on the World Wide Web
the time one notices a
"I READ THE NEWS
believe that I will never shoot another film...on film."
Napster Creator Unveils Online Music
Shawn Fanning, once reviled
by record labels as the creator of renegade song-swap service Napster,
Thursday launched a new
service designed to turn the threat of still popular peer-to-peer services
opportunity for music companies
and artists. The original Napster was eventually shut down in 2001
copyright litigation and
then sold to Roxio Inc, which re-launched it as a paid online service.
But despite the proliferation
of commercial services like the new Napster, RealNetworks Inc's Rhapsody
and even Apple Computer
Inc's iTunes, Fanning said unauthorized file-sharing was as rampant as
In launching the new platform,
Snocap, Fanning and co-founders Jordan Mendelson and Ron Conway,
said the company, also named
Snocap, reached a deal for Vivendi Universal SA's Universal Music Group
to license its catalog.
After registering music and
copyright information in Snocap's database, labels and artists can manage
online distribution through
Snocap's copyright management system, which lets them set rules for each
track on a global basis.
A BURST! Media survey of
over 10,000 Internet users at work found that men at work are heavy users
Internet. One-third (32.3
percent) of employed men 25 to 34 years old say they spend three or more
day on the Internet at work.
This compares to a still substantial 24.9 percent of employed women 25
Some 27.4 percent of employed
18 to 24-year-olds (both men and women) spend three hours or more per day
on the Internet, and 23.2
percent of employed men 35 to 44 years log three or more hours of Internet
use per day.
Even among older employed
segments (45 years and older), fully one in five (20.7 percent) say they
or more hours per day on
the Internet while at work."
"The importance of the at-work
audience can't be over emphasized," says Chuck Moran, BURST! Media's market
research manager. "It is
a segment that has money and devotes a significant portion of their total
to the Internet.
Dec 2004 Yahoo News
America Online's advertising
revenues rose 44 percent to $79 million in the third quarter, driven by
search and its acquisition
of Advertising.com. Meanwhile, subscriptions revenues declined 3 percent,
by $52 million, according
to AOL parent Time Warner's earnings report. "We are clearly participating
more aggressively in the
growing online ad market," said Dick Parsons, chairman and CEO of Time
Warner. Parsons credited
AOL ad revenues for helping boost growth in ad revenues for the company
as a whole. ClickZ,
Commerce Department Reports
Rise In Online Retail
United States consumers
purchased $17.6 billion worth of products online in the third quarter of
according to a preliminary
report released on Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This
seasonally adjusted statistic--$16.5
billion, unadjusted--represents an increase of 4.7 percent from the
second quarter of 2004,
and 21.5 percent over the same period last year.
Google has unveiled a search
tool for the discovery of academic literature. Called Google Scholar, the
new search platform lets
searchers query academic publications of many stripes for peer-reviewed
theses, books, abstracts,
technical reports and other documents.
The market for scholarly
searching is potentially a desirable one for advertisers. Students generally
within the hard-to-reach
18- to 34-year-old demographic, and purveyors of academic services and
may be willing to pay to
market directly to a large population of student researchers and college
Paid search aside, the Scholar
platform will likely prove a valuable promotional tool for libraries and
publishers seeking a wider
audience. For most searches, the service turns up only abstracts. Searchers
will therefore likely use
the online interface to discover documents of interest, which must later
in their entirety through
a publisher or library. 11/04 google news
First Howard, Now Mel: Karmazin
Joins Sirius As CEO
Hours after his close associate
Howard Stern addressed a teeming crowd about the benefits of Sirius
Satellite Radio, former
Viacom Chief Operating Officer and President Mel Karmazin announced that
has signed onto the fledgling
company as CEO. Karmazin, who left Viacom last May, has long been
seen as a champion of Stern.
Sirius signed a five-year, $500-million deal with the radio personality
past summer. November
OPA: Content Still King
Last month, Web users continued to spend
more time at content-related sites than those
devoted to communications, according to
a report released Thursday by the Online
Publishers Association in conjunction
with Nielsen//NetRatings. In October, 40.2 percent
of online time was spent on content sites.
Although that figure represented more time
spent than in any other category, it was
down slightly from a 40.8 percent share in Sept
After content, users spent the most time
at communications sites, which garnered a 39.8
percent share--followed by e-commerce,
with 15.8 percent, and search, with 4.3 percent.
Napster Offers Music Downloads to Cell
Napster is invading a cell
phone near you with Napster To Go, their portable music subscription
service which is available
for users of the new AT&T Wireless based Audiovox SMT5600 Smartphone.
The Napster To Go / Audiovox
SMT5600 compatibility enables the only mobile phone in the U.S.
market to allow music fans
to seamlessly transfer and play an unlimited number of full-length songs
on the go for one low monthly
price of $14.95. The Smartphone also supports individual tracks
purchased by Napster subscribers
or downloaded a la carte from the Napster Light store.
Formats and DVR to Shift TV Advertising Paradigm
A new study conducted for
the American Advertising Federation (AAF) reveals that More than three-
quarters of advertising
leaders now believe that digital video recorders (DVR), which allow viewers
skip ads, will have a significant
effect on the landscape of TV advertising, with continued growth of
non-traditional ad formats.
Breaking through clutter,
changing consumer behavior and demonstrating return on investment now
outrank media proliferation
and industry consolidation concerns. The study continues to show a lack
of outright confidence in
the advertising economy, with many citing a slow recovery rate.
Additional findings include:
is rising respect for online advertising, with the majority of respondents
Internet into the general
media mix. This shift shows that online advertising is now considered a
traditional marketing medium.
MediaPost.com Nov. 04
America Online is partnering with Kayak Software to create a
Web-based travel search site, the
companies announced last week. Kayak, based in Norwalk, Conn., will
power the search engine,
while Dulles, Va.-based AOL will make a minority investment in the
Kayak, founded by former executives from online travel agencies Travelocity,
Expedia, and Orbitz,
launched a travel search engine in beta in September. Unlike online
travel agencies, which provide
airline tickets and hotel reservations to users, Kayak acts as a facilitator
by sending its spider to
about 60 travel-related Web sites, and returning lists of links to
airlines or hotels so that users can
comparison shop. But, rather than make the purchase from Kayak, consumers
must click on the
airline or hotel Web sites to make a purchase.
The deal, which follows on the heels of Yahoo!'s July acquisition of
travel search engine FareChase,
signals a resurgence of interest in search engines focused specifically
on travel, said Forrester
Research vice-president Henry Harteveldt. "You have a very ripe environment
for the next gen-
eration of travel search engine," he said. AOL.com
November 11, 2004
$9.4 Billion Dollars Can't Be Wrong
Total online ad spend for
2004 is shaping up to be some $9.4 billion.
