy’s, we started work on a new type visual search engine that put images front and center; Google s,” the company stated. “In that way, Jennifer Lopez played an important role in the launch one our most popular products.”

Jennifer Lopez Closes Versace Fashion Show In Iconic Dress That Started Google s
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty s

XXXTentacion Murder Suspect Seeks Bond to Get Out of Jail

One of the individuals who’s been accused of organizing and carrying out the murder of rapper XXXTentacion is attempting to secure bond ahead of his trial.

21-year-old Trayvon Newsome has been jailed in Brownard County, Florida, since surrendering to police on August 7th, 2018. Police had been searching for Newsome beforehand, as he’d been identified and charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a deadly weapon. In Florida, those found guilty of first-degree murder can be sentenced to death.

Newsome and his lawyers argue that he’s entitled to bond, and the appropriate forms have been filed, making the request official.

Newsome, along with Robert Allen, Michael Boatwright, and Dedrick Williams, is believed to have murdered XXXTTentacion in June of last year. Moreover, prosecutors allege that Newsome was one of two gunmen who fired the shots that killed XXXTentacion.

XXXTentacion, whose real name was Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, was shot and killed on the afternoon of June 18th, 2018.

Newsome and the other suspects blocked XXXTentacion’s car into the parking lot of a motorcycle dealership, exited their vehicle, and attempted to rob him; he resisted and was shot multiple times. XXXTentacion passed away shortly after being transported to the hospital. He was just 20 years old.

It didn’t take police long to identify the suspects, as two of the four involved individuals (Allen and Williams) followed XXXTentacion and his uncle into the motorcycle store and had previously purchased two black masks.

XXXTentacion’s second posthumous album, Bad Vibes Forever, is set to release sometime this fall. The record’s first single, “Royalty,” dropped on July 19th. Lil Wayne, Blink-182, Rick Ross, Lil Nas X, and many other well-known bands and artists contributed to the work. Prior to this, Skins released in December 2018 and featured contributions from Kanye West and Travis Barker.

Trial dates have not yet been set for XXXTentacion’s murder suspects.

Kevin Hart Reportedly Denies Leaking Sextape To Further His Career

If you missed it, Kevin Hart is being sued for $60 million dollars by the woman who was featured in his leaked tape from 2017. She alleges in her suit, Kevin actually helped film their encounter to hype his career, but that ain’t true he says.

Sources told TheBlast that Kev would never do anything to further his career that would harm his wife or family, and anyone who thinks otherwise is “ridiculous and wrong.” They added, if you really think about, it doesn’t make sense for Kev to concoct this type stunt that could jeopardize his wife & family, when at the time he’s career had already skyrocketed.

Reports suggest that Kevin’s team is finding evidence pointing the finger at his longtime friend, JT Jackson, who allegedly tried to get paid for giving the tape back to the comedian. Apparently there are direct messages asking for a specific amount money for the tape and a search history on his computer about how to get paid BitCoin.

Whether or not this woman will be successful in the lawsuit remains to be seen, but we’ll most definitely keep you posted moving forward. Don’t be surprised if this ends in a settlement.

 

 

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) Requests $66.25 Million In Funding

So, how much does it cost to get a mechanical licensing collection agency off the ground?

That would be $37.25 million before the agency opens its doors, and another $29 million to get through the first year.  All in, the as-yet-unformed Mechanical Licensing Collection (MLC) is asking the U.S. Copyright Office to green-light a whopping $66.25 million — just to get off the ground.

That’s a jaw-dropping number — even by unicorn-chasing Silicon Valley standards.  Indeed, that kind of money in such a short time period usually means that investors are looking for a billion-dollar exit.  But in this case, the aim is just to create an agency that collects, processes, and pays mechanical streaming licenses — specifically to US-based publishers and songwriters.

In a proposal made public on Tuesday (September 17th), the major publishers backing the MLC insisted that their estimate was both “efficient” and “effective”.

“The CRB submission is the result of months of research on the most efficient and effective way to run this unprecedented new collective that will serve the needs of both the songwriters and their music publishers as well as the digital music services from Day One,” the group explained.

“The proposed start-up assessment is $37.25 million, with an annual assessment starting at $29 million in 2021, when the MLC commences its blanket licensing operations.”

We’re not sure how much of that $66.25 million will go towards salaries, though we’re expecting a few seven-figure executive positions to emerge.  Already, SoundExchange CEO Michael Huppe is strongly rumored to be advancing towards a big MLC role.  Huppe has been roundly criticized for pulling a salary north of $1 million, despite waning revenues at SoundExchange and a number of chronic payout issues.

