Christie's saves this spring sales in New-york with Andy Warhol

These last days have occurred the famous and traditionals Art's spring sales in New-york.
An opportunity to get feedbacks about the health of the Art market... Let's compare and react about the two main auction houses, Christie's and Sotheby's.

Christie’s, the auction house of Francois Pinault, has lived Wednesday night a surprise with the longest bid of its history. It took sixteen minutes dual between the private seller Philippe Ségalot and an anonym buyer to conclude the offer, one of the first Andy Warhol’s self-portrait, awarded at 38,4 millions dollars. (much more than estimations)

This is a real high top for the pop art’s king. Its last record has reached 32,5 millions dollars in May 2010. Considered by Christie’s as the « Birth of cool », this self-portrait realised with basic photobooth has been acquired for 1600 dollars by Florence Barron, a collector from Detroit in 1963.

Sill talking about contemporary, the big red self-portrait of 1986 realised just before its death by Warhol, has been awarded by the new-yorker José Mugrabi, called « The guy with the 800 warhols » for 27,5 millions dollars (including sales fees)
The sale of a big Rothko at Christie’s for 33,6 millions dollars, much more than estimations, confirms once again the benefits of good quality.

However, neither the « Marie Therese Walter » by Picasso last week, or the « Pink Panthere » by Jeff Koons kept their promises at Sotheby’s with prices under the poorest estimations. Even the « Sixteen Jackies » of Warhol has reached a disappointed price.

After these mixed and confusing sales, Christie’s shows a total benefit of 302 millions dollars (with 95 % of its items sold) againt only 128 millions (and 85% of items sold) for the rival Sotheby’s.

In spite of these contrasted results and the evidence of a breathlessness, the general tendance confirms the growth potential of the Art Market, and above all thanks to the Asian investors who are starting to invest more and more in this sector.

For two years, since the bad times in 2008, Christie’s assists to the raise of its sales of 53 % to 5 billions dollars in 2010, whereas Sotheby’s has doubled its global bids to 4,3 billions in the same year.

All these recent events reassures me, because it shows that despite everything’s going on in the Financial sector, the Art is still something so deep and important that it will always have a place in the market.


After ten years of stalking, here it comes : Ben Laden's death


Today, I would like to speak about Ben Laden's death as It has been an huge event all around the world, and even if it is not really linked with music or cinema, it is however kind of cultural.

On this Monday 2nd of May 2011, Barack Obama has announced the death of Al-Qaîda’s leader.

On the market, consequences are obvious.
 The dollars is suddenly raising.
 The death of the enemy number one in the US involves many reactions on the financial sector.
Increase of the dollars, fall of the oil, the change in America is expected to grow up. In Asia and Europe, all the market seem to delight of Ben Laden’s death as well.

The dollar is thus under 1,48 dollars (1,477 exactly) while it was 1,4864 two hours before.

The death of the big enemy push investors to buy dollars, whereas American’s money was falling down for these last few weeks.

Beside, oil prices fall back of 1,3% to 112,39 dollars on americans market.
The price of money is falling down of almost 13 % as well.
All the american contracts are already announcing a raise of almost 1% of the main indices.

All these consequences can be explained by the fact that the concerns are growing up in Moyen orient, which involves the fall of oil prices, while in the meantime it involves a relief in the US with much more interest for the dollars.

However, according to Daisuke Karakama, economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank, this news won’t support dollars for the long term. The FED politic is more important for dollars which will considered as a weak one compared to others moneys.

I think what happened last night shows us the end of the fear, and the feeling of waiting for something better in the futur, in politic as well as in economy and finance. 


London : Center of the world… Yes !

With the Royal Wedding today, and the Olympic Games next year, without forgetting the « Queen's diamond jubilee » to celebrate the 60 years reign of Queen Elisabeth, London is get used to be center of the world… What a good news !

Since few days, TV channels and every kind of media from all around the world took strategic positions in our beautiful city around Westminster Abbey and Buckingham to be able to see everything of what we can certainly called the most attended event of the decade. 

Here it comes : The Royal Wedding.

According to estimations, spectators should be more than 2 bilions, four times more than another big wedding, the one of our dearest Charles and Diana in 1981. Just to compare, taking the examples of the Olympic Games which is usually the most watched event of TV, the one which hit the top was the Pekin’s ones, and it reached around 4 bilions spectators… Impressive.