In a release made public
in advance of Ad:Tech, eMarketer stated that search marketing spending
approximately $3.9 billion
in 2004, while non-search advertising will come in at around $3.3 billion
this writing, it was unclear
where the other $2.2 billion will come from).
In the same release, eMarketer
says they expect spending to be double for 2005.
These are some big, hefty
numbers. Compared to Robert Cohen's media spending analysis, we're talking
about more spending than
in outdoor, national spot radio, national syndicated TV, or network radio
(individually, not cumulatively)
in 2003. If these numbers are at all accurate, I think that it is
sensible to use phrases
like "the jury is still out," or "more research is needed," or "testing
still has to be
done" when some marketers
talk about online advertising. It's here to stay and there is no way around
Numbers this big don't just
go away, unless of course you are talking about a telecommunication company.
Among the biggest implications
for the online advertising industry is that like it or not, we are becoming
mainstream. We are no longer
outside the umbra of "advertising" at large. We are now a part of it. This
invariably will lead to
many early pioneers and their ideas being co-opted. The now-nearly ubiquitous
of accountability coming
from the heads of the major shops is just one example of this. Their talk
consumer control is another.
NEW YORK - The Twentieth
Century Fox studio, a veteran of the big screen and the TV screen, is
about to break into an entirely
new realm: the really little screen, the kind that comes on a cell phone.
In what appeared to be the
first arrangement of its kind, Twentieth Century Fox said Wednesday it
would create a unique series
of one-minute dramas based on its hit show "24" exclusively for a new
high-speed wireless service
being offered by Vodafone PLC, the world's biggest cell phone company.
Vodafone will begin offering
the one-minute epidosdes in January in the United Kingdom, coinciding
with the start of the fourth
season of the show on a satellite TV service.
The "mobisodes," as they're
being called, will be introduced later in 2005 in up to 23 more countries
where Vodafone operates,
mainly in Europe, as well as in the United States through the company's
Verizon Wireless joint venture.
The deal is part of a broader agreement between Fox Entertainment
Group and London-based Vodafone
under which Fox, the entertainment unit of Rupert Murdoch's
News Corp., will develop
other programming to be viewed on the phones.
In March, the new Vodafone
service, to be called Vodafone live! with 3G, will also offer trailers
clips of movies under a
"Movie of the Month" service, the first one being "Bridget Jones: The Edge
Cell phone operators have
invested heavily to roll out high-speed wireless services, intent on driving
new revenues from Internet
browsing, streaming video and audio, and other forms of media.
MSN To Stream Six Minutes
Of New Movie
New Line Cinema and MSN
announced yesterday their plans to stream on MSN the first six minutes
of New Line's "After The
Sunset," the latest film from director Brett Ratner. The streaming video
made available Monday, four
days before the film is expected to hit theaters. The clip will be promoted
through integrated sites
across the MSN network, including its MSN home page, and New Line is
planning national print
advertisements for this week.
Here's a hint - the news
that SBC and BellSouth are creating a joint venture that is acquiring YellowPages.com.
YellowPages.com will combine
SmartPages.com and RealPages.com together into one massive national
directory. The folks at
Bell South have been very busy - probably because they agree with these
and see the breadth of the
opportunity. Take a look at the strong numbers reported by the publicly
of late. Now, some of these
companies are conducting pay-per-call trials and soliciting inquiries from
retailers interested in
seeing first hand what pay-per-call can do for them. With other IYPs having
ships with traditional directories
and their sales forces, this is the path we'll see more companies - and
revenue - taking. IYPs should
lead the way in local and in pay-per-call because of their relationships
AD BIZ POISED TO ENTER
NEW FRONTIER--Advertising dollars that routinely would have gone to
broadcast TV in years past
are ow going to cable and interactive television, the Internet and even
like event marketing and public relations. "Cable was just coming
didn't have the Internet--today,
it's very, very difficult because the audience is so fragmented you can't
gather a large number of
bodies easily," said Burtch Drake, president of the American Assoc. of
And a move towards branded entertainment and product placement is the
industry's way of finding
new approaches to reach consumers...Media Vest's Desmond seea a new
landscape beginning to take
hold within the next 18 to 36 months. "The reality is that consumers
strategically based planning
decisions are going to do more to change the traditional TV marketplace
than anything we've seen
in the last 20 years," she said. New technologies like the Internet,
demand and digital video
recorders are changing the TV business every day. Shoot
EMMY AWARDS VIEWING
DOWN 22% FROM LAST YEAR. FOX NEWS 10/04
Six months ago, Google was intriguing mainly as a financial
phenomenon. Would its initial public
offering come too early? Or too late? Would it succeed, signaling a
broader tech revival? Or would
it fail, deepening the gloom about Internet-based businesses? Today,
Google is still plenty interesting
for financial reasons. In the weeks before its shares first went on
sale in August, disparaging views
about its prospects forced it to lower the target price to $85 a share
from $135. By last week, its
stock had more than doubled, to $190.64, giving it a market capitalization
of $52 billion,
more than Ford and General Motors combined. New
York Times, October 31, 2004
Apple Computer on Tuesday unveiled a color screen version of its
popular iPod music
player, in addition to a special-edition version in partnership
with rock band U2.
The color model can also be used to display photos, either on its own
screen or on a TV set.
It comes in two capacities: a 40GB model for $499 and a 60GB version
for $599. The screen
is capable of displaying 65,536 colors. "Photos are a lot like
music," iPod unit head Jon Rubinstein
said in an interview. "Everybody loves them, and you've got a lot of
your own content. It's just kind
of a natural (pairing)."
The U2-themed iPod holds 20GB, is black with a red navigation dial on
the face and includes a
facsimile of the band members' signatures on the back. For $349, or
$50 more than the cost of the
regular 20GB iPod, the buyer receives a $50 coupon that can be used
toward purchasing "The
Complete U2" music collection, priced at $149, from Apple's iTunes
Apple said it has started shipping the iPod Photo to stores and that
it is expected to be available
soon, while the U2 iPod is due in mid-November. MediaPost.com
Web users are spending more of their online time on news and entertainment
less time shopping, sending e-mails, and performing searches, according
made public yesterday by the Online Publishers Association.
The report, the "Internet Activity Index," compiled using
Nielsen//NetRatings data, found that Internet users
this September spent a greater proportion of their surfing
time--41 percent--visiting online news or entertainment-
related sites such as CNN.com and Windows Media Player,
up from 34.6 percent in September 2003. Surfers
also spent less of their online time--39.8 percent--at
communication-oriented sites, such as Yahoo! Mail, than
last year, when they spent 46 percent of their Internet
time at such sites.
The proportion of time spent at e-commerce sites, such
as eBay, declined slightly--from 15.4 percent last Sept.
to 15.2 percent this September--while the share of time
spent at search sites, such as Google, remained unchanged
at 4 percent. For the study, the Online Publishers Association
looked at 385 news, entertainment, and other
content sites; 240 commerce sites; 62 communications
sites; and 41 search sites.
