SHARING AMERICA'S TECH NEWS FROM THE VALLEY TO THE ALLEY
Monday was a busy day for Miley Cyrus. The Hannah Montana star and platinum-selling singer’s latest single, “We Can’t Stop,” made its debut, and Cyrus was up bright and early to promote it on LA’s pop powerhouse KIIS-FM with host Ryan Seacrest. Then it was off to Silicon Valley for a full day of meetings with the technorati about how to push the party groove into a summertime hit.
Not so long ago, an artist debuting a song would sit down with DJs and the merchandizing folks at place like Wal-Mart to make sure it got good airplay and prime position on store shelves. But Cyrus, befitting a tech-savvy 20-year-old, was talking shop with social-media honchos at Facebook and Twitter, including the latter’s new Vine video service.
“This is kind of the tech mothership,” she told me. “If you can get them behind you, it’s more powerful than any label.” She also likes the fact that social networks let her talk directly to her fans — even though, she admits, sometimes that means filtering what’s on her mind.
And, befitting a woman who’s sold more than 20 million albums and sits on the Forbes list of richest entertainers, Cyrus had access Monday to the valley A-listers, including Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Instagram founder Kevin Systrom. She also went to Zuckerberg Media, run by Mark’s big sister Randi, to hold a live video chat via Spreecast; unfortunately, it was so popular that the service crashed.
“We had a huge influx of people,” Spreecast CEO Jeff Fluhr apologetically explained later. “The only two that have ever brought down the site that like are Britney Spears and this one.”
Cyrus planned to finish the day at Apple, where she was booked to sit down with “the entire music division at iTunes,” according to her manager, Adam Leber (who also reps Spears). “We Can’t Stop” was the top-selling single on iTunes shortly after its release Monday.
Cyrus told me she wanted to launch the new song via social media to reward her 12 million Twitter followers, who lit up the social network with anticipation after she tweeted at last month’s Billboard Music Awards that the single was on its way.
“Radio’s really important,” she said, “but it’s not really the way my fans are listening to music. Most of them are on Spotify or YouTube or whatever.”
Miley in action, 2007
Cyrus thinks Hollywood and the valley have much to teach one another; executives she met with Monday asked how to make their products even more useful for big-name entertainers. “I think it’s dope that they’re asking the artists,” she said. “We do as much for them as they do for us, so it’s kind of a good tradeoff.”
High on her wish list was a way to keep “haters” from filling an artist’s fan pages and Twitter streams with vitriol.
She even put a high-tech twist on her trip logistics: Cyrus flew to the valley via BlackJet, a booking service for private jets backed by the likes of Marc Benioff and ex-MySpace CEO Mike Jones, and she was shuttled from meeting to meeting via a fleet of SUVs booked on Uber. Meanwhile, an MTV documentary crew was following her every move. All in a day’s work, her handlers shrugged.
Thank you. TiA.