The MLC was created by the Music Modernization Act (MMA), which was in October of 2018.

In short order, the proposal backed by major publishers Sony/ATV, Warner Chappell, and Universal Music Publishing Group won the bid to run the MLC, edging out a rival group that ran on a more cost-effective platform.

All of which means the MLC is now in a position to enjoy the spoils.  But one interesting wrinkle is that the U.S. Government won’t be footing this bill — at least not the lion’s share.  Instead, major streaming platforms and tech behemoths like Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google/Alphabet, and others will pay the modest ‘startup’ fortune.

That sounds like the beginning of another fight, with ‘partners’ like Spotify quickly turning into adversaries once the MMA was passed.  Presently, a consortium of music publishers are battling against Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, and Google over the rate that streaming services should pay for mechanicals.

So perhaps this just becomes another battleground.

“We are going to continue to work tirelessly in these CRB proceedings to ensure the tech giants who joined with us to pass the MMA continue that partnership to fully fund the most important piece of the legislation, the entity that will actually implement the requirements of the legislation,” warned MLC Board Chairman Alisa Coleman.

Already, signs of tense relations are surfacing.  Behind the scenes, rumors are swirling that major streaming platforms are being asked by major music publishers to withhold streaming mechanical payments to songwriters and publishers who claim them.  Instead, those payouts would be reallocated towards starting up the $66.25 million MLC machine.

The MLC officially gets started on January 1, 2021.

More as this develops. 

 

 

Ex-WWE Star Big Cass Issues Statement On Chaotic Backstage Incident

Former WWE star Big Cass reportedly had a meltdown at a WrestlePro event in Rahway, New Jersey this past weekend, which led to cops being called and the 7-footer being taken away in an ambulance.

Cass’ backstage behavior was described as “aggressive and erratic” as he reportedly tried to attack fellow wrestler Joey Janela and allegedly spit in the face  WrestlePro owner, Pat Buck. According to Wrestling Inc, Buck punched Cass during the altercation, knocking the big man to the ground.

Per Wrestling Inc:

“Due to the event going on, plenty police were nearby with the police station right next to the venue. Cass was taken out the building, police reportedly searched his car, and at that time Cass began yelling things that caused concern enough to get an ambulance to transport him to a hospital.”

On Tuesday, Cass issued a statement and an apology, in which he mentioned his ongoing battle with depression.

That statement, posted on the IG account his former tag team partner Enzo Amore, reads:

“I have been very honest with my past struggles, and it has been an ongoing battle,” he wrote. “On Saturday night, I obviously let my demons get the better me and I ruined an important night for a really great guy in an unfortunate series events. I have worked incredibly hard to get where I am, and even harder to overcome my ongoing battle with depression. But I will work my absolute hardest to right the wrongs Saturday night and apologize to Kevin Mathews, Pat Buck, Joey Janela, the entire WrestlePro locker room and all parties involved from the bottom my heart.

“I’m getting help from family and friends as we speak and will be getting pressional help in the near future and ask all to please respect my privacy in the meantime. When & if I reemerge as a public figure it will be in good faith and I hope to inspire those who struggle with the same mental health issues I do to seek the help they need. If Tyson Fury can do it….so can I.

“Remember…I ain’t dead yet. And neither are you.

“Peace and love, William Patrick Morrissey III”

The incident comes just weeks after a report suggested WWE was interested in bringing back the Big Cass & Enzo Amore tag team as NXT makes it’s debut on the USA Network.

Billboard Parent Valence Media Lays Off Staff at Spin, Stereogum & Vibe

Billboard parent company Valence Media has made editorial layoffs at Spin, Stereogum, and Vibe.

Per an article posted on Billboard, seven employees were let go from the listed magazines’ teams. The article cited a “pivot in business and content strategy” as the reason for the dismissals.

Given that Billboard and the affected companies are owned by Valence Media, once again, it appears that those with knowledge of the situation are intentionally remaining tight-lipped. However, it seems highly likely that these changes are part of an effort to restrategize and enhance the brands’ digital presences.

Spin was first published in 1985, and in 2012, its final (physical) issue was released; the publication has since been published online. Stereogum launched in 2002 and has always been an online-only media outlet. Lastly, Vibe debuted in 1993, ceased production in 2009, was purchased and restarted, and became an online-only publication in 2014.

Spin and Vibe were once highly-successful print-based brands, though neither is dominant or heavily influential online. That could be provoking some financial soul-searching, with broader cuts designed to slim down operations and create leaner editorial staffs. In January of this year, 22 other employees were laid off from Valence Media.

