Jon Stewart, Kevin Hart And Comedy's Dynamic Over-The-Top Future - Forbes

posted on 08 Aug 2015 01:13 by lackingorphan378
As we say goodbye to Jon Stewart'sstewardship of The Daily Show, I'm reminded that we've had to say a lot of goodbyes in comedy in the last eighteen months. Some have been historic, a la David Letterman. Others have been bittersweet, such as Stephen Colbert (oh so funny send-off, but wouldn't you love to see his character taking on (or rooting for) Donald Trump every night?). Some we've hardly noticed (Jay Leno, anyone?). And still others have had the tint of tragedy attached, most notably the untimely losses of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers. All of this leaves me pondering comedy's future.

As Stewart now exits stage left, we're not just losing a show (although whither The Daily Show sans Stewart?), but an impresario of comedy. Stewart didn't invent "fake journalism"; we've had SNL's Weekend Update for the last 40 years, and in the 1960s a primetime network show called "That Was the Week That Was." But Stewart did create a real comedic institution, emanating first and foremost from a late-night cable TV home. So what I'll miss most is that sense that it didn't fully happen in the news until Stewart and his merry band weighed in on it. Stewart has served as an impresario (curator in digital speak) of comedic news - and comedy in general - for more than a decade. The list of comedy stars spawned by Stewart is legendary: Steve Carell, Ed Helms, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and more.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 04: 'The Daily Show With Jon Stewart' building exteriors at The Daily Show Building on August 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Stewart has followed in a lot of glorious "comedy impresario" footsteps, from P.T. Barnum (sadly leaving us those scary circus clown) to The Comedy Store's Mitzi Gaynor, to TV comedic geniuses such as Carl Reiner, Norman Lear and Lorne Michaels to the motion picture stable assembled by producer/director Judd Apatow (a self-proclaimed comedy "nerd"). You can fill in your own favorite. The biggest question for me in the post Stewart-led Daily Show world is what does the next generation of comedy impresarios look like?

There are certainly a lot of big names in the comedy business today, from Viacom's Comedy Central to Time Warner's HBO to independent Funny or Die. But for all of their strengths, each of these big players has their "issues" (don't we all?). As the New York Times Magazine recently wrote, Comedy Central faces the challenge of many mid-tier cable networks: increasing pressure to innovate (read: spend more) in programming for a 24/7 network at a time when cable ratings are falling and subscriber fees harder to come by from cable and satellite companies themselves feeling consumer push back against the "bundle." The market's huge selloff in media stocks yesterday in reaction to Disney's earnings (read: ESPN performance) isn't the end of the world, but it does demonstrate a genuine - and justified - nervousness about the basic cable network future. For HBO and Funny or Die, their challenge is the need to own more programming in the comedy area. Without ownership or control of long-term rights to the programming, their comedy brands will have an increasingly difficult time in the on-demand, increasingly "over-the-top" digital world.

In the search for new impresarios, I recently spent some time with Brian Volk-Weiss, President of Comedy Dynamics, an emerging and intriguing player in the comedy space. Interestingly enough, Comedy Dynamics' business partner in one of their most recent offerings is none other than one of the most successful comics on the scene today, Kevin Hart. In this partnership we can perhaps see the kernels of the next generation of the comedy impresario business.

You probably haven't heard of Comedy Dynamics, but as Volk-Weiss discussed with me, their presence on the comedy scene is impressive. They list themselves as the "#1 independent producer and distributor of comedy content in North America" and I'm hard-pressed to argue the point. They are the digital distribution hub for "A-list" comedic talent such as Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan and many others, and with a digital-first strategy, they syndicate their produced and/or owned content across a number of video streaming platforms. On Hulu, they control 50% of the comedy content, they have 900,000 followers on SoundCloud (closely trailing leader Comedy Central), and they program two hours per day on Sirius/XM.

