music is my boyfriend

The 10 Facts From Spotify’s Year in Review That Prove We’re All Basic As Hell

Macklemore. (Photo: Getty)

Spotify released its year-in-review numbers and damn, do Americans have some lame-ass taste in music. One might even call it basic.

The word “basic” has many definitions. Betabeat’s preferred meaning is “offering or consisting in the minimum required without elaboration or luxury; simplest or lowest in level” (ty, Google). So how’s this for basic: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis simply burned up the charts this year, and you won’t believe how many people listen to Maroon 5. Read More

Antisocial Media

Celeb ‘Instassistant’ Has to Be the Most Stressful Fake Job of the 21st Century

Rihanna and her "Instassistant" Melissa Forde in an Instagram pic. (instagram.com/badgalriri)

We civilians are insufferable enough when it comes to having our picture taken for Instagram: “not that one, my face looks fat”; “try again so I can tilt my left cheekbone about 45 degrees east”; “did you get my shoes? I don’t know why you keep not getting my shoes.”

So imagine the psychological trauma inflicted when a famous person–a person whose pictures actually matter–uses Instagram. It happens, and real people are affected. Phoebe Luckhurst of the Standard has coined a term for the sad person stuck taking famous people’s Instagram pics: the “Instassistant.” Read More

gatekeeper

On Social Media, Young Artists Blur the Boundary Between Performance and Life

Comedians Cole Escola (l) and Jeffery Self went from YouTube to cable TV and back again (Logo)

Jeffery Self and Cole Escola—a young comedy duo who parlayed YouTube success into two seasons of a cable TV sketch program—played two sold-out shows in New York this weekend, their first since splitting three years ago.

Separately, each has continued a trajectory of online mini-celebrity—especially Mr. Self, who moved to Los Angeles in 2010 and closely chronicles his personal life on social media.

Millennial, fearless and wildly funny, Jeffery and Cole exemplify a new generation of digitally native performers. But their audience is confronted with a challenge: when artists choose to broadcast their most private moments on social media, where is the boundary between life and performance?  Read More

Twitter Fights

Renowned Feminist Chris Brown Deletes His Twitter Account After Fight With Comedian Jenny Johnson

(Photo: EW)

All-around awful person and talented Twitter troll Chris Brown has deleted his Twitter account following an ugly spat with comedian Jenny Johnson. When Ms. Johnson attacked Brown for his misogynistic tweets, the infamous singer responded with a sexually-charged, just-what-you’d-expect-from-Chris-Brown tweet: “Take them teeth out when u Sucking my dick HOE.” Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Fan Sites Fined $1 M. for Child Privacy Violations

(Photo: Instagram)

Artist Arena, the division of Warner Music Group behind fan sites for pop music stars like Justin Bieber, Selena GomezRihanna and Demi Lovato, has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The New York Times reports that the company has agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty for illegally collecting personal information from children.

The pop stars themselves haven’t been accused of any misconduct. But because Artist Arena asked for details like birth dates in order to let fans create online profiles, the FTC argued that the company knew very well that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa) by collecting the addresses and cellphone numbers of roughly 101,000 users aged 12 or younger without parental consent or notification. Read More