Other once-powerful media brands are also suffering. In August, for example, it was revealed that MTV’s Video Music Awards attracted an all-time-low number of viewers for the third consecutive year; the event featured live performances from Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, and Shawn Mendes.

Others are attempting to straddle print and online formats, with limited success.  Rolling Stone, for example, has continued to publish its print version, but this long-held practice seems dependent upon the ability of the magazine to secure exclusive interviews and photo shoots with big-name celebrities. And it’s unclear how Rolling Stone‘s print-based financials are performing.

Additionally, Rolling Stone does not limit its focus to music. To this point in 2019, broadcaster Howard Stern, Game of Thrones actresses Sophie Turner and Masie Williams, and even U.S. Representatives, have appeared on the monthly magazine’s covers.

Elsewhere, Billboard itself still maintains a print version, though circulation is understood to be low and geared towards industry readers.

Shooting At Texas Youth Football Game Leaves Two Injured

It appears two people were injured in a shooting in Fort Worth, Texas this weekend. According to CNN, a woman and young girl suffered non-life threatening injuries after a fight outside a youth football game devolved, resulting in gunfire and the two being hit.

Police report that a group parents were arguing near a football game at Eastern Hills Elementary School. The son one the parents arrived with a handgun and opened fire, said Jimmy Pollozani, a public information ficer for the Fort Worth Police Department. The woman was shot in the leg and the girl was grazed by a bullet on her back. They were both taken to a nearby hospital, where they were recovering from non-life threatening injuries.

Police didn’t say if that son was one the football players or not. Unfortunately, the police were still searching for the suspect at the time this reporting, but hopefully the spread this news will lead to his capture. Both the woman and girl are set to make a full recovery. Do you think this is a gun control issue or mental health issue?

Coney Island To Remove Amusement Park Rides To Focus On Water Park

For those who have special memories with Coney Island’s amusement park, sad news has been announced since the destination is about to undergo a renovation process. According to Cincinnati.com, the amusement rides will be running until September 21 before they shut down forever. The final day will be followed by the annual Fire Up The Night event. 

According to the publication, the shut down rides is due to the lack attention each excursion was getting after resources and man-hours had to be divided for the rides and the water park equally. “All our consumer research, all our consumer feedback, and all our in-park data shows that the vast majority our guests come to Coney Island because the fun they have while in the Sunlite Pool area,” Rob Schutter Jr., Coney Island’s president and CEO said the updates. 

Coney Island To Remove Amusement Park Rides To Focus On Water Park
Drew Angerer/Getty s

Renovations on the park have already begun and the final unveiling the updates will be revealed on the park’s 100th birthday in 2025. “Since 2016, we’ve invested more than $6 million into the Sunlite Pool,” Schutter added. “We will kick start a new multi-phase renovation to grow Coney Island into the region’s premier swim and play destination.”

Quality Control’s Pee Thomas IG Flexes Stacks On Stacks Of Cash

When rappers talk about stacking their cash, they’re probably not holding down this much. Quality Control Music has been a leading force in the rap game as they’ve solidified a roster artists that have dominated the charts. Migos, Lil Yachty, City Girls, Lil Baby, and Stefflon Don are just a few names who have helped launch the music group into the stratosphere, and to show the masses that QCM means business—money-making business—the label’s CEO Pierre “Pee” Thomas showed f their cash flow on Instagram.

In the image, Pee sits at a large table with bands cash that all look to be stacks hundred dollar bills. Pee sits at the head the table and looks down at his prits pensively and in the caption he wrote, “I Pray This Sh*t Don’t Ever Come Between Me And My Niggas. #StayDownTilYouComeUp.” Lil Keed replied with a series comments that included “It’s life,” “But it can,” and praying hands emojis. E-40 left flexing arm emojis; Raekwon wrote, “Get yaws champion”; and Jazze Pha told him, “Maan I pray that it don’t bro… everybody’s values ain’t the same unfortunately.”

Pee has shared how QCM has capitalized f this current era streaming music. “You drop the product and you just continue to work it, work it, work it, work it, and build,” he previously told Complex. QCM co-founder Coach K added, “The great thing about streaming is the streaming don’t stop. These fans, they’re research junkies now. So they are going to find it and play it as much as they want. It’s not like the old days where you give them an album and the only way they can hear it is on radio.” Whatever their formula is, it seems to be working.

YouTube Bans Paid Plays From Music Charts After BadShah Controversy

Following Indian rapper BadShah breaking records even Taylor Swift couldn’t touch, YouTube is reviewing its policies.