The increasing prevalence of broadband, which makes it
easier to view rich media on content sites, appears to be
fueling the surge in time spent at online news or entertainment
sites, said Michael Zimbalist, president of the
Online Publishers Association. When it comes to e-commerce,
broadband allows people to shop faster online,
so the time they spend at commerce-related sites can
decline even as activity increases. In fact, despite the
decreased share of time spent at e-commerce sites, such
sites accounted for more page views--23 billion--this
September than last year, when they had 21.7 views.
NBC's Wright Cites Erosion of Intellectual Property Rights
Digital copying and downloading have led to a crisis that is threatening
the $1.25 trillion business
of television, movies, publishing, and software. And, the government
has been much too slow in
addressing these issues, said Bob Wright, chairman of NBC Universal
as he was accepting an
award from The Media Institute, a Washington, D.C. organization.
Wright received the organization's Freedom of Speech Award Wednesday
night. In his overview
of the First Amendment, Wright zeroed in on one particular portion:
Article 1, Section 8 - the
Copyright Clause - which authorizes Congress to grant to "authors and
inventors the exclusive
right to their respective writings and discoveries."
"This is what enables companies like NBC Universal to invest millions
of dollars to transform a
creative idea into a movie or television show," he said. "Today, this
constitutional protection is
under enormous pressure and requires our vigilant attention. I know
that The Media Institute will
be our ally on this issue, too, which is a threat not only to media,
but to a broad cross-section
of U.S. industries and export businesses."
But Wright was not all doom and gloom. He said that while NBC Universal
is eagerly exploring
the depths of new technologies to roll out digital, on-demand services.
He added that he would
like nothing more than to make accessing video as easy as Apple's iPod
has made accessing
music. MediaDailyNews Oct 04
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom set
a goal on Thursday
of providing free wireless Internet activity in his city that sees
itself as a vanguard of the Internet
"We will not stop until every San Franciscan has access to free wireless
Internet service," he said
in his annual state of the city address. "These technologies will connect
our residents to the skills
and the jobs of the new economy."
"No San Franciscan should be without a computer and a broadband connection."
He said the city
had already made free WiFi service available at Union Square, a central
shopping and tourist hub,
and would add access to several other sections of the city including
Civic Center around City Hall.
TI Puts Digital TV on Cell Phones
Online staff -- Electronic News, 10/21/2004
Texas Instruments Inc. today announced development of the wireless industry's
first digital TV
on a single chip for cell phones, code-named "Hollywood."
The chip will receive live digital TV broadcasts at 24 to 30 frames
per second using new television
infrastructure that is being developed for cell phones, doing for cell
phones what HDTV did for
home TVs, TI explained.
"TI´s new Hollywood digital TV chip will combine the two biggest
consumer electronics inventions
of our time -- the television and the cell phone," said Gilles Delfassy,
TI senior VP and general
manager for TI's wireless terminals business unit, in a statement.
"One by one, the industry's most
exciting consumer electronics are being integrated into wireless handsets,
allowing consumers to
get their news and entertainment whenever and wherever they want. With
this new chip on the cell
phone, users will enjoy digital, high-quality TV in real-time."
Google's market cap, for
the moment at least, "exceeds that of Yahoo!" and that "shares of Google
translate to $51 billion
in market value, or about four times more than Yahoo! and, for that matter,
Well, Yahoo! points out that
Google's market cap isn't four times more in value than Yahoo!'s. Google's
market cap, Yahoo! says,
is, for the moment, about $4 billion more. Google's hovers around $51 billion,
while Yahoo!'s is about
$47 billion. Of course these figures will fluctuate. Google's share price,
says, is four times more,
but when you calculate total shares outstanding, the market value is not
times more. Is that clear?
Basically, while Google's share price is four times more than Yahoo!'s,
market value is just $4
billion more, for the moment. Mediapost.com
Online Info Spurs
Online product research
by consumers this past year was
responsible for driving
$180.7 billion in offline spending, compared
to $106.5 billion
in direct online consumer spending according to
The American Interactive
Consumer Survey conducted by The
Thomas E. Miller, senior
consultant at The Dieringer Research
Group, said "The new
annual spending data indicate that at least
$1.70 is spent offline
after doing online research for every
consumer dollar spent
directly online. In reality, the offline
spending impact is
far greater because many consumers also go
online to research
financial and insurance products that are not
reflected in the retail
According to the new
research, nearly 15% of total U.S. retail
gasoline, food services and inventories) is
altogether by the Internet, a much higher
ratio than is commonly
The study also found
that Internet-influenced offline spending is
now growing faster
than direct online spending.
offline sales grew 31% last year and direct
online sales grew
14%, while total U.S. retail spending grew only
5% during the comparable
is much larger than its role as a direct selling
medium," Miller explained.
The survey also found
that 17% of all U.S. consumers who
opened new financial
service accounts or took out new insurance
policies the past
year used the Internet in their product
"Those decisions by online consumers
billions of dollars in financial services revenues,
making the total dollar
impact of online information far greater
than anyone is talking
about," concluded Miller.
As we all know by now, 50 percent of the online population has a
broadband connection at home. This amounts to about 35 percent of
the United States being online via broadband at home at any given
time. Of course, these numbers do not take into account the
percentage of Americans who use any of the optimized dial-up
services, so the percentage of U.S.-based Internet users who are
surfing on a faster connection is possibly much larger.
This means that the percentage of U.S.-based surfers who have
access to, and can properly utilize broadband content, is much
higher than we are estimating. With all of these people using more
sophisticated means of Internet access, it's a wonder that we don't
hear more about problems accessing the Web anymore.
NEW YORK - A top networking gear producer plans to offer a speedy new
that's an alternative to DSL and cable Internet access with the added
advantage of being available
on the road. NetGear Inc. is designing a broadband modem for
use with a long-range wireless data
service called Flash-OFDM that is currently being trialed by Nextel
Communications Inc., T-Mobile
International and Vodafone PLC.
NetGear also may develop a card for laptops that would enable mobile
access using Flash-OFDM.
The announcement, planned for Monday, may be a sign that Nextel or
another major cell phone
company is preparing to move beyond trials to full deployment of the
Flarion technology. Yahoo 10/04
Clearing the way for homes and businesses to receive high-speed Internet
services through their
electrical outlets, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules
on Thursday that would
enable the utility companies to offer an alternative to the broadband
services now provided by cable and phone companies. New
York Times Oct 04
The rapidly consolidating
online travel industry will double its revenues in the next three years,
billion last year to
more than $80 billion in 2007, according to a report released Tuesday by
research firm eMarketer.
This growth potential, combined with the "ongoing realignment," could lead
a new push to "establish
market share in online travel," said eMarketer senior analyst Noah Elkin.
