Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Universal Music Taps Talenthouse to Help Music Acts Find Free Help (and Publicity) on Facebook

Facebook has 750 million users. Some of whom are willing to work for their favorite celebrities for free.

That’s the pitch behind Talenthouse, a start-up designed to leverage the social network’s ever-expanding user base to help celebrities and brands run “social crowdsourcing competitions.”

The idea is that artists like Lady Gaga can use the service to find bloggers who will document her tour, or someone to design T-shirts, etc. But the real point of the competitions is the competitions themselves, which are supposed to become mini-“American Idol”s: They’re meant to drive exposure for the celebrities — and advertisers that back them — on Facebook.

Two-year-old Talenthouse has been signing up a steady stream of celebrities to use its platform, and today it is bringing in another slug of them, via a deal with Universal Music Group. The world’s largest music label has agreed to provide more than 100 of its artists for Talenthouse campaigns in a revenue-sharing deal.

Universal can’t compel any artists to use Talenthouse, so this doesn’t mean the service will get access to the likes of Jay-Z or U2. But it at least gets the chance to pitch them on the idea. The fact that the start-up has already worked with Universal star Lady Gaga won’t hurt.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik