FORTUNE -- The photo had everything. Lights. Action. That sparkle of spontaneity. And subjects who really know how to smile for a camera.
But the moment that turned into the world's most-retweeted post -- 3.1 million and counting -- wasn't 100% spontaneous. Rather, it was the fortuitous product of a carefully planned multimillion-dollar business arrangement that served the mutual interests of a Korean smartphone manufacturer, a social media powerhouse, a U.S. television network with a temporary global reach of 43 million viewers, and the biggest stars in Hollywood, for whom TV face-time is money.
Among the deal's moving parts:
And that spontaneous moment? SlashGear's Chris Burns transcribed the opening dialogue between host Ellen DeGeneres and best-actress nominee Meryl Streep:
DeGeneres: Meryl, here's my idea, ok, so you were nominated -- it's a record-breaking 18 times, right? So I thought we would try to break another record right now with the most re-tweets of a photo. So right now I'm going to take a picture of us, and we'll see if we can break the record for the most retweets -
Streep: Get her in -- *points to Julia Roberts*
What followed, for what it's worth, made Twitter history. "It was a great plug for the Samsung brand," WPP branding expert Allen Adamson told the Journal. "Ellen's selfie is going to be more impactful than their commercials. You can't buy that magic of going viral."
Lest anyone be left with the impression that the photo was less than spontaneous, Samsung ponied up another $3 million and issued the following statement:
"While we were a sponsor of the Oscars and had an integration with ABC, we were delighted to see Ellen organically incorporate the device into the selfie moment that had everyone talking. A great surprise for everyone, she captured something that nobody expected. In honor of this epic moment and of course, the incredible response of nearly 3 million re tweets, we wanted to make a donation to Ellen's charities of choice: St Jude's and the Humane Society [of the United States]. Samsung will donate 1.5 million dollars to each charity."
IRONIC FOOTNOTE -- AND GRATUITOUS APPLE (AAPL) ANGLE: The millions Samsung paid ABC goes into the coffers of the Walt Disney Co. (DIS), whose largest shareholder is Laurene Powell Jobs. Steve Jobs' widow is one of richest women in the world -- No. 73 on this week's list of billionaires -- on the strength of the Disney shares she inherited from Samsung's arch enemy in the smartphone wars.
Disney's startup accelerator pairs corporate mentors with hopeful founders.
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The election makes the Twitter inventor and Square CEO a board member effective immediately.
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Its latest deal means that Netflix now has the two biggest animation studios on board, strengthening its position in kids' programming.
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Just what is Hulu supposed to be? Its squabbling, wishy-washy, half-in-half-out owners keep it from making the kinds of bold moves it needs to thrive.
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Also: A look at the future of EA; Computing pioneer Alan Kay interviewed.
Disney shuts down LucasArts just 154 days after acquiring it [TECHCRUNCH]
Beginning today, Disney will continue to license out the LucasArts properties (namely Star Wars), but has ceased the development of all internal projects. Some projects (such as the incredible looking Star Wars 1313) may find new homes with other development houses, but their status is currently up in the air.
Five years and MOREJP Mangalindan, Writer - Apr 4, 2013 3:30 AM ET
Bob Iger bought 1,780 shares at the last hour Monday. He shouldn't have waited.
FORTUNE -- "Talk about timing," writes reader Jim Neal, who spotted an SEC Form 4 filed Tuesday by Disney (DIS) CEO -- and Apple (AAPL) board member -- Bob Iger.
Iger, who exercised 1 million Disney options last week netting nearly $18 million, bought $1 million worth of Apple in the last hour of trading Monday.
The timing issue MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 21, 2012 3:59 PM ET
The new board member was granted restricted shares worth $55,000 and change
According to a Form 4 filed with the SEC on Thursday, Disney (DIS) CEO Robert Iger received as part of his new position on Apple's board of directors 142 restricted shares that vest next February.
At Apple's (AAPL) closing price of $388.83 Tuesday, the day the shares were issued, the grant was worth
142 * $388.83 = $55,213.86
That's comparable to MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 18, 2011 8:19 AM ET
At this point, the ultimate fate of the beleaguered Internet company is anybody's guess. But here are some of the executives that may get a chance at taking the top spot.
FORTUNE -- It's impossible to guess who might be Carol Bartz's replacement at Yahoo because it's impossible to guess what Yahoo might look like when a replacement is named. It could be a totally different company before a CEO is MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Sep 8, 2011 2:39 PM ET
Frog Design's Jan Chipchase interviews residents of the world's hot spots so big business doesn't have to.
Jan Chipchase is the Indiana Jones of technology for the developing world. The British-born, Shanghai-based researcher travels the globe, trying to understand how and why the planet's poorest people would use cellphones and other gadgets. Part cultural anthropologist and explorer, and part designer and entrepreneur, Chipchase uses his findings to develop new products and MOREJessi Hempel, writer - Nov 29, 2010 3:00 AM ET
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