Drowning In A Sea Of Music 🌊

Over 20,000 new songs are released EVERY DAY. It would take a month and a half to listen to each one, by which time there would be almost a million more new releases. How is anyone supposed to keep up with that? It's a Herculean task, but some are trying...
 

The Rapid Rise And Sudden Fall Of 6ix9ine

Hip-hop artist 6ix9ine has built a massive following by playing an over-the-top bad boy on Instagram, a self-described "super villain." On his way up, he partnered with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods in Brooklyn to lend cred to his image. He's now facing federal racketeering charges for alleged crimes committed with that gang. 6ix9ine now claims that his "scum bag persona" was a character he played on social media. Hip-hop created an outlet for talented musicians to climb out of gang life. 6ix9ine did the exact opposite. Indeed, he only started rapping as a way to gain more followers on his path upwards to celebrity. The federal indictment alleges 6ix9ine committed violent acts. That he rose to such fame in the first place is an indictment to those of us who made him famous.
 

Macro Influencers Are So 2017

A lingering question around influencer marketing is, "how high can this go?" Is there a limit to the amount that global brands are willing to shell out for a social media star to post about their product? Well, just as the fame of and cost for influencers has risen, so has the risk for brands - especially after a few major stars suddenly turned radioactive after doing something stupid.  This risk is turning brands to a new set of partners: micro influencers with 4k to 50k followers. Micro influencers fall in the "engagement sweet-spot, because engagement is really a wonkish sort of word for emotional attachment and trust." There's other value, too. More, smaller influencers mitigate risk. If one of them, say, turns out to be a neo-Nazi, it doesn't become front page news. Also, micro influencers generally provide more for less - they're much more eager to present themselves as marketable and over deliver for brands. Read more on the taxonomy of influencers here.
 

Payless FTW

Hats off to Payless. The bargain shoe retailer recently took over a former Armani storefront in Santa Monica, CA, stocked it with their usual product, marked up their prices by up to 1800%, invited a group of influencers, and debuted the faux designer line "Palessi." Within the first few hours they sold over $3,000 worth of shoes. They of course returned the money to the influencers after the stunt (along w/ a pair of free shoes), but they kept something much more valuable: footage of the whole thing, which they're now turning into an ad campaign.  This kind of conspicuous consumption is really an evergreen topic for satire. Don't miss Hasan Mihnaj's episode on Supreme and street wear culture on his new show Patriot Act if you like your satire with a sharper barb.
 

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 LISTEN + LOOK 

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Factory Executive Producer Heather Healy (pictured here w/ LA food truck legend Roy Choi) has returned from maternity to lead our team of Producers forward into another successful year.
 

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See ya next week...
This WeekMatt Pennington