"The online travel sector
is becoming increasingly competitive and suppliers ... are mounting a more
to the online agencies that initially dominated the marketplace," the report
The most recent industry
shake-up came last month, when travel and hotel-franchising giant Cendant
Corp. agreed to acquire
online travel company Orbitz for $1.25 billion in cash. Cendant--previously
third largest player
in the industry behind Expedia, a unit of InterActive Corp., and Travelocity,
a unit of
Sabre Holdings Corp.--is
now second only to Expedia. Media Daily News 10/04
Last week, Howard Stern
announced his departure from terrestrial radio, signing a
deal with Sirius satellite
radio to move his show to the fledgling medium. The
reactions I've seen from
people in the media business range from "This could
change everything" to
Personally, I have no
doubt that this is exactly the kind of deal a company like
Sirius needed in order
to build critical mass. With 600,000 subscribers, Sirius
needs an incremental
1 million subscribers to pay for the Stern deal. While this
might seem like a lot,
it requires only a small fraction of Stern's dedicated fan
base to sign up for Sirius.
I think the deal will either make or break Sirius, and I
hope it accelerates consumer
migration to satellite.
I also think this is a
significant milestone for emerging media in general. Radio
seems ready to shrug
off its bandwidth constraints, as television did with the
advent of cable (and,
to a lesser extent, Internet broadcasting). In other words,
whereas radio was limited
somewhat by the constraints of terrestrial broadcasting -
namely, limited bandwidth
within each DMA - it is now taking steps into a world
where the range of available
content isn't limited by the availability of bandwidth.
As with streaming video,
online radio has made somewhat of an impact, but it's
still developing. Years
after Broadcast.com was bought by Yahoo!, online radio is
taking the next steps
in its development. Specialty programming abounds, and
companies like Ronning-Lipset
Radio are aggregating these audiences for
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) -
Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. wireless company, will expand its high-
speed data service to
16 markets by the end of the year, the chairman of Verizon Communications
Inc. said on Monday.
Verizon Wireless is a
joint venture of Verizon (NYSE:VZ - news) and British wireless giant Vodafone
Verizon Chairman and Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg said in a speech to
Telecom Association meeting
that the expansion of Verizon Wireless' broadband service would make
it available to almost
75 million customers. Yahoo.com News oct 04
Travel giant looks for big hit on Web--Travel giant Cendant
boosted its stake in Web-based
airline ticket sales, announcing Wednesday its purchase of online agency
Orbitz for $1.25 billion.
This gives Cendant a huge consumer base that they could not build on
their own," says Jared
Blank, an analyst at trade publication ONLINE TRAVLE REVIEW.
Online Travel is booming.
This year, the domestic market will generate $100 billion in sales,
up from $80 billion last year,
says PhoCusWright CEO Philip Wold. About a third of all travel
in the USA is paid for online,
Wolf said. Web News 10/04
Tivo, Netflix team to deliver Internet video-on-demand--TiVo
and Netflix said Thursday
that they plan to challenge cable operators and video retailers by
launching a video-on-demand
service in 2005 taht will deliver movies to consumers via the Internet.
Netflix, which delivers
rental DVDs by mail to subscribers who order online, will arrange distributin
deals with studios.
Digital video recorder (DVR) pioneer TiVo is preparing technology to
securely feed movies
from the Web to its boxes, which store programming on a hard drive.
Viacom sets Blockbuster split-off-ratio--we now see how the
Internet and the digital age is going
to continue to bring down the big boys that did not embrace the Internet
back in the late 90tys...
Viacom kicked off its stock exchange with shareholders to split off
its 82% stake in video rental unit
Blockbuster. To entice investors to embrace the splitoff, the
owner of CBS, MTV and Paramount
Pictures is offering a premium of 19% over Viacom class B shares. this
is historic point in time for
the demise of the video industry...I might say. September
NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Google Inc. surged
nearly 18 percent in their market debut Thursday,
in the culmination of a unique and bumpy initial stock offering for
the 6-year-old dot-com dreamed up
in a college dorm room.
The stock started at $100.01 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, $15.01 higher
than its $85 initial offering
price. Within a few minutes of trading, Google was at $98.08,
with 5.5 million shares having traded hands.
The IPO price, set late Wednesday through an unorthodox auction that
alienated many on Wall Street,
cleared the way for the stock to start trading under the symbol "GOOG."
Founders Sergey Brin and Larry
Page opened trading on the Nasdaq, though Google didn't begin trading
Nasdaq officials said a delay in trading was standard for IPOs, and
added that there were some technical
issues as the Nasdaq matched bid and ask prices in the minutes leading
up to trading.
The $85 initial share price was short of Google's original expectation
of $108 to $135 a share. It also
comes at the lowest end of Google's downward-revised range it made
on Wednesday, when it also
reduced the number of shares to be sold to 19.6 million from 25.7 million
-- a move that was expected
to buoy prices.
"The good news for Google is that it didn't price below the low end,"
said Tom Taulli, co-founder of
Current Offerings, an IPO research company. "If it had priced below
the low end, maybe there could have
been some selling pressure." Associated
REAL IS PLAYING FOR KEEPS--realnetworks is slashing the price
of a digital doqnload to 49
cents a song from 99 cents--a bold move in the war over digital music.
Through Labor Day, Seattle
based Real also is selling most full length albums for $4.49.
CEO Bob Golaser calls the promotion, an
escalation of Real's skirmish with industry leader Apple Computer,
"the biggest music slae in history."
Record labels charge about 75 cents a song wholesale, so Real will
probably take a big financial hit
from the sale. "The PR is worth at least $2 million if not more,
reports Forrester Research
spokesperson. Real plans a one million dollar print advertising
to push the deal. USA Today August 04
RULING SETS BACK MUSIC INDUSTRY'S PIRACY BATTLE
Amazon.com Posts Profit--Amazon.com sold 1.4 million copies
of "Harry Potter and the Order of
the Phoenix." amazon said it earned $76.5 million, oe 18 cents
a share, contrasted with a loss of $43
million, or 11 cents, in the comparable 2003 period.
AOL TO MARKET LOW-COST PC TO LATINOS--dAmerica Online became
the biggest Internet
service provider in part by stuffing millions of free sign-up discs
into mailboxes, newspapers and magazines.