The company is very data-driven in terms of what they decide to invest in for production and distribution, but it's not the data you're thinking of. Rather than simply focus on Twitter followers or Facebook likes, their eyes are trained on goodold cash - the box office from the booming live comedy business (clubs, theaters, arenas). If you can make it there, you might just make it in the video world as well. They aren't comedy snobs - the company owns Gallagher content (remember the guy who used to smash watermelons?) as well as that of stand-up comedy icons like Bill Hicks. As Volk-Weiss told me, "don't judge your audience. The only thing I care about the audience is how big it is." Their goal in the next 18 months is to be 50% ad-based, 30% over-the-top subscription (think Netflix for comedy) and 20% a la carte (the one-off special). And the key to all of that from the Volk-Weiss perspective is content ownership, which they see as critical to success to any content syndication.

Of course, the actual sources of so much comedy content are the comedians themselves, and that's why I find the Kevin Hart relationship so fascinating. The new Comedy Dynamics-Kevin Hart-produced comedy special isn't even a Kevin Hart special! It features comedian Keith Robinson, and Hart serves as a co-impresario here, clearly helping to provide a high profile platform for his comedy "mentor." Given a recent comment by Jerry Seinfeld at the Crackle Upfront (in response to my question) that he would love to have a one-stop digital home for all things Seinfeld, it left me wondering if we may see a parade of other comedy performers (Louis C.K. and Hart being two obvious choices) who might simply forego all middlemen and just head over-the-top themselves. If they are the brand themselves - why not? But Volk-Weiss pointed out to me that while every successful comic hones their comedic craft (and over a years-long process), it's much rarer for the creative talent to want to take on the chore of running the business itself. Steve Martin once said "Comedy Isn't Pretty." But business is often downright ugly. Maybe we best leave that to a new breed of over-the-top impresarios. I'll be watching - and hopefully laughing in the appropriate places - all along the way.

Howard helps clients manage the dynamically changing media business through his work at MediaLink. He is also; andonTwitter,Facebook, andLinkedIn.
22: Guide signing simply by Judy Walkerat your Crescent city Farmers Market, 700 Publication St., coming from 8:30 to always be able to 10:30 a.m. The Actual commemorative edition is actually being releasedon the 10th anniversary associated with Hurricane Katrina, the actual catastrophe that prompted your compilation regarding recipes our viewers lost for you to flooding.

Friday, Aug. Lagniappe: This particular ended up being the particular web site associated with the first guide signing with the original edition in 2008.

Here's the list.

The "Cooking Up any Storm" menu is: Lady Helen's Cheese Straws; Corrine Dunbar's Oyster along with Artichoke Appetizer;Meaty Cajun Gumbo using Heat Potato Salad; along with Masson's Almond Torte.

Check back again here about to observe if much more events are generally scheduled.

The menu in the e-book for the first "Eats & Cooks Club" supper continues to be set, and tickets are on sale. Events take invest Theater 8; guide sales are generally inside the lobby.


In a new separate event, your average person is actually invited for you to a book signing at the Southern food and also Beverage Museum, that will include free admission to the museum.

Monday, Aug.

You, your readers, are cordially invited to occur say hello. along with 11 p.m. With Regard To tickets, call 504.267.7490 as well as go to dinnerwill be held inside the Rouses Culinary Innovation Middle at the Southern Meals along with Beverage Museum,1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. 27: Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker consider portion within the first regarding Poppy Tooker's WWNO "Louisiana Eats"& Cooks Club dinner, which will feature any distinct cookbook and author every month for any three-course supper of dishes in the cookbook. SoFAB can be located with 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.Lagniappe: Tour the particular museum for free.

Food editor Judy Walker can become contacted from your ex in Twitter as well as Instagram (@JudyWalkerCooks) along with Facebook (JudyWalkerCooks).

Friday, Aug. Judy Walker will talk in regards to the cookbook then indicator copies until 6 p.m. Cookbooks could be found separately. 21: food editor along with co-author Judy Walker appears upon WYES' "Steppin' Out" hosted through Peggy Scott Laborde. 22: Guide signing through Judy Walker from Kitchen Witch Cookbooks,631 Toulouse St., 2 to end up being able to 4 p.m.Lagniappe: Your proprietors involving this French Quarter cookbook emporiumprovide meals along with consume with their own lively events.

