Media Beat: July 19, 2021

Media Beat: July 19, 2021

By David Farrell

Dance Monkey, the mini-me edition

Since its release in 2019, Dance Monkey by Australia’s Toni Watson (aka Tones And I) has become a global hit and a viral sensation of the order of Psy’s Gangnam Style, with umpteen covers that now include a clever, pricey CGI video created by an entity calling itself Milana Life Baby. The result is hilarious, as one can see below. For the real deal, Live Nation concerts has Tones booked for shows in Montreal and Toronto on March 29 and 30 at Telus Centre and History respectively.

The hype, the hopes and fears behind 5G

5G sounds promising. This new, super-fast internet connection will let us download an HD movie in seconds. Doctors will be able to perform remote surgery with virtually no lag time. And it’ll make self-driving cars smarter and safer. But there are also suspicions that 5G will expose us to more security breaches, privacy issues and even health problems. So what exactly is 5G? And how much of the excitement or fear is just hype?


Why should we care about SpaceX?

Billionaires have a way of shaking things up. Just look at Elon Musk and how his company, SpaceX, just became the first private enterprise to put people into orbit. Musk wants to make space travel like air travel. On top of that, SpaceX also wants to rocket people between cities. “Anywhere in under an hour” — that’s their sales pitch. Will Musk and SpaceX succeed? How long until we can board a rocket ourselves? And where’s it all heading?

Spectrum auction bids raise questions about debt at Canada’s Big Three telecoms

Canada’s three largest telecoms – Rogers Communications Inc., Telus Corp. and BCE Inc. – are expected to shell out a combined $2.8-billion on the airwaves, according to a report by TD Securities. A report from Desjardins Securities predicted the Big Three, along with Cogeco Inc. and Quebecor Inc., could pay around $3-billion, but noted that spectrum prices are difficult to forecast. South of the border, an auction for similar airwaves netted US$80.9-billion. – Alexandra Posadzki, The Globe and Mail


Netflix primed to add video games to its expanding entertainment menu

Games would be offered on Netflix alongside movies, TV shows, documentaries and kids fare at no additional cost, according to a Bloomberg report, which cited a source familiar with the situation. More than 212 million Americans play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association. – Erik Gruenwedel, Media Play News

Amazon acquires SmarLess podcast for as much as $80M Inc. is buying exclusive rights to “SmartLess,” the podcast hosted by actors Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes, hoping the celebrity-interview program can draw more listeners to its subscription-based music service.

Terms of the three-year deal are undisclosed, but the total value is estimated at between US$60M and US$80M, according to a person familiar with the matter. – Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

Podcast acquisition craze good for hosts

Spotify, Amazon and SiriusXM have spent more buying podcasts in the past couple years than the entire industry has made in revenue. But these companies didn’t make those deals to immediately turn a profit on them. They want to use podcasts to attract new customers and grab a larger share of the audio market. Some of those customers will decide to upgrade to a paid subscription, while the free users serve as the foundation for an audio advertising business. – Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg


Millennials, aging and snobbery

The millennial generation is said to be between 25 and 40-years-old right now, so no longer spring chickens with Gen Z setting the trends.

However, it seems we have a lot of opinions about what makes us old, judging certain behaviours as pretty ancient, like eating dairy or getting bills in the post.

According to new research from energy retailer Love Energy Savings, the two biggest signs for millennials were putting a hankie up your sleeve and using cash – which came joint top – with 28% of the vote.


Everything from watching the telly to enjoying a book are off-limits for youth-seekers, and talking on the phone is also a no-go. – Jessica Lindsay, Metro UK

Olympic sized corruption

Olympic bid consultants contribute to a certain esprit de corruption. French prosecutors are pursuing bribery allegations against Tokyo 2020 bidders for shunting $2 million to Papa Massata Diack, a ‘consultant’ and son of former IOC member Lamine Diack, in order to secure votes for the Tokyo campaign. Haruyuki Takahashi, a consultant for Tokyo’s bid, allegedly dipped into an $8.2 million honey pot to secure IOC votes by way of bribery. In 2015, the IOC inaugurated a consultant registry for 2024 Olympic bids, though it is unclear whether this will simply convert illegal grift into legal graft. – Jules Boykoff, red pepper

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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