Now it's tryi9ng something bigger to stay on top: selling cheap computers
to Latinos. And they get one
years subscription to AOL.com Times
NAPSTER TO GIVE DISCOUNT TO MILITARY--Napster has struck an
agreement with the U.S.
government to offer its online music download service to members of
the militaqry and their families at
a reduced price. AP Aug 04
BLOCKBUSTER TO BUST INTO RENT-BY-MAIL DVD BUSINESS
No one video chain Blockbuster today will make its long awaited move
against Web-based rental
services led by Netflix. Blockbuster onoine will try to one-up
its Web competitors by giving subscribers
two free rentals each month at its stores, as well as access to 25,000
DVDs sent and returned via the
email. About half the country will be able to receive DVDs the
next day from one of Blockbuster's 10
distribution sites, with two day service nearly everywhere else, executives
say. The Internet upstart,
which has 2 million paid subscribers, says that it isn't worried about
the video giant. AP Aug. 04
In this era of high-speed Internet access, the back-to-school season
features college students streaming back into their broadband-wired
dormitory rooms, booting up their computers and letting gigabytes
digital tunes flow like a waterfall -- and for many students, the
whether the downloading violates copyright laws plays second fiddle.
However, a legal, affordable alternative has a chance to thrive
potentially huge market, or at least that's what the digital music
business and the universities are hoping.
The industry wants to get a sales bounce by
wooing students with steep price cuts, while
universities are eager to strike deals to cut
down on illegal downloading. Roxio's
Napster (news - web sites) has already
been busy making deals with universities.
Now, Seattle-based RealNetworks Inc. is
entering the fray and will offer discounts on
its subscription service through pilot
programs at two U.S. universities. Instead of
ponying up $9.95 monthly to access Real's
streaming-only Rhapsody service,
University of California at Berkeley and
University of Minnesota students will pay
just $2 to $3 a month. They'll still have to
pay download fees to legally keep any of the
service's 700,000 songs, although the
college moves are part of Real's fierce
campaign to take business away from
Apple's iTunes music service. A major
feature of the effort is Real's special price of
49 cents per download through Labor Day;
typically, it charges 79 cents a tune.
DVDs Change the shape of entertainment--Americans' love affair
with DVDs continues to grow as
people spend more time and money on them, a new report shows.
But they also are spending more
time playing video games, surfing the Internet according to the Communications
Industry Forecast &
Report, just out from Veronis Suhler Stevenson research. The
report says people are spending less
time going to movies in theaters, listening to music CDs, and reading
newspapers, magazines and books.
DVD should propel Hollywood to another record home-video revenue mark
this year. Purchases and
rentals are expected to hit $37.9 billion, up from $33 billion in 2003.
That DVD is expected to trend
upward for the next five years is good news for Hollywood, which took
a dip at the box office in 2003
to $9.5 billion. USA Today August 04
Merger of Sony, BMG Music Labels Wins Endorsement of European Commission
European regulators approved the merger of the music divisions of Sony
Corp. and Betelsmann--a
move expected. Creates one of
Microsoft, with more than $50 billion on hand, announced yesterday
that it would bestow on its
shareholders a special one-time dividend of $3 a share, a payout
worth $32 billion.
Although other companies have paid special dividends in the past,
the size of Microsoft's payout
is far and away the largest cash grant in corporate history.
Bill Gates, the company's chairman and largest shareholder, will
receive $3.3 billion of that one-
time dividend. Mr. Gates, already one of the world's richest men,
will also see an extra $180 million
a year from an increase in the quarterly dividends, also announced
Blockbuster moves to compete with Netflix
Blockbuster Inc. chairman and CEO John Antioco promised shareholders
Tuesday that the video rental
giant will take the fight to online rental rival Netflix Inc. when
it launches its own Internet-based rental
service this year.
While Blockbuster executives have in the past often shrugged off the
competitive threat from Netflix and
the significance of the online rental market in general, Antioco openly
acknowledged its strategic importance
at his company's annual shareholder meeting.
"Two million (customers) have spoken," he said, referring to Netflix's
subscriber base. "We can't continue
to allow our customers to erode away from us. We are not going to ignore
these folks." Reuters 04
Comcast Starts Disney Delivery Via Internet
Comcast Corp. is attempting to expand its lead in the market for high-speed
Internet service by giving
subscribers ABC News and Walt Disney Co. children's programming in
the biggest online content deal
signed to date by the cable giant.
Beginning today to coincide with the run-up to the Democratic National
Convention, Comcast's 5.7 million
high-speed Internet subscribers will receive a number of ABC News features,
including live streaming
news and archived versions of its "World News Tonight" and "Nightline"
Later this year, Comcast will launch an online children's channel that
will offer Disney features such as short
videos and activities as well as discounted rates to Toontown Online,
a multi-player subscription-based
Philadelphia-based Comcast, which is the nation's largest cable TV system
with 21.5 million subscribers,
will pay Disney, which owns ABC, an undisclosed amount for the new
content, most of which will be given
to its Internet subscribers at no additional cost. Comcast will share
in any additional revenue Disney earns
by selling subscription services to Comcast users. Washington
Post July 04
The white-hot wireless technology known as 3G UMTS - short for Universal
System - is finally making its U.S. debut.
The high-speed Internet connection, which AT&T Wireless began selling
Tuesday, is fast enough to enable
a customer to use a cell phone, PDA or laptop computer to receive streaming
audio and video, create and
share video clips, and much more. The technology is already popular
in many foreign markets.
Freshmen showing up at Duke University this year will get their own
Apple iPod, part of an experiment
by the school to see if the popular portable music player can double
as a learning tool.
In a first-of-its-kind deal for Apple Computer Inc., the university
will distribute 1,650 iPods for the
pilot program. Duke would not say how much it will pay for each 20-gigabyte
iPod, but said it will
receive a discount from the retail price of $299.
The program fits into university plans to use more technology in teaching,
said Tracy Futhey, Duke's
vice president for information technology.
Since its introduction in 2001, the iPod has taken off as the trendiest
gadget for storing and playing
digital music. IPods can store other kinds of data as well, and Duke
students will receive models
stocked with school-related information, including freshman orientation
details, the academic calendar,
campus tours and even the school's fight song. Yahoo.com
While some areas of the business software market hit a soft spot in
the second quarter, worldwide
PC shipments are still showing double-digit growth, market researchers
IDC and Gartner say.
Driven by demand for replacement PCs from business users, a total of
42.8 million PCs were shipped
worldwide in the second quarter, 13.3 percent more than in the year-earlier
period, Gartner says in a
statement. The growth was in line with expectations, Gartner says.
ITunes launch rocks Europe
Apple Computer reports that the European version of its iTunes music
downloading service sold 800,000
songs during its first week, which could make it the No. 1 music service
there. Europe's previous No. 1
music service, On Demand Distribution or OD2, sold 1 million songs
int he year's first three months. That
is about 80,000 songs a week. When iTunes launched in the USA,
it sold 1 million songs during its first
week. USA Today June 04
IPO investors feel the Salesforce.com
Harkening back to the days of soaring Internet IPOs, Salesforce.com
stormed Wall Street Wednesday
in 2004's second best opening performance for a new stock. The
company, which provides Internet-
based software that tracks companies' customers, saw shares gain $6.20
to $17.20, a 56.4% surge.
