Gangnam Style heads towards a billion views

Gangnam Style

840,131,442 views since July. Wonder how soon Gangnam Style will hit a billion views. AdAge reckons Dec 11.

Watch the video at YouTube:

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  • If you’ve not really heard of Gangnam Style other than that it’s a music video, here’s a bit of background from its Wikipedia entry:

“Gangnam Style” […] is a K-pop single by the South Korean music artist PSY. The song was released on July 15, 2012, as the lead single of his sixth studio album PSY 6 (Six Rules), Part 1. “Gangnam Style” debuted at number one on the Gaon Chart, the national record chart of South Korea. As of November 27, 2012, the music video has been viewed over 835 million times on YouTube, and is the site’s most watched video after surpassing Justin Bieber’s single “Baby”.

The phrase “Gangnam Style” is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The song and its accompanying music video went viral in August 2012 and have influenced popular culture since then. “Gangnam Style” was almost universally praised for its catchy beat and PSY’s amusing dance moves in the music video and during live performances in various locations such as Madison Square Garden, The Today Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Samsung commercials. On September 20, 2012, “Gangnam Style” was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most “liked” video in YouTube history. It subsequently won Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards held later that year.

A lot more information at Wikipedia including about parodies and politicians. AdAge has more on that including the big advertising and marketing dimension.

Gangnam Style: a popular cultural phenomenon that transcends national cultures.

[Update December 21:] A billion views achieved today!

1 billion views

Stream (and buy) music while you do the grocery shopping

If you do your grocery shopping in Tesco, you may already know that you can stay connected in the depths of the typical supermarket where no network signal usually reaches, thanks to Tesco’s own wifi network in most stores.

Now, you’ll be able to enjoy your weekly shopping by listening to streaming music to your mobile device from the We7 internet radio station that Tesco just bought. It’s free to listen to as it’s currently ad supported.

While this move is another step by the UK’s biggest supermarket chain to further develop its digital offerings, it’s also another example of how the retail experience for consumers is far more than just putting stuff in your shopping trolley and paying for it at the checkout. Look at rival Sainsbury’s, for instance, and its acquisition this week of e-book retailer Anobi.

So when will you be able to enjoy the tracks as you shop? Stay tuned…

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Tesco buys We7 online radio station
Tesco spends £11m on the internet radio station co-founded by Peter Gabriel as it bolsters online entertainment offering

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Voices from the Ealing tweetup

Just under a year ago, I went to my first Ealing Tweetup in Ealing, west London. Organized by Mark Hillary, it was unlike any other tweetup I’d been to before in a number of ways especially the local-community, non-geeky feel to it. It was terrific and I’ve been hoping to be able to go to another one.

I did just that a few days ago when I joined nearly 200 other  people at “The biggest Ealing tweetup ever!” on September 1.


This event abounded with superlatives, starting with the bold description on its Twtvite page:

Since 2009, probably the best social media event in London! Certainly the tweetup with the best music, the best networking, and most interesting bloggers!

I wouldn’t argue with that based on the one I went to last year, the relentless buzz on Twitter since then and the sheer drive of prime organizer Mark Hillary and, for last week’s event, Hayden Sutherland.

Amongst all the informality, buzz, conversation and enjoyment, last week’s tweetup had a serious intent in supporting community businesses in the aftermath of the London riots of early August (Ealing suffered but is recovering):

Help Ealing… #ealingunites
Coming soon after the attacks on Ealing (Phil Smith stayed up all night defending the R&C) this is going to be an even-more-important-than-usual community event… staff from many other attacked pubs, including The Kings Arms, The Red Lion and The Castle will be here…
We will be collecting cash from Tweetup guests for the Mayor of Ealing’s Relief Fund. This special fund has been created to give help directly to local citizens and small businesses affected by the recent riots… do something to help the community…

The tweetup’s primary sponsor, HCL Technologies, offered to contribute £2 to the Mayor of Ealing’s Riot Relief Fund for every tweet or retweet that included the hashtag #ealingtu. Fuller’s Brewery in Chiswick – just down the road from Ealing – provided welcome pints of delicious London Pride for everyone. And of course the pub itself – the Rose and Crown – was magnificent in its hospitality for such an exuberant crowd.

I could stay only for a short time so I arrived at 6pm on the dot and was able to be there until about 7.30pm – just before the bands started playing and the real fun began.

But during that 90 minutes, I did manage to meet and chat with a few handfuls of people to get their views about why they were at this Ealing tweetup, capturing their thoughts with my handy Zoom H4N portable digital audio recorder.

You’ll hear from Hayden Sutherland, Dawn Stewart, Karolina Shaw, Rachel Stone, Ben Gould, Virginia from the Red Lion pub, Karen from Charlotte’s Place restaurant, Bryan Glick, Ranjana Sharma, Laura Spence, and Rory Cellan-Jones.

Thanks to all who were willing to share their thoughts.

It was a great event, thanks to Mark, Hayden and everyone who took part. Undoubtedly others will be posting their opinions, photos, etc, so follow the hashtag #ealingtu to find more.