BadShah racked up over 75 million views on his track “Paagal” within the first 24 hours. That’s a million faster than a record set by K-pop band BTS earlier in the year. Instead of trumpeting this revelation from the rooftops, YouTube chose to keep quiet.

Bloomberg soon revealed that BadShah’s feat was pay-assisted. That meant his advertising team paid Google to place the video prominently during those crucial 24 hours. After the deception was revealed, Rolling Stone went further to show how YouTube’s TrueView tool .

BadShah admitted to using paid promotion tools to achieve his record. He revealed his promotion in a video on Instagram after being accused of generating fake views. The rapper took it further to suggest than many of the top artists in the world engage in the same practice.

“You think artists abroad don’t get paid promotions? Are you so naive? I don’t want to be the one with the highest views, but someone has to be. I tried and I did it. Get over it.”

Now YouTube is changing the rules so paid-views do not affect music charts. YouTube doesn’t name any names in its revision post, but it does highlight how things will change going forward.

“Videos eligible for YouTube’s 24-hour record debuts are those with the highest views from organic sources within the first 24 hours of the video’s public release. This includes direct links to the video, search results, external sites that embed the video and YouTube features like the homepage, watch next and Trending.

Video advertising is an effective way to reach specific audiences with a song debut, but paid advertising views on YouTube will no longer be considered when looking at a 24-hour record debut. The changes will not impact YouTube’s existing 24-hour record debut holders.”

 

Warner Music Joins $11M Investment In Cryptocurrency Start-Up

Warner Music is betting big on blockchain technology after joining an $11.2 million investment in Dapper Labs.

Dapper Labs is the cryptocurrency dev team behind the wildly popular Ethereum-based crypto game, CryptoKitties. CryptoKitties users can buy unique digital kitties and “breed” them together for unique traits.  CryptoKitties got so popular that it caused transaction issues on the ethereum blockchain. If those issues can be resolved, the technology could be used to for other digital assets.

Warner Music joins the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, Digital Currency Group, Venrock, and others. Warner Music senior vice president of business development Jeff Bronikowski says the tech could be used to develop tradable digital merchandise.

Bronikowski says ‘s blockchain will work with Dapper Labs to “create digital assets” using a new public blockchain technology. The new blockchain is called Flow and it is designed to handle transaction volumes many times great than ethereum.

This $11.2M round of fundraising will be spent on finishing the Flow blockchain and building apps on it. Accredited investors will receive a cut of the company stock with the option to convert stock to tokens.

Warner Music contributed less than $1 million to the final total amount. Dapper Labs is Warner’s first move into the world of blockchain technology.

Warner is betting big that Flow will provide digital authenticity in the future. These non-fungible tokens can be used to distribute signed albums or other objects, accruing real value.

“When I was in college, you’d walk into someone’s room and you’d see 200 CDs and you would say, ‘That guy’s a big music fan.’ And now you just see somebody with a music subscription service and some playlists. We think that as people spend more time crafting their persona in the digital realm, digital goods and collectibles is a great way to express that fandom.”

Aside from researching the blockchain and non-fungible tokens, Warner is also said to be looking into using cryptocurrency to let fans tip artists.

Rob Gronkowski Has Fans Confused After Saying He Cured His CTE

Rob Gronkowski is enjoying retirement right now and has been going on a bit a tour sorts where he explains some the dangers associated with football. While this may be the case, Gronk has been quick to note how he’s not trying to discourage anyone from playing the game and, in fact, just wants people, specifically kids to know the risks involved. In an interview yesterday, he explained how he’s been able to heal all his injuries, even the ones he has sustained to his brain.

CTE has been a big concern in the football community lately and Dr. Chris Nowinski on Twitter addressed Gronkowski’s claims, saying CTE can’t be cured. This led to a bizarre response from Gronk where he claims he does have CTE and that he’s cured it. What makes this even more bizarre is the fact that you can only be tested for CTE once you’re dead.

Fans immediately caught on to Gronkowski’s claims and were quick to call him out for spreading false information. CTE research continues to be done and while all the facts aren’t known at this point, there are some truths that just can’t be disputed. The Will Smith film Concussion would be a good place to start if you want to learn more about the origins CTE.

Regardless, we hope Gronk is doing well and taking care his body.

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Pack Reselling For Four Times The Retail Price

Nike and Japanese fashion label Sacai have more sneaker collabs in the pipeline, including a trio  Sacai x Nike LDWaffle colorways that debuted today, September 12.