To get a stead among these tv channels and be a part of it, the rent cost is £ 60 000 a week.

French tv channels are of course really excited and they organised their venue properly, but nothing compared to Americans ones… ABC, CBS, CNN are more than others channels in strenght with hundreds of journalists each.
American people, as we can imagine, have a strong passion for Kate and William (we can’t blame them, right ?) CBS has even dressed a huge studio in the heart of Trafalgar Square, with view on Big Ben and the procession.

British tourism’s organisators are expecting 600 000 more spectators, so 1,1 milions of people, posting in Westminster, Buckingham and Hyde Park with these massive TVs.

Regarding another aspect, souvenir sells and spending in food and drinks to party and enjoy the « Royal week-end » should bring around £ 620 milions to UK.

So, happy Wedding and long life to Kate and Will !



Spotify changes its strategy and become a paying service. Goodbye unlimited freedom

Bad times for music lovers...

Our favorite service of music streaming online service has just announced a reorganization of its concept, and a modification of its free offer.

Two years after its launch, Spotify has reached the one million 
subsribers. Available in Europe only, the service would like to seduce labels to be able to develop in the United States.

Here comes the idea of becoming paying...

Now, one track will be listened only five times for free, and after these five plays, there will be an subscription compulsory to be able to hear this song again.
Beside, the whole time of free listen will be limited to ten hours by month.

These restrictions will be set from the first of May.
Spotify would like everyone to register through these new paying package, Unlimited (£4) and Premium (£10) which let you listen unlimited music as much as you want and without any advertising.

With these restrictions, Spotify would like to respond to its majors’ wishes, who would like to take profits from music in streaming, in raising their licence’s costs. Currently, Spotify boasts licenses from Sony and EMI group which have high influences in the music industry, and it is about to deal with Universal Music group.

Music in streaming is nowadays the most famous and used way of listening music for teenagers, according to a Sacem Survey.

Taking the case of France, the subscriptions represent a turnover of 14,6 millions euros in France in 2010, raising 60% in one year, against 47 millions for downloads... It seems thus understanding that Spotify wishes a new model for its service.

The Streaming, payed by advertising, has brought 9,8 millions euros last year, which confirms the fact that compared to downloads, the Streaming doesn't bring that much...

However, as it is currently the most standard way of listening to music, Spotify has decided to keep this concept of music streaming.

This is on my mind a great thing to keep the important position they get on the music market, and to restructure the subscriptions conditions (even if I am not really happy to pay for something which used to be free as you can imagine...) But I am very pleased of that service and I would have been disappointed if they decided to change everything and transform their service in a download music service or something like that.

So dear readers, we will see what will happen... In the meantime, keep listening to music, and never mind the way you are doing it.



Is the iPad overshadow laptops ?


I have to confess that sometimes, I use my cynical point of view to criticize iPad and  its uselessness. But let's be honnest, iPad rocks and How glad I would be with one... ! 

Let's see what their owners think.
According to a google’s Survey, more than the three quarter (77%) confess not using their laptop anymore since they bought an iPad, and 28% maintain that this new machine is already became their main useful tool, replacing laptops. 
We might conclude that Ipad’s owners abandon their laptops...

The iPad changed their lives, and we can see that the touchpad is used in the main case (82%) at home, and mainly in the evening.
 iPad’s users use it in the first place to play (84%) , then to look for information on the Internet (78%) or to check their mails (74%), they use it to track the news (61%) and to connect on networks (56%)

Laptop's companies could unwind, because the laptop had still some exclusivity, especially the bureaucracy. Without any Keyboard or mouse, it is not really easy to create something with an iPad. But now, with the applications, it is becoming quite better to work the creation on iPad with for instance Photoshop express, iMovie or Garage.

So, what will happen to laptops ?

According to this same Google’s Survey, which was actually about all the electronic tablets and not only the iPad, the famous Apple’s tablet represents more than 80 % of sale in 2010. 

In the next few years, the iPad will be ahead the Android’s tablets (38%) and Blackberry (10%), and it is basically thanks to the applications, which lead to replace any kind of laptop.

This increase in power of touchpad will cause damage to laptop’s sales in a close future...

But however, this year 387 bilions laptops have been sold, againt 70 bilions touchpads.
So, I think we can relax and still enjoy our good old laptops.



