27 April 2011

Jay-Z Lifestyle Website ... Is he the new Oprah or Martha?

The Ultimate Luxury Perk:   Jay-Z Launches Own “Lifestyle” Website

Jay-Z and Gwyneth Paltrow are two heavyweight icons of pop-culture impacting the industries of music, film, TV, books, and now with the addition of Jay-Z’s Life + Times website, both superstars are drawing eyeballs and unique visitor metrics to their “lifestyle” websites, the status symbol that is quickly replacing the Bentley as the ultimate must-have.
Jay and Gwynie are both hugely popular and wildly wealthy, especially if you also throw their respective spouses’ incomes and net worth into the revenue mix, musical giants Beyonce and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. Private jets, Maybachs, helicopters and yachts routinely shuttle these entertainment power-ranking uber stars to and fro their palazzos and pied-a-terres in Paris and Tuscany, New York and London.  For globe-trotting superstars, it really is a small luxury world after all.   But the Internet is really the platform of choice to increase their global footprint.  (btw, here is GP's interview of JZ.  And here is JZs interview of GP)

Of course, the original purveyors of lifestyle influence talk shows were those dames of daytime:  Martha Stewart, the home decorating and home entertaining diva, and Oprah, the talk show guru and lifestyle publisher.   Oprah’s reach is vast and varied, from magazines to books, network TV to film, Internet to new cable channels.  Although Martha’s star faded a bit after a stint in the clink for lying to federal investigators about insider-trading, she’s rebounded quite nicely, and both women are still the reigning queens of lifestyle influence, especially amongst a certain demographic and generation of women, viz., the boomers.

But, Oprah’s influence, unlike Martha who lost control of her media empire, has spread well beyond her own viewership and readership.  Indeed, her highly regarded production company has spawned the likes of Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, as well as producing numerous movies.  Such successes have seen Oprah’s income don gossamer wings and float up close to $400 million annually.
Gwyneth Paltrow then, ever the protean multi-hyphenate, was motivated a few years back to get in on this Interweb craze, and savvy enough to make her big launch announcement for her lifestyle website “GOOP” like some junior Oprah or Martha (even if the GOOP newsletter does seem like a straight lift from Daily Candy).   No matter, her fans are delighted to discover her recommendations for fashion, food, and to help keep her website sticky which is what marketers appreciate.   

Bringing us to Jay-Z:  kid is just blowin’ up (I’ve been trying to use that phrase for like six months), and his star keeps rising with him producing, performing, investing heavily in fashion houses and sports franchises and cashing monster checks (he’s got 99 problems, but being rich ain’t one) with his net worth at almost $500 million.  And, now this truly unique website.

Where Ms. Paltrow’s GOOP seems cute and cuddly and Gwynie-centric, Jay-Z’s lifestyle launch has an edgy élan, wielding a sharp cultural blade that cuts an urbane swath into areas that foodies, businessmen, musicologists, writers, and car aficionados alike will appreciate.  He doesn’t have a single piece of content with his name on it (so far), save for one Twitter pic that has the initials ‘SC’ (Shawn Carter) on it.  

Jay-Z's website seems genuinely absent from self-promotion (well, at least shameless self-promotion), but has a wealth of content to promote Jay-Z’s lifestyle featuring interviews with trend setters like forward-thinking chefs (Daniel Boulud), art, sports, designers and musicians (Little Dragon).  Jay even has a cross-promotional interview with Gwynie that's surprising.  Gotta hand it to the Roc-A-Fella Records founder … he’s got quite the interesting lifestyle.  


Julia Christie said...

A quick thank you for the sweet comment! Ever the gentleman JG!


Char said...

i find it funny sometimes that now that they are established they want to try to relate to my "life" and frankly, i don't relate to any of them in a real sense. i think i take some pointers maybe from martha and dumb it down so i can do it...and i try to take the positives from oprah about living my best life...but, still - too many either have forgotten the reality of daily living or never lived there in the first place.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

I quite like what Char said. I do like the fact that JZ like you stated is somewhat in the shadows. Not having his face/name branded on much @ all. His fortune is mind boggling and it proves to show that some are just born either under the lucky stars and/or with such cunning business sense. I on the other hand had to 'let-go' our Realtor team (next door neighbor's and friends) & I'm a hot mess. No empire could I run!

Why didn't my parents teach me that just being 'nice' isn't good enough? Have a fabulous weekend Jg. : )

Caleb S. Garcia said...

Great blog Johnny B. Goode. "The Dames of Daytime" - I love it, that should be the title of something.

Your write up swayed in the middle and then jumped back to high gear with the Jay Z wrap up. He is one talented rapper- "Empire State of Mind" anyone.