All it took for Google to buy Provo, Utah’s fiber-optic network was a dollar. If only you had four quarters! [AP]
Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that YouTube did not violate Viacom’s copyright–despite the fact that several of the company’s shows were being illicitly uploaded onto the site. That’s because the Google-owned service is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “safe-harbor provision.” [Los Angeles Times]
Time‘s very important “100 Most Influential People List” is packed with techies with fake-sounding titles, like “Internet talent discoverer” Scooter Braun. [AllThingsD]
Twitter announced it has teamed up with BBC America to offer “in-tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series.” What does that mean? Your guess is as good as ours. [CNet]
Amazon, looking to expand its international operations, has opened an office in Russia. [TechCrunch]
Exit This Way
This is about as close as Marissa Mayer has come to being featured in an episode of Entourage. Today, word leaked that the new Yahoo CEO made her first acquisition–or acqui-hire, depending on who you ask. Ms. Mayer has purchased Stamped, a New York City-based recommendations app cofounded by two fellow Xooglers. Stamped cofounder Robby Stein worked closely with Ms. Mayer when the two were both still employed by GOOG.
Mashable says Stamped’s team, five of whom are former Google employees, will be joining “a new mobile product team to be established in New York under the leadership of Stamped’s three co-founders.” In a blog post published to the Stamped site, the team confirmed that they will be “discontinuing the Stamped product” but are working on a solution for users to export their data from the app.
Business Insider reports that the deal was closed for a ”a nice size,” but nothing too hefty. That should mean some extra spending money for a group of people who have no need for it: Stamped’s celebrity investors.
YouTube Killed the Video Star
Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” that raucous electro synth party pop anthem even your grandmother knows by now, took America by storm with its beat and style. It was one of the first Korean pop singles to successfully cross over into the American media consciousness, and garnered so much interest that Psy is now signed with Scooter Braun, the man who plucked Justin Bieber out of YouTube obscurity and molded him into a star.
As of this writing, the “Gangnam Style” music video has garnered over 274 million views and close to 3 million likes. Metrics like that should land “Gangnam Style” squarely in the list of YouTube’s most watched and most liked videos. And yet, it’s mysteriously absent from that list, causing some Psy fans to cry conspiracy.
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.)
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
When Anonymous isn’t claiming to have leaked Apple IDs, they occasionally publish personal info about people for the lulz. Case in point: they just tweeted the address of one world-famous teen heartthrob Justin Bieber, much to the delight of Beliebers everywhere.
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.
Airtime, the super stealth video startup from Napster cofounders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, is launching at a press event this morning at Milk Studios in NYC, and celebrities on Twitter are apparently really, really excited about it. It’s perhaps unsurprising, though, considering the company that Shawn & Sean are used to keeping: Airtime’s investors include Ashton Kutcher, will.i.am and Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun. But who knew Martha Stewart was so plugged in to the startup scene? Perhaps Nick Bilton was right about tech being the new Hollywood.
We, too, are looking forward to the launch of Airtime, but could Sean & Shawn maybe fix their website first?
Never Say Never
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.
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.