high note with `Karaoke'.
It's almost Stone Age, but it's true. One of the most successful
shows MTV has in Taiwan relies on one of the oldest musical tricks in
the book: karaoke. The show "Karaoke Box" allows MTV
viewers a chance to sing their favorite pop songs on TV.
A half-hour show
filled with patchy singers could be ratings death. But the perky
graphics and participation of stars on "Karaoke Box" has
quickly made it one of MTV's highest-rated Taiwanese shows -- and one
that could be adapted for other markets.
The unknowns sing
and then their pre-recorded performances are heavily snipped into
segments of a mere few seconds. Only one hopeful each week gets to
croon a full-length track -- and that performance is subjected to the
scrutiny of the star who made it popular.
humiliation, however, hasn't stopped thousands from singing with
off-key renditions of their favorite songs.
Box," like many of the shows MTV is releasing in Taiwan, was
specifically designed for the Taiwanese market.
MTV took note of
Taiwan's burgeoning cable penetration and launched there almost five
years ago. The network wasn't an instant hit, but MTV Asia president
Frank Brown prefers to liken its shaky start to a stealth attack.
pretty niche by choice, because to some extent the objective of MTV
is to create a mass cult," Brown says. "You have to be edgy
Those days seem to
be over; MTV has since made solid inroads into the mainstream. It now
reaches 99% of Taiwan's 5 million cable households.
have shown MTV to be the leading music channel for almost two years.
MTV Taiwan already produces 11 of its own shows, but Brown hopes to
keep the momentum going by releasing more new programming in March.
MTV hopes its
success in Taiwan will also spill over into the Chinese market, which
also receives Taiwan's Mandarin-language feed.
however, Taiwan remains the focus. Karaoke might be big in mainland
China, but for the moment, Taiwan's cable penetration and potential
advertising dollars are much more in tune with MTV's aims.
Hun Sen calls
for ban on 'sexy' clothes on Cambodian TV.
Prime Minister Hun
Sen on Wednesday called for a ban on depiction of women in ''sexy''
clothes in TV and karaoke videos, calling them harmful to Cambodian
culture, said Mu Sokhour, minister of women's affairs.
Mu Sokhour said
Hun Sen's call was correct and timely to repair the damage to
Cambodian culture caused by foreign cultures.
minister's request was made at a gathering of some 100
representatives of the country's seven TV stations and dozens of
video and karaoke outfits.
It was the first
time for Hun Sen to directly appeal for a ban to managers and
directors of TV stations and related businesses, though he has raised
the issue in public several times.
minister said he has noticed that some actresses wear short and tight
skirts, while others wear few clothes,'' said Sak Sithon, director of
Independence Video Production.
Mu Sokhour voiced
concern that if Cambodian culture is not properly preserved, younger
generations, especially teenagers, will suffer.
Karaoke Amateurs Carry
Latest Levi's TV Advertising Tune
latest broadcast creative for Lewi's "Make Them Your Own"
campaign, via TBWA/Chiat/Day, launched last week for a run that
continues through next summer with a Karaoke theme and features three
songs, "Downtown," "Karma Chameleon" and
"Kung Fu Fighting," sung by "real" young people,
not actors, without scripts or rehearsals. A total of 36 spots, 12 of
each song, will rotate throughout the campaign. The 30-second spots,
which target consumers of all ages, carry the "Make Them Your
Own" tagline and call out either levi.com or a specific product
focus. Media includes MTV, Fox, ESPN, others. Chuck McBride is
executive creative director.
The irock! MP3 Player
Line From First International Digital, Inc.
Ill.-First International Digital, Inc., a Motorola spin-off, known
for their innovative irock! line of MP3 players, has signed a
distribution agreement with Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE: IM), the largest
global wholesale provider of technology products and supply chain
management services, for the distribution of their irock! 600 series
of MP3 Players. The product line will initially be distributed
through Ingram Micro U.S.
An industry first,
the fully featured irock! MP3 players feature a patent pending
proprietary MP3i (MP3 Interactive) technology, which enables these
fun handhelds to become a portable karaoke studio. The karaoke
function allows the user to view the song's lyrics in synchronization
with the music. Additionally, the user can record his or her own
voice along with the original recording - in effect, "cutting
their own tracks."
In addition to the
unique karaoke feature, the irock! 600 series comes standard with 64
MB of MMC memory, built-in voice recorder, dual headphone jacks, a
belt clip that doubles as a desk stand, two pre-loaded karaoke songs,
and 60 pre-selected MP3 songs (on CD). FID offers 2 models in the
irock! 600 series, the irock! 620, suggested at $229.99, and the
irock! 680, which also comes equipped with a built-in FM tuner,
suggested at $279.99.
MP3 players are a fun, innovative product offering for our
customers," said Jim Harr, vice president product management,
general manager peripherals, Ingram Micro U.S. "irock!'s unique
karaoke feature differentiates it from similar product offerings in
the competitive digital audio player category."
First International Digital's vice president of marketing and sales
added: "This agreement opens up many new sales opportunities for
FID. Our products will be available to thousands of retailers that
utilize the vast network and unparalleled support system of Ingram Micro."
The irock! 600
series includes two models, the irock! 620 and the irock! 680:
* irock! 620-
$229.99 (msrp) comes standard with 64 MB of MMC card memory, dual
headphone jacks, built-in voice recorder, belt clip that doubles as a
desk stand, two pre-loaded karaoke songs, and 60 pre-selected MP3
songs (on CD)
* irock! 680-
$279.99 (msrp) includes everything the irock! 620 has, plus an FM
Tuner with five presets.
about the irock! line can be found at: www.myirock.com.
Machine Co. To Begin Trading on the
Exchange On March 8, 2001.
Fla.-The Singing Machine Co. (OTC:SING), a leading manufacturer and
distributor of electronic karaoke equipment and related audio
software, today announced that its common stock will begin trading on
the American Stock Exchange tomorrow, March 8, 2001, under the symbol SMD.
Machine's listing on the American Stock Exchange is a major milestone
for our company and an important element in our strategy to build
value for our shareholders. We expect the AMEX listing it to enhance
Singing Machine's visibility in the financial community and to
improve the market for our stock," said Chief Operating Officer