Rock your holiday weekend


It’s late summer bank holiday weekend in the UK, noted in the cultural calendar as not only the conclusion of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe but also for two big music festivals – Reading and Leeds – where thousands of music fans congregate over three days to enjoy some terrific live sounds.

If you can’t get to Reading or Leeds this weekend (or even if you can), you can also enjoy some terrific sounds with this week’s episode of The Friday Rock Show with Ewan Spence which I had the great pleasure of presenting on Ewan’s behalf while he continued presenting and producing The Edinburgh Fringe Show podcasts.

Tracks in this episode:

You can subscribe to The Rock Show in iTunes or any other RSS Reader so you’ll never miss a show. Feel free to leave your comments on this post or drop Ewan an email ( if you have any suggestions for the show, or want to appear.

This is the second time I’ve presented Ewan’s show – the first time was in March 2007 – thanks again, Ewan, it was a blast!

Campaign launched to help labels affected by Sony warehouse fire


While emotional opinions and anger run high as looters roamed the night-time streets of many British cities, one of the most heart-breaking stories of consequential loss as a result of the violence and destruction in London this past weekend is the impact on many independent music labels following the total destruction of Sony’s CD and DVD distribution warehouse in Enfield, north London.

The warehouse was the only one of its type in the UK.

A report in the London Evening Standard says that the independent music industry is facing its biggest crisis in decades as the arson attack by looters on Sony’s warehouse destroyed probably the entire stock of CDs and vinyl from more than 100 small labels.

[…] New releases from the Arctic Monkeys and Charlie Simpson have been affected or delayed after all copies destined for the shops were destroyed.

XL Recordings, the company behind chart-topping Adele, is among those hit. But while it will be able to shift stock from Europe to cover the shortfall on her hit album 21, smaller niche labels fear for their very existence.

The sector has been hit so badly because Sony DADC stored and distributed the entire stock of indie marketing company Pias, which acts for more than 100 indie labels. There are even fears, not confirmed, that master tapes and hard drives have been destroyed, meaning recordings could be lost forever.

labelloveThere is good news, though. The Guardian reports on a campaign to raise money for these indie labels via LabelLove, a website set up by to let music fans pledge their support.

As a business podcaster for the past six years, I strongly support independent music – Shel and I play a podsafe indie track at the end of every podcast, usually sourced from Music Alley, as one way of bringing indie music to the attention of people who may otherwise not discover it.

Please support this campaign. As LabelLove says on its website:

[…] Our aim is to try and rally the music industry, both on the artist and the audience sides, and see if we can raise some money to see those affected through the tough times ahead.

You can support in these ways:

If you don’t want to do any of those things, how about buying digital copies of some of those indie artists’ music?

More details on the campaign in the Guardian’s story, appended below.

(The Guardian’s report is published here with permission via the Guardian News Feed plugin for WordPress.)

Powered by article titled “Campaign launched to help labels affected by Sony warehouse fire” was written by Tim Jonze, for on Wednesday 10th August 2011 13.31 Europe/London

A campaign is underway to raise money for independent labels affected by a fire that destroyed the Pias distribution centre in Enfield on Monday night.

The blaze, which started during the London riots, destroyed the Sony warehouse holding the Pias inventory. The warehouse contained records from almost 200 indpendent labels, as well as singles and albums set for release by more established artists such as Arctic Monkeys and Charlie Simpson.

Now a campaign has been launched to help labels affected, with the LabelLove website set up to allows music fans to donate money to the cause. People can also email to find out about other ways to help out. Dan Salter, one of the campaign organisers, said: “We’ve been amazingly inundated with offers of help and support on this idea, and we are going to concentrate on trying to organise a series of live events to help this cause. Based on the offers we’ve had already, this is looking likely.”

The Twitter account @_label_love_ has been set up to keep followers updated with the latest news while the hashtag #labellove is being used by music fans to voice support. Musician Dan Le Sac used it to tweet: “I’d sell a kidney for independent music, without passionate people doing it for love, I would still be behind the counter of HMV. #labellove”

Sean Adams, who founded the website Drowned in Sound, has compiled a spreadsheet of the artists distributed by Pias. He aims to open this up to hackers in the hope they can build tools using the data to encourage fans to buy music on the labels affected. Adams said: “I imagine there are some life-changing labels, who’ve bravely put out records that have shaped our music scene, who may struggle over the coming weeks and months. The idea [to compile the spreadsheet] came because I couldn’t find one place with links to all the labels’ websites and I thought it’d be cool to look at all those amazing labels’ catalogues, and perhaps link it with to see which acts it recommends or to create a video jukebox or do something amazing with SoundCloud players.” will be posting updates on the situation and how it affects labels and artists over the coming days. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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Feeling good

Another year – and a decade – draws to a close. I don’t know about you but my thoughts tend to look forward to what may be coming in the New Year rather than only looking back on what has been.

In spite of an uncertain economic outlook in 2011, I’m feeling good about the coming year both professionally and personally. One song in particular epitomizes that outlook for me, not coincidentally called Feeling Good.

Many artists have covered this song since it first appeared in 1965. My two favourites are the versions by Michael Bubl̩ and Nina Simone Рtwo singers who bring very different and powerful treatments to a modern classic.

Choices and best wishes for the New Year.