Salesforce.com's big entrance comes just as the stock market is enjoying
an IPO renaissance and awaits
the hotly anticipated offerings of Internet search engine Google.
This year, 74 companies have gone
public, says IPO tracker Renaissance Capital. Thats' the most
since 2001. USA Today June 04
HD DOMINATES NAB
After more than a decade of false starts, high-definition products
and processes finally found
some traction in the marketplace. But even with HD chatter at
a high volume on the show floor
and at the parties, other technologies promised to have a major impact
on the business. The
relevance of NAB to Holywood was highlighted in a keynote by Hewlett
Packard CEO Carly
Fiorina, who addressed the concerns of the entertainment business.
"There is money to be made
just as there is money to be saved if this industry embraces the change
and the opportunity the
digital revolution presents," she said. The cernter piece of
HP's digital entertainment strategy is
the first intergrated open platform that links all production and postproduction
process of Warner Bros. Studiocs and DreamWorks.
Apple's adoption of HDV will certainly further this low-cost HD movement.
The format will be
implemented in future versions of Apple products. Customers can
already begin using HDV with
Final Cut Pro today throught third-party products. Below
The Line May 2004
Picture This: Photo service may raise seach engine revenue
The searh engine war is taking on a new look. More computer users
are searching the
Internet for photos as well as Website links--potentially boosting
revenue for Google and
Yahoo. The two Internet giants deploy image-based searches that
let consumers sift through
more than one billion photos. The technology is catching on as
more consumers use it for
visual presentations, scrapbooks and homework, Internet analysts say.
The browser has replaced the encyclopedia," says analyst Kaicad Gotla
Yahoo use of its imagsearch technology has grown 18 fold since its
debut in Sept. It is one of
the comnpany's fastest-growing services. Google had more than
12 million people searched
images on Google's service in March. USA Today
LOVE SOLD ON THE INTERNET
Spending on online personal ads and dating Web sites in 2003 reached
$449.5 million, up
49 percent from 2002, according to the 2003 Paid Online Content U.S.
Report conducted by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) and comScore
This personals/dating category was the largest, making up almost 30
percent of total online
content spending by U.S. consumers, according to the report, released
In a distant second place came the business content category, with $334.1
million in spending,
up 14.4 percent from 2002. This includes business news from fee-based
such as The Wall Street Journal; business research, such as that provided
investment advice, such as the service from changewave.com; and digital
content used for
business purposes, such as that found at ArtToday.com, according to
Let the Music Play
The entertainment category--which includes sales of digital music,
multimedia, and other leisure-
related content--placed third, with $214 million, a 6 percent decrease
from 2002. However, the
report states that this result might be misleading, because revenue
generated from applications
that operate independent of browsers--such as the ITunes music store--wasn't
May 2002 Yahoo.com
Yahoo focuses on "integrating the network" INTERNET FIRM BOASTS
140M REGISTERED USERS
Yahoo's network of services and 140 million registered users is paralleled
on the Internet, an advantage the 9
year old companyhas in competing with the Internet search giant Google
and Microsoft's MSN. Early 2004
reve3nue estimates have been revised upward to $2.4 billion (from $1.6
billion in 2003), fueled by growing
subscriber fees and a resurgence in the ad market. Personalization
is the future of the search and Yahoo has
an amazing understanding of that. In instant messaging, Yahoo
recently surpassed MNSN as the No. 2 IM
application, with 19 million IM users. May USA
AOL tries to keep surfers in its Nets: Broadband lures subscribers
AOL has been plugging its alternative to quitting--broadband service---at
its website. Dial-up
subscribers are still the majority of home Internet subscribers--52%,
vs. 48% for high speed,
according to measuring service Nielsen//Net Ratings. But broadband
is where the growth is.
A year ago, the numbers were 64% dialup to 36% broadband.
AOL has been bleeding subscribers: It lost 2.2 million in 2003.
AOL put a Lavigne concert
on AOL.com for free, hoping people would like what they see and want
to pay for more.
AP May 04
Apple Profit is music to invests' ear...Apple Computer's profit
tripled in the second quarter, helped by
sales of its iPod digital music player. Overlall sales in the
quarter were $1.9 billion, vs. $1.5 billion in the
year-ago period. April 15, 2004
An annual study of the sexual content in Hollywood movies
shows that movies with explicit sex and nudity don’t sell.
Each year, the Christian Film & Television Commission(TM)
and its monthly publication, MOVIEGUIDE(R), analyzes the
content of all the major movies released by Hollywood.
Only five of the Top 10 Movies at the Domestic Box Office
in 2001, 2002, and 2003, less than 20 percent, had excessive or very
graphic sex in them, according to MOVIEGUIDE(R)’s ratings,
but 19, or 63 percent, had either a moral worldview or a Christian
Also, the bigger the amount and the stronger the sex and
nudity are in a movie, the worse it does at the box office.
In 2003, for example, 78 movies with no sex averaged $37.6
million; 95 movies with implied sex averaged $32.1 million; 71
movies with briefly depicted sex averaged $25 million;
and, 35 movies with extensive, excessive, or graphic sex averaged only
$17.1 million. In 2002, 82 movies with no sex
averaged $44.3 million; 104 movies with implied sex averaged
$23.2 million; 82 movies with briefly depicted sex averaged $20
million; and 31 movies with extensively depicted, excessive,
or graphic sex averaged only $17.7 million.
In 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, movies with no nudity averaged
$26.6 million, 40.7 million, $35.9 million, and $34.6 million,
respectively, but movies with full male and/or female
nudity averaged $14.5 million, $7.6 million, $9.1 million, and $11.8
“Clearly, sex does not sell as well as the mass media
wants us to believe,” said Dr. Ted Baehr, chairman of Christian Film &
Television Commission(TM) and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE(R).
Film & Television Commission(TM)
FORBES ANNOUNCES THE RICHEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD
1. William Gates III
2. Warren Buffett
3. Karl Albrecht
4. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud
5. Paul Allen
6. Alice Walton
7. Helen Walton
8. Jim Walton
9. John Walton
10. S Robson Walton
After just five years, Internet search giant ooge ominates online searche
and has becoe a
commonplace verb: to "Google." Now set to produc possibly the
biggest Internet IPO of
all time, potentially raising $2 Billion as early as next month...Just
this month, archival Yahoo introduced a feature tat pinpoints the location
businesses. Google reaped $1 billion in revenue last year, mostly
from the sale of text based
ads that show up next to search results. Yahoo, the Internets
most visited site dumped
Google to unveil its onsearch technoloy. And other competitors are
uling up Search com-
pany Ask Jeeves recently doubled its size byacquiring several smaller
It is expected that the Google IPO to value the company at $10 to $15
and eBay were valued at about $100 billion initially, but they've grown
and $44.3 billion, respectvely. USA Today
Apple Sells 50 Million Songs Over Internet
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Computer Inc.
said on Monday it has sold 50 million songs
over the Internet in the 11 months since it launched its iTunes Music
Store, putting it at least
halfway toward its goal for the year. Apple, which charges 99 cents
a song, said it is currently
selling 2.5 million songs per week, which would translate into 130
million songs per year, or
about $130 million in annual revenue.
