When Tidal relaunched last week, the celebrity-owned streaming service’s promise of all-star exclusives was a little underwhelming: Daft Punk’s nine-year-old Electroma film (streaming on YouTube), Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” (for sale on iTunes), a few curated playlists from Tidal’s co-owners (including Beyoncé and Jason Aldean), and exclusive footage from an Alicia Keys concert. This weekend, however, the service delivered those big exclusives referenced in last week’s press conference.
Ah, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, that tricksy little hobbit. The shortlist of Oscar nominees released this morning made it clear that it would take a modern-day Alan Turing to decode the mysterious workings of the collective mind of the Academy (The Imitation Game, incidentally, managed to score eight Oscar nods). I can’t even talk about the injustice that is the Academy’s decision to leave Ava DuVernay out of the Best Director race. And The Lego Movie snub! Well, I’m ambivalent about that one, to be honest, but my Twitter feed tells me it is an outrage.
In the beginning, there was YouTube. Then, a little later, there was Zoë Sugg, a young woman with a dream. When those two things merged, they formed Zoella, vlogger extraordinaire, lover of all things “Beauty, Fashion, & Life.” Next came fame and fortune and millions of YouTube subscribers and Twitter followers. Finally, last month, Zoella’s new novel arrived. It is titled Girl Online, and now it’s the fastest-selling debut novel of all time.
But! Last weekend, Sugg’s publisher, Penguin Random House, admitted that the novel was “factually” not written by Sugg. “To be factually accurate you would need to say Zoe Sugg did not write the book Girl Online on her own,” they said. Then, on Twitter, Sugg, admitted that the novel was ghostwritten by committee. And not just a little bit ghostwritten. The entire thing, as it turns out, was ghostwritten, except for the ideas for the characters and the story. Here is Sugg’s “confession”:
If you ever need a reminder that all those rose-tinted remembrances of the pre-internet music industry do not account for the full story, look no further than Steve Albini’s seminal 1993 essay for The Baffler. It’s called, simply, “The Problem With Music.” In it, Albini details the flaws of the major-label music system in actual numbers and simple math — something that’s not done often enough in trade and consumer publications alike when it comes to how musicians actually make their money.