Music 2.0

Scooter Braun and Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino Talk Music Industry Disruption at Google Event

Mr. Braun did not wear a Mickey Mouse shirt.

Betabeat arrived at Google’s Big Tent event at the Skylight West building just in time for the Trends and Transformations in Music panel. Moderated by Billboard editorial director Bill Werde, the topic du jour was how the Internet and social media have ushered in a new era of music production.

In attendance were Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino and none other than Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s talent manager and the man credited with discovering America’s favorite heartthrob. (Sadly, there appeared to be zero Beliebers in the audience, as no piercing screams rang out during the program.) Read More


Twitter Debuts New Look for Profiles on the Today Show

Twitter's new look.

Remember when Twitter was a mere fringe hobby, beloved by early adopters but mystifying to everyone else? Well, today we got a clear-as-a-bell reminder that those days are long gone, when the company took to the Today Show to introduce a new look.

Users can now add a header photo, and recent images have been relocated into their own snazzy box.

“What we’ve heard over and over again from our users is they want to bring more of their personality to the profile pages,” explained CEO Dick Costolo. “So today’s changes are all about bringing that personality forward, more media forward, more photos forward, so it’s much easier to see these media experiences and flip through them.” Read More

Meme Studies

Meme Me: How Funny or Die Convinces Celebs to Make Fun of Themselves

(Photo: Reddit)

Though he is known as the hunky boy next door that made certain girls weak in the knees in the early aughts, James van der Beek, the titular star of the popular teen drama Dawson’s Creek, is an embarrassingly ugly crier.

In season three, episode 23 of the earnest, soap opera-like show, Dawson is so gobsmacked by being broken up with that he begins to cry. An animated GIF of that tender moment was soon splashed across websites from Reddit to Funny or Die. The meme is so prevalent that when you Google “James van der Beek,” the search engine even offers a correction: “James van der Beek crying,” it humbly suggests you search instead.

Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Stamped Tries Again, This Time as a Recommendation Engine with Celebrity Investors

(Photo: Instagram)

Sometimes the hardest question to get a founder to answer is why anyone would regularly use their app. That’s particularly true for startups that solve a problem users don’t actually have.

But often, the pitch for why X app is better at rating, or recommendations, or social planning relies on the assumption that it will be populated by users just dying to share their personal tastes or make plans  . . . using an app that’s on screen four of their smartphone, right next to Draw Something.

That’s been the problem with Stamped, a remarkably sleek ratings and recommendations app launched by Xooglers last November that allows users to give their “stamp” of approval to books, songs, restaurant recommendations, you name it. Read More


The 5 Types of People You Meet on Airtime


Airtime, the Sean & Shawn bred startup that launched earlier this week, has slowly grown on us. Our initial reaction was in line with the majority of the Internet’s: “Okay, it’s Chatroulette without penises.” But the more we’ve used the service, the more its benefits for networking, flirting and stymying boredom have revealed themselves.

But the thing is, since the site hasn’t really hit critical mass yet, you tend to run into the same types of people over and over again. They’re almost always very nice, but in our experience, they also almost always fall into one of the below five categories. Read More

Never Say Never

Justin Bieber Is A Venture Capitalist, Because Of Course

Stay up there. (Photo:

Every teen pop star eventually reaches a fork in the road, around the time of his/or her eighteenth birthday, when things must change. Is it time for more emotionally mature musical stylings? Perhaps a venture into feature filmmaking? Maybe it’s the time for a few years of college? Then there’s always the classic drug-fueled descent into the gutter and/or rehab and/or obscurity.

Obviously, the adults in Justin Bieber’s life would prefer to avoid the latter. And since Drew Magery making a man out of him was out of the question, manager Scott “Scooter” Braun has another idea: venture capital. Read More

The Influencers

Dennis Crowley is Influential About Moms, and Other Klout Surprises [UPDATED]

Picture 5

Are you big on the Internet? Klout, the online influence measurement system, helps you determine just that. “We measure your influence based on your ability to drive action in social networks,” explains the Klout page. But aside from providing you with an over-inflated sense of self-importance, Klout also mines your Twitter page for popular terms, and determines a list of topics you’re especially influential about. This reporter, for example, is influential about blogging and cats, which is pretty much dead on. Read More

Vegas Baby

Justin Bieber Coming to CES to Promote Robot Toy

Mr. Bieber

Teen heartbreaker Justin Bieber will be on hand at the Consumer Electronic Show from 1 to 3 p.m. on January 11th, pimping out some robots. Specifically: a BRAND NEW ENTERTAINMENT ROBOT by Vietnamese electronics maker TOSY Robotics, to be unveiled at the show.

“TOSY Robotics produces 4 types of products: Gigantic robots, Service robots, Industrial robots and High-tech toys,” Robonexus reports breathlessly. There is also a tiny robot. TOSY robots can play ping pong and bartendRead More

Metro Tech

Sleep Yes More: Justin Bieber’s Manager Thinks Sean Parker Needs to Leave New York City

Mr. Braun (via Twitter)

For a grown ass billionaire, Sean Parker sure has a lot of people worrying about whether he gets enough sleep. In David Kirkpatrick’s profile of Mr. Parker in Vanity Fair last year, much was made of the line, “He routinely stays up very, very late, talking intensely about subjects he cares about and/or partying—and sleeps in much of the following day.” That was followed by a comment from Ron Conway calling Mr. Parker “so scattered yet so brilliant.”

Now, in the upcoming issue of Page Six magazine, the New York Post reports that Mr. Parker’s friend Scooter Braun is also wondering about his pal’s sleeping schedule and how it may effect his state of mind. And the 30-year-old talent agent, who manages Justin Bieber, should know from distractions. Read More