How Twitter became more than an intern communication tool

The first tweet ever publicated wasn't very historical.

Back on march 2006.
Jack Dorsey just wrote about an appointment with his collegues, the kind of thing that basically no one cares about.
He is an enterpreneur who created « Blogger » and sent it to Google, and he is the one who created Twitter as well.

In 5 years, he transformed an intern communication tool into a world communication network.

After that first basic « tweet », many others tweets became more and more interesting, and in november 2008, the influence of Twitter became undeniable when Bombay’s terrorist attack is revealed on Twitter before any other media.
In january 2009, Janie Krums wrote on Twitter « From where I am, I can see a plane on the Hudson river» He was talking about the US Airway’s landing on the sea in New-york, and once again, Twitter was the first support where it was announced.
Many others events like Michael Jackson’s death or Iran’s riots were made known by Twitter.

Each week, one billion messages.

Everyday, 460 000 accounts created.

Twitter reunites 200 millions users.

This « audience-magnet » draws investors. Indeed, the more famous and successful a company is, the more interesting it becomes for the financial channel.

In december 2010 for the last fund raising, Twitter was estimated at 3,7 billions dollars. Its valorisation overruns nowadays 7 billions dollars.

And moreover, estimations bet on a three times over receipt this year.




Is the true cinema over ?

Oscar Ceremony are probably the most important criteria of judging a film, and it reflects the interest of people for the 7th Art. The more the ceremony is important, the more the people are concerned. And the more we hear about the event, the more it means that it represents something for others.

But dear readers, did you hear many feedbacks about Oscar Ceremony this year ?

I think the fact that this kind of ceremony become less important reflects the current health of the film industry. And even it is good times and party for the cinema these days, the Cinema industry is more suffering than partying...

Cinema (and also reading books on true books, or listening to music on true cds) are today irrelevant as other technologies and platforms replace it, and the end might be soon.

The Academy Awards appear to have been, from their outset in the late 1920s, a promotional vehicle for Hollywood and the studio system. The Oscar's goal is to promote the film industry.

On my mind the problem is not that with the raise of high technology, people don't go to the cinema anymore, so they basically don't mind about this ceremony as they didn't see the movies they are talking about.

According to a study made by Motion Picture Association in America, in 2005 more than 6,1 billions of dollars have been lost by the cinema industry because of counterfeits and downloads.
Since 2005, these figures increase everyday and now, we might conclude on the fact that the independant cinema loses more than it earns.

On the opposite side, popular movies, blockbusters, are more famous than ever and the frequenting in cinemas for these movies isn't falling down. In France, it is a new record every year. 189 millions entries in 2008, 200 millions in 2009 and 206 millions in 2010...

But are we really talking about Cinema with these movies ?
What will happen to little producers of Artistic Cinema ?



Bye bye Bollywood

Hello Dear Readers,

For the first article of that blog, I have decided to write about the sale of the Bollywood studios.

India has been hit by the crisis for the last two years. This country which is still currently developing has enjoyed important growth for a long time, but with the crisis and the emergence of asian countries, this amazing growth is slowed.

Indeed, doing business in India is becoming more and more expensive. Expect labor cost which is still very low, everything is expensive, and above all, everything is more expensive than asian countries. Consequently, India is weakening. 

This country can still be proud on the fact of being an important cultural country, which involves tourism and cultural treasures. It obviously reinforces the economic growth.
Bollywood is since the 70's the most famous film industry based in India. Symbol of the indian culture, these studios produced some millions of films since the 50's.

I felt sadly surprised few days ago, when I read that one of the most famous Bollywood's studios has been put up for sale, for commercial purpose and to be turned into a commercial complex.

According to many international and Indian newspapers, Filmistan studio could be bought at an average value of six billions rupies (£80 millions)
ML Gupta, vice chairman and also managing director expects "get a good price for it", and seems to wait for this sell a raise of the country.

Apparently the studios weren't viable anymore, for such a long time. And if we check the history of Bollywood, we can see that during the past two years, Bollywood already sold two of their studios.

It is not hard to understand that considering the difficulties India has to get through, collecting an huge amount of money by selling goods seems to be a good way to reinforce the economic ressource of the country.

But I wonder if give up some of the most important cultural treasure of a country is the most efficiency way to restore its image...

We will see what will happen, and in the meantime, don't forget Bollywood ...!