In the old days of rock and roll, artists went to great lengths to avoid looking like they were selling out or going too commercial. Those days are long gone. Today, younger audiences seem to reward celebrities who can use the system to better promote themselves (and whatever companies pay them to sell their wares). Is it still possible in this age of always-on marketing to cross the line? Here’s WaPo’s Chris Richards on Jay-Z’s Samsung-powered album release: “Are we still Jay-Z fans? Or are we Jay-Z customers? The answer to that late-capitalist riddle arrives with the rap icon’s insidious new album, Magna Carta . . . Holy Grail — which first appeared last week as a data collection exercise disguised as a smartphone app capable of delivering a bundle of mediocre rap songs to your mobile device.” I still think members of the younger generation of music fans look at Jay-Z’s Samsung deal and are impressed.
+ Three rock bands sold more than a million albums last year. The first two were Mumford & Sons and the Black Keys. The third: Skillet.
+ It would be pretty cool to have the Black Keys sponsor your little league team (how did Samsung miss out on this co-marketing opportunity?).