Thursday, Aug. several events take presctiption our calendars, as well as the ebook continues to become able to be included inSusan Larson's Katrina publications column.

Saturday, Aug. Your free involving charge multimedia event begins with noon and can contain screenings of "Big Charity," "The big Uneasy" along together with other films and also filmmakers; stay audio by co-organizer Armand St. The Particular authors will indicator their particular books, there will probably be a new cooking demonstration.

Everything will be shaping up for the new hardback edition associated with "Cooking Up the Storm: Recipes Lost along with Located via the Times-Picayune regarding New Orleans" ($30, Chronicle Books). in Your Theatres with Canal Location as a portion of the particular "Katrina Artistically Remembered" 10th annual event. the show airs at 7:30 p.m. 28: Coming From 4 for you to 4:30 p.m. Lagniappe: Always Be a part of the initial Eats along with Cooks dinner.. Friday.


Saturday, Aug. Martin along with others; photo exhibits as well as significantly more. 31: Marcelle Bienvenu as well as Judy Walker will signal textbooks with a free regarding charge event in the Southern Meals as well as Beverage Museum.Museum admission, $10 with regard to adults, will probably be waived for that signing, which can easily be 5 for you to 7 p.m. A Pair Of of the dishes are usually via long-gone favorite New Orleans restaurants.

The cost involving the wedding will be $85 per person, including the dinner, wine, tax and gratuity

One month in, is Apple Music worth it? - Fortune

posted on 06 Aug 2015 07:06 by lackingorphan378
I've furthermore experienced this specific problem during my own private library, and other Apple Songs features several times as well. Launching Apple Songs in a fresh device begins the matching procedure all over, duplicating playlists you already had inside your library, and in a few cases duplicating individual songs. Playlists range through a variety of new artists to end up being able to a group regarding songs featuring the user's favorite artists.

Up next allows customers to generate an on-the-fly playlist along with queue up songs using limited hassle. Any Kind Of content material it doesn't recognize is instantly uploaded to your Apple Songs account, exactly where it's then made available for streaming across most of your devices.

The simply issue I've noticed so far with this section is the service's multiple attempts in order to "introduce" me to end up being able to artists previously in my library. Unfortunately, attempting to add content material through Apple Audio to become able to this selected playlist isn't always straightforward since the "add" option is oftentimes nowhere to become found. Apple Songs needs in order to have any single, unified search option. Additionally, these selections adjust with time when customers tap on the small coronary heart placed subsequent to always be able to songs these people like.

In June, the organization launched Apple Audio alongside a 24/7 streaming Internet radio services known as Beats One, that users may attempt out pertaining to free through the three-month trial period.

Dalrymple later on satisfied along with Apple concerning his issues, stating "[t]he missing along with duplicate song issues that we've all seen in Apple music are being fixed shortly. Various Other competitors (such as Rdio Songza or Spotify) will offer better support for that same--if not lower--prices.

It ended up being only a few time prior to Apple


introduced the streaming music service. Your music catalog offers yet in order to arrive up empty when looking for new content, and I've discovered a handful of new artists I can't stop listening to. The Actual same goes for any song found on Beats One, or perhaps any kind of content located inside the Songs app in iOS. With Regard To example, from 1 point, Apple Songs suggested I pay interest to an "Introduction to Vampire Weekend" playlist.

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My Music

The bigger (and arguably nearly all important) feature made accessible from Apple music will be its capacity to allow users access personal songs libraries from any compatible Apple device. The Particular just difficulty is, our audio library--which Apple Songs provides access to--is previously full of the same songs.

'For You' isn't always regarding you

I've just about all however stopped switching between the two research options, leaving Apple music as my go-to alternative and possess yet for you to arrive up empty-handed.

The "For You" section of Apple music is a distinctive mix of suggested playlists and artist suggestions based in your personal listening profile, that is always changing and also adapting for you to new artists. I mean, this is the identical company that revolutionized the background music industry simply by launching the iPod, and it has repeatedly touted audio as being a core a portion of the particular company's DNA; usually ending keynote events with reside performances in the likes associated with the Foo Fighters along with U2.

