The future of live music is coming

June 20, 2019

Today, we have an Instagram protest and Lululemon knows best, but first…
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Hologram tours are here, but not everyone’s gung-ho about ghost concerts

The ghost of Whitney Houston is coming to a stage near you in 2020 — and she’ll likely be the opening act for years of deceased artists to follow. 

A company called Base Hologram is one of several companies seeking to turn hologram shows into a regular part of the music industry, Fast Company reports — like you might remember from the gimmicky Ghost Tupac appearance at 2012 Coachella.

The not-so-surprising result of our nostalgia obsession

Though Keith Richards may seem immortal, he and other popular musicians are not going to be around forever. 

Yet when it comes to concerts, old is in: U2, Journey, Def Leppard, and The Rolling Stones were among the top 10 highest-grossing tours last year. 

So Base Hologram, which has secured rights for Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly, is aiming to give the “Farewell Tour” an entirely different meaning by staging hologram concerts with the digital likenesses of deceased stars.

It’s becoming common for movies, too

A company called Digital Domain uses scanning technology to de-age actors and create 3D digital images of them. You’ve seen it with Carrie Fisher in “Rogue One” and Samuel L. Jackson in “Captain Marvel.” 

Entertainment insiders tell MIT Technology Review the casting of deceased actors and younger versions of actors is going to become more prevalent because they’re a “safe bet” in an increasingly risk-averse industry. 

In other words, Blade Runner 2098 could still have Harrison Ford in it.  

But doesn’t this seem a little unethical? 

Some current actors are opting to make digital versions of themselves (or signing contracts with studios that require it). 

But, that’s not the case with Houston and other deceased artists, whose rights are being sold by estates and record labels. Critics have likened the hologram business to “ghost slavery.” 

But don’t expect their concerns to stop any holograms from taking stage. 

Peter Lehman, an Arizona State professor who wrote a book about Orbison, says, “People who are appalled by this should stay home, but stop worrying about the music world as we know it.”

Ghosts on the mic
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Adult performers protested Instagram’s nudity guidelines yesterday

Adult performers have taken an #instaSTRIKE straight to IG’s Silicon Valley doorstep where they picketed the company for what they say is its wrongful termination of sex workers’ accounts.

Other users — including artists and various activists — say they’ve been affected by the platform’s arbitrary removal system as well.

2-4-6-8-Instagram’s act-ing opaque 

According to The Guardian, the protestors said the guidelines currently in place are “opaque” and inconsistent, with little explanation for why accounts are removed.

According to James Felton, legal counsel of the Adult Performers Actors Guild, 1k adult professionals have had their Instagram accounts banned that didn’t contain any nude material at all. And that’s just 2019 so far.

Hi. People make their living on the internet now

As Instagram — a service with over 1B users, and an influencer market expected to reach as high as $2.3B by 2020 — grows, grading systems (inconsistent or not) have very large consequences for a very large, and growing, group of people.

And IG isn’t the only one playing fast and loose with people’s financial fate: Facebook and Twitter have also had their share of wrongful termination controversies (Twitter just gained a competitor because of it).

This time, collective bargaining came through

By yesterday afternoon, the Adult Performers Actors Guild tweeted an update, saying the march was a success.

According to the APAG, Instagram agreed to reinstate deleted accounts from a list provided by the union.

» Big win for bargaining
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Lululemon sells ‘self-care products’ because every brand wants to be a lifestyle brand

Lululemon is expanding its leisurewear empire into the realm of self-care products such as deodorant, moisturizer, and dry shampoo.

Lulu’s sales are already on a roll: Digital sales soared 35% last quarter, beating expectations. But the company thinks it can stretch its lucky leggings even further — and so Lulu’s expanding into the lucrative cosmetics market.

The yoga lifestyle only starts with the yoga pants

Lululemon sold its first pair of yoga pants in 1998. Since then, the company has expanded beyond activewear to lifestyle apparel, yoga accessories, footwear — and now self-care products.

Along the way, Lululemon proved leggings are a lucrative business: The company’s market value is around $24B, and shares in the business are up 50% so far this year. 

No big brand can afford not to be a lifestyle brand

Lululemon became leaders in the leisurewear biz by using their big, bougie brand to expand into untapped markets — and now, Lulu smells a sandalwood-scented opportunity.

But if you’re on your way home from a rousing yoga sesh and looking to “reset your flushed face back to its pre-workout colour,” don’t hold your breath: Most of Lulu’s products — like the “Sweat Reset” face moisturizer, which will run you $48 for a 1.6-oz. tube — are already out of stock.

» Lulu-Kachoo

Research shows 75% of tech workers will relocate, foreshadowing a ‘tech-xodus’

New trade group research reviewed by Axios shows that 3 out of 4 tech workers will relocate for a job, suggesting most tech employees will work from anywhere.

Now, as workers gear up to chase lower costs of living, companies will have to decide whether or not to follow.

Workers are ready to leave

When picking a place to live, 82% of tech workers prioritize cost of living more than any other factor (weather, commute times, and affordable housing follow closely behind). 

[Notably, women seem to be more particular about location than men: 55% of women consider job location very important, while only 43% of men feel the same way].

So now, the ball’s in the employer’s court

While tech talent is more footloose than ever, many of the people in positions to start new companies cut their teeth in tech hubs like San Francisco, where most opportunities have historically existed.

As these tech veterans start new companies, many will do so outside of expensive hubs like Silicon Valley… because they know people are more willing than ever to follow them anywhere, particularly to places where the rent’s cheap and the weather’s balmy.

» The tech-xodus

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