Rob Schoeben, vice president of applications marketing at Apple, declined
to predict how many
songs iTunes customers will have downloaded for its one-year anniversary
in April but said that
it has continued to steadily increase. For instance, the download rate
was about 1.5 million songs
per week in December.
While the sale of songs is a positive for the company and the industry,
analysts noted it is actually
the music store's effect on Apple's iPod digital music player, more
than the service itself, that has
helped the company's revenues and earnings. The company sold 730,000
iPods in the December
quarter and in February said it had 100,000 orders for its new iPod
In the fourth quarter, the iPod digital music player accounted for about
13 percent of overall sales.
EchoStar Pulls Plug on Viacom Channels
(AP) - Satellite TV giant EchoStar Communications Corp. pulled the
plug on MTV, Nickelodeon and
CBS affiliates in more than a dozen cities early Tuesday in an escalating
legal dispute with Viacom Inc.
over the price of programming. As many as 9 million customers of EchoStar's
DISH Network nationwide
were affected, including 1.6 million who watch CBS programming in New
York, Chicago, Los Angeles
and other cities. The move that could threaten their ability to watch,
among other things, the March
Madness college basketball tournament AP
The DVR explosion of satellite and digital cable channels
"There is a freight train coming at us, and the only thing holding
back is the time it takes for consumers
to blend the new technology to the ways they want to use it...the new
DVR is changing the way corporate
Amer. advertises. "A few years from now, the 300-plus channels
we have now will evolve into one:
MYTV, The channel you program yourself.
Internet ad spending isn't just rebounding these days
- it's breaking records.
The Internet Advertising Bureau said last month that U.S. online ad
spending surged 38% in
the fourth quarter vs. the year-ago period, to $2.2 billion. The trade
group says it was the
fastest growth rate of any quarter since it started tracking online
ad sales in 1996, including
the dot-boom years of 1998-2000.
"The corner's clearly been turned where online ad spending's concerned,"
said IAB President
Greg Stuart. "Consumers and marketers have raced online in a big, big
Newer types of online ads, not the static banner ads that dominated
in the early years, are
leading the surge. One such ad is paid search, in which a company pays
to have an ad or its
Web site link listed prominently on certain Web search results pages.
Also popular are so-called "rich" and streaming ads, which include pop
up ads and "interstitials,"
or ads that appear when going from one Web page to another.
Analysts say such ads get results and will continue to attract big advertisers.
The spending also
seems to be coming at the expense of TV and print ads. The Big 3 broadcast
CBS and NBC, reported last month that they had just a 1.5% gain in
prime-time ad sales in the
fourth quarter vs. the year-earlier quarter.
The IAB survey, conducted jointly with PricewaterhouseCoopers, said
U.S. online ad spending
jumped 20% in 2003 to $7.2 billion.
"Paid search right now is at the heart of online ad spending," he said.
"If you compare the first half
of 2003 with the first half of 2002, our figures show paid search grew
even faster, 300%." Why
are paid search ads so popular? "Because it's easy for advertisers
to see a return on their invest-
ment in terms of direct sales (from people visiting their Web sites),"
said Forrester's Nail.
Growth rates for paid search ads, however, are expected to cool this
year. Hallerman expects a
22% increase in 2004 as the niche matures. By
Doug Tsuroka at Yahoo.com
TOWER RECORDS PARENT SEEKS REORGANIAZATION
MTS, parent of music, book and video retailer
tower Records, sought protection
from creditors Monday in a deal that strips
majority ownership from the founding
family. The specialty retailer has
been hurt by Internet music down-loading. Feb 2004
Intelligence on overseas DVD sales: $25 billion
The newly formed research team, Video and DVD Intelligence, is predicting
that total international
consumer spending on DVD and VHS sales and rentals worldwide will top
$48 billion by year's end,
V&D Intelligence partner Tom Adams said. "That is more than
double the estimated international
boxoffice estimates for 2003. Hollywood
Juniper to acquire NetScreen in $4 billion stock deal
Router maker Juniper Networks is acquiring security systems supplier
Net Screen Technologies
in a $4 billion stock swap, more evidence of the tech spending revival.
RETURN OF THE TECHSTASY
Investors have fallen in love with tech stocks like it's 2000, a time
when Microsoft was briefly the
most valuable company in the world. Now Microsoft, at $310 billion
in market cap, once again
reigns as the globe's most highly valued company...The shares of companies
once perceived to be
on the path toward bankruptcy and whose stocks had traded for chump
change a year ago--
Lucent, Nortel, Sonus Networks--are some of the best performers of
2003. The good news from
the industry hasn't even started to flow yet; just wait until managements
become more positive on
their outlook. Money
Cablers Grow Web Subs Despite DSL
"Cable currently has about two-thirds of the market share in the broadband
Managing partner at Fulcrum Global Partners said, "Broadband will remain
a source of significant
growth and strong profitability." Hollywood
Satellite Phones Progam TV Viewing
Samsung Electronics is developing a cellular telephone that can receive
programming broadcasts via satellite, the company says. The new
phone, which is still
in the development stage, is expected to be compatible with a new satellite
service that is planned to launch in South Korea (news - web sites)
and Japan later this
The planned handset will be based around a new chip developed by Samsung
announced this week. The chip includes an Arm processor core and can
decode the satellite
broadcasts as well as functions such as billing for pay-per-view services,
the company says.
The broadcasting service, planned by Mobile Broadcasting in Japan and
TU Media in South
Korea, will offer a number of audio and video channels and is designed
to be received by
portable terminals. Programming line-ups have not yet been announced,
subscribers are expected to be able to access around 70 channels of
those in South Korea should get access to around 40 channels. PC
25 Million Global Subscribers Added In One Year Secure DSL's Broadband
Broadband DSL attracted an additional 25 million subscribers in the
past year, reaching 55 million at the end
of September 2003. Some project that there will be one million
per month registering for Broadband. By
the time you read this 62 million plus homes and businesses around
the world are likely to have selected DSL
rather than other broadband technologies, extending DSL's global lead
over cable modems. Japan continues
to lead the DSL world, followed by the U.S. and China. Said that
soon China will lead Japan. In terms of
market penetration, South Korea remains the leading country in the
world with more than 30 percent of the
countries telephone lines now providing the benefits of broadband.
Daily News Jan 2004
Tech honchos foresee tons of innovations:
Bill Gates says, "the convergence of the PC and consumer electronics
markets is a tremendous opportunity.