Just like the first run Sacai x Nike LDWaffles, the silhouette represents a combination two iconic Nike sneakers – the Waffle Daybreak and LDV – fused together for a hybrid, double-themed design. As a result, the collaborative kicks come equipped with double tongues, shoelaces and swooshes with a co-branded Nike x Sacai logo on the heel tab.

The initial release consisted two colorways, “Green Multi-Color” and “Blue Multi-Color,” both which retailed for $155 and were easily resold for an average $700 on StockX. Needless to say, sneakerheads’ selling on StockX can expect the latest Sacai x Nike LDWaffle collabs to also fetch four times the retail price.

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Pack Reselling For Four Times The Retail Price

The three new colorways are as follows: “Black/Anthracite-White-Gunsmoke,” “Summit White/White-Wolf Grey-Black,” and “Pine Green/Clay Orange-Del Sol-Bright Magenta.”

According to StockX, the black and white colorways are already selling for an average $670, while the eye-catching multi-color joint is going for approximately $600. In other words, if you’re looking to cop a pair strictly with the idea flipping them, you should target the neutral colorways first.

Take a look at all three the Sacai x Nike LDWaffles below, and head on over to StockX to see how much they’re selling for right now.

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Pack Reselling For Four Times The Retail Price

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle White/StockX

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Pack Reselling For Four Times The Retail Price

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Black/StockX

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Pack Reselling For Four Times The Retail Price

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Black/StockX

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Pack Reselling For Four Times The Retail Price

 
Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Black/StockX

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Pack Reselling For Four Times The Retail Price

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Green Multi-Color/StockX

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Pack Reselling For Four Times The Retail Price

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Green Multi-Color/StockX

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Pack Reselling For Four Times The Retail Price

Sacai x Nike LDWaffle Green Multi-Color/StockX

Teyana Taylor Pressed To Play Catwoman In Upcoming Batman Series: Fans React

Just days after fans went wild over the idea Rihanna being tapped to play Poison Ivy in an upcoming DC film, the focus has now been shifted on Teyana Taylor for another role in a Batman series that has yet to see the light day. As the reports go, director Matt Reeves who has already booked Robert Pattinson as Batman in his upcoming project wants to book a woman colour for the role Catwoman.

Teyana Taylor Pressed To Play Catwoman In Upcoming Batman Series: Fans React
Jamie McCarthy/Getty s

That one tidbit information alone had people cheering for Teyana Taylor and even Kehlani let it be known that she’s behind the KTSE singer landing the role. “Teyana PHUCKING taylor,” she tweeted. 

While we assume the search is still on, Twitter users have shared their varied opinons on Teyana being the number one pick with some all for the casting move while others against it. “I’m sorry but throwing out Teyana Taylor’s name out there as someone you would want to see asCatwoman is ridiculous. She’s not a good actress. Idc how popular she’s become or that she may fit the catsuit well. She can’t act. Find an upcoming NEW actress,” one user wrote

Peep more reactions below and sounds f in the comments!

Podcast Ad Spending Projected to Hit $1 Billion by 2022

Spotify’s aggressive push into podcasting isn’t based on a hunch.

According to the latest lofty projection, podcasting revenue is rapidly approaching $1 billion.  That’s pretty good for a format that has already died once.

According to The Podcasting Report by Magna, the research and marketplace intelligence unit of IPG Mediabrands, ad spending in podcasting will hit $960 million in 2020 and eclipse $1 billion in 2022.  That’s part of a rapid ascent and surge of new programming, with fans increasingly shifting away from linear radio broadcasting.

All this does not mean that podcast advertising will surpass traditional radio advertising any time soon.  But advertising in podcasting is growing at a rapid pace, and it’s expected that radio advertising will start to decline in 2020 before embarking on a prolonged decline.

Local radio advertising, in particular, is expected to be hard hit in the coming years.  Though advertising for digital audio radio broadcasts and digital audio pure players will continue to increase, podcasting is projected to outpace both.

In total, the audio ad marketplace in the United States is valued in excess of $16 billion, and podcast advertising represents only 3% of this.

By 2022, this share will more than double to 8.2%, according to the projection.

But podcasting is already drawing a premium.  The report says that costs per impressions (CPMs) for podcasting are usually higher than rates for other types of broadcast space.  This is because the audience for podcasts is relatively small, with growing demand among a diverse group of advertisers.  These advertisers are showing an increased interest in doing experiments with podcasts, though supply constraints are hiking rates.

The report further indicates that the prices of podcast ads vary greatly. Pre- and post-roll spots are currently selling from around $10 to $25 per spot and from $20 to $80 for impressions given mid-roll. Some very popular podcasts are charging $70 or more for an ad spot.