Apple's confusing new interface

One excellent aspect in the research function, however, is actually Siri. Apple's digital assistant quickly responds to some slew regarding commands, generating everything also easy to play music you would like to concentrate to.

I've experienced a lot of the same issues that caused notable Apple enthusiast Jim Dalrymple to be able to swear off at virtually any time making use of Apple Songs again. Listeners can tap around the "+" sign to include any playlist from the for You section for you to their very own personal library. Following activating my iPhone, iPad, along with Mac, I had three copies of every playlist during my private library.

By and large, your loudest and any lot typical grievance regarding Apple Songs will be its unintuitive interface. I do not know what this wonderful time recipe would be to ensure each as well as every single moment I want to incorporate the song for the ephemeral jam session your option is actually there, yet this really is just one associated with these of the many odd behaviors that simply don't seem sensible within Apple Music.

Searching regarding music using your service can be a weird experience as well. the service provides off the particular impression that most content articles are equal, whether it is content you've added to your current library as well as content material you've but for you to discover. Since regarding right now, it's obvious Apple music requirements much more function rather than definitely really worth the $10 per month price tag, though it exhibits a large amount of promise. When Apple Songs will be downloaded about any kind of iOS, OS X, or Windows device, Apple begins matching the local collection for you to its music catalog. These People are certainly aware of what's been likely on, I can easily assure you."

As I create this review, I'm listening to the Maroon 5 playlist, which include a number of the band's biggest hits. Although, my general experience continues for you to be mixed: Likely coming from being utterly amazed by Siri's suggestions to endlessly frustrated along with how to add the song to be able to my Up next playlist.

"Siri, play John Mayer radio."

Apple has 8 weeks left in its trial operate to obtain issues proper prior to customers tend to be faced with almost all the real query of whether as well as not the services is worth having for you to pay for. and the record moves on.. in order to generate the perfect product Apple didn't say "no" practically sufficient occasions when designing Apple Music.

My family members and I have got sat pertaining to hours--not an exaggeration--testing Siri's musical prowess and also wind up amazed each as well as every and every time.

Initially the actual curated playlists had been any bit off at first, however as I continued in order to "heart" new artists and songs my selections started to far better hone throughout on my taste and also display much better results. While making use of the particular research function, you're given 2 catalogs to search: Apple Audio or perhaps My Music. during the first setup, Apple assists curate a distinctive audio assortment by asking customers to choose a number of genres as well as artists they adore along with hate. Regardless regarding if you've accessed it through an iOS Songs app, or iTunes by approach of your computer, navigating the particular interface will be confusing. To Always Be Able To become clear, you never very own the particular content an individual add from Apple Music, however likely forward it's going to show up alongside the rest of your library as in the large event you did.

Siri's cool new tricks

For the past month, I've used Apple music every single day for various reasons: to keep me motivated, the particular kids dancing, and entertain dinner guests. Apple music inferred, depending on various other artists as well as songs I "hearted," which I would benefit through the band's music--and it absolutely was right.

Since Apple launched its audio streaming services issues haven't gone specifically for you to plan: Outages have kept customers coming from accessing their audio libraries, Apple assistance forums are usually overrun with assorted complaints (such as random songs appearing in devices and playlist errors) as well as the press has raked the organization more than hot coals for its confusing user interface.

"Siri, play that will song from your movie Titanic."

It just about all seems really straightforward, however in practice it's the nearly all frustrating section of the particular service. Further complicating the applying is when features you expect to be existing get disappeared, which in turn is really a difficulty in which will carry on to plague the actual Up next feature.

"Siri, play the top ten songs through 2001."

For a business in which prides itself about how many occasions executives say "no" to a style idea, invention, etc. I've discovered duplicated songs or playlists, along with mislabeled tracks that were handled as a standalone single instead of as section of an album collection as well as compilation... Consequently why then do I need to declare exactly where I want to search?

For individuals unaware, the actual "My Music" tab is how users can discover virtually any audio they've uploaded, along with any kind of content material they've subsequently additional making use of Apple Music