More of the consumer devices are becomming as powerful, connected and
programmable as the PC, so it's
more important than ever to create software that makes these devices
work will together. ... The coming
years will see unprecendented innovation and choice for consumers.
Quesion: Are there any hurdles to jump before the digital home
becomes reality? Paul Otellini of Intell says,
"Premium content...movie studios went from saying no, (content can't
be shared among devices), to syaing
this is inevitable...Now Hollywood is ready to commit.
Microsoft quarterly revenue tops $10B--a record
Kodak to lay off 15,000, cut manufacturing capacity
Kodak continues to grapple with one of the harshest corporate transitions
of the past decade. Its 100
year-old film business is waning in the face of digital photography,
with exploded last year. USA Today 04
Wireless gizmos dominate last day of electronics show
The best minds in the business have looked into the future and it has
no wires. The big buzz at the Consumer
Electronics Show was about easily getting video and musicc off the
PC and into the living room without
bulky wires. Making that possible: Wi-Fi, or wireless Internet,
and other wireless technologies. Wi-Fi sends
Web pages, video, music and ohter data through the air via radio waves.
Wi-Fi is typically used to pass in-
formation between two PCs at about the speed of high-speed Internet.
New Wi-Fi products are faster and
can send DVD quality video from a PC to a nearby TV.
Today's high-speed Internet makes it easier to download video.
But most people don't, because they don't
watch movies on PCs, says Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. New
Wi-Fi set-top boxes will make it easy to
send and watch that video via Wi-Fi on any TV in the house he says.
Intel Pres. Paul Otellini demonstrated
a Nikon digital camera that wirelessly sends pictures to a nearby PC.
D-Link also introduced some wireless
security cameras. USA Today 2004
Apple effectively kick-started the legitimate digital musi business
last April with the intorduction
of the iTunes Music Store. Originally just for Mac users, Apple
opened it to Windows users in
October. Apple now claims sales of 30 million songs and a 70%
market share. Apple's iTunes
success was helped by the smash success of the iPod. Some 735,000
were sold in the last
quarter alone, and 2 million to date. Despite a confusing marketplace,
Internet analysts expect
digital music to take a big spike in 2004. Forrester Research
says online digital downloads will
increase form $256 million this year to $2.1 billion in 2007.
Dollars per consumer will grow
from $1.03 in 2004 to $8.09 in 2007. USA
Today Jan 2004
Verizon Targets High Speed, Wired or Not
Verizon Communications has grand designs for the biggest telecommunications
market in the country. They
have announced plans to spend $3 billion over the next two years to
upgrade its land-line and wireless
networks. The aim: to make them work together at ever higher
speeds, giving customers here and around
the country new ways to consolidate and manage their phones, hand-held
devices, laptops and other elec-
tronic gear. Verizon plans to run fiberoptic cable this year
to more than a million homes nationwide. They
say they will take nationwide a data-only wireless broadband service
with speeds akin to DSL and that it
will transform its switching gear to enable lower cost Internet Protocol
telephony, chich transmits voice
calls like e-mail. LA Times Jan 2004
Apple Shrinks iPod Music Player
Apple Computer announced it lowest-price iPod digital music player.
The iPod Mini has a 4 gigabyte
hard drive, enough to hold about 1,000 songs. Apple's $299 entry-level
full-size iPod has a 15 GB
hard and holds 3,700 songs
Murdoch's Empire Is in Orbit
On Friday, federal regulators approved News Corp.'s $6.6-billion takeover
of satellite television
leader DirecTV from General Motors Corp., although they imposed conditions
that aim to limit
Murdoch's ability to gain an unfair advantage over competitors.
"The company works best — and has revolutionized industries — by challenging
thinking," said Mary Ann Halford, a media consultant and former News
Now, the 72-year-old Murdoch is at it again, betting that he can pull
off a feat nobody else has
managed: to turn satellite television, which currently is watched by
just 20% of American house-
holds, into a medium as common as cable, which is in 70% of homes.
Critics of the deal say those conditions don't go far enough, and some
point to Murdoch's repu-
tation for doing more than just breaking with convention; the Australian-born
has a history of breaking the backs of his rivals.
With El Segundo-based DirecTV in his arsenal, Murdoch would become the
only media titan
with satellite, cable and broadcast assets in the U.S. Besides the
Fox television network, News
Corp. owns 20 regional sports channels, 35 TV stations, the Fox News
cable channel, the New
York Post and the 20th Century Fox movie studio.
Yahoo News Dec 2003
Don't touch that dial, geeks.
TechTV, the San Francisco cable network devoted to all things technology,
may be acquired
by Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable company, in a deal that
could put TechTV into
millions more homes. According to reports from Reuters and the
trade magazine Television Week,
Comcast is in talks to buy TechTV from Vulcan Inc., the investment
firm owned by billionaire
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
The deal may hinge on whether Comcast could get minority investor Echo
which runs satellite service Dish Network and owns a reported 10 to
12 percent of TechTV, to sell.
Comcast and EchoStar declined to comment on the talks. TechTV and Vulcan
did not return phone
TechTV is available in 40 million homes nationwide and is carried by
all major cable and satellite
operators. But in San Francisco, its hometown, where Comcast is the
carrier, it's only available on
digital cable in upgraded areas The network started in May 1998
as ZDTV and was owned at the
time by computer magazine publisher Ziff Davis. Vulcan bought a one-third
stake for $54 million in
1999, and then bought the rest of the company for $205 million in 2000.
Half of UK 'getting digital TV'
Many households have more than one TV set
Digital television will be in at least 50% of homes by the new year,
it has been predicted. BBC figures
suggest multi-channel homes are rapidly rising, with sales of the free-to-air
Freeview platform a factor.
The government plans to switch off the analogue signal by 2010, but
still has to persuade those
opposed to change to sign up. Reuters
Intel Expected to Make Digital TV Chips
Intel wants to get inside your television. The world's largest microchip
maker will soon unveil plans to
make chips for digital televisions, opening a fast-growing market to
a company that dominates the
computer chip business, an industry executive familiar with the plans
said on Wednesday. The entrance
of Santa Clara, California-based Intel Corp. would pose a serious threat
to established consumer
electronics companies in Europe and Japan, such as Philips and Sony
Corp. as well as emerging players
such as Texas Instruments Inc., analysts said Reuters
Music Moguls Sing Happier Online Tune
Despite piracy, executives foresee growth as legal online sales grow.
Online music piracy isn't
likely to vanish any time soon, but the rise of pay-for-play online
services and the growing
popularity of portable digital song players portends greater demand
for digital music next year
and better fortunes for the embattled recording industry, music executives
said Monday. Taking
a mostly positive outlook on an industry racked by a three-year slide
in CD sales, executives for
the recording companies and Internet music retailers told hundreds
at the Music 2.0 conference
in Universal City that online music sales should take off in 2004.
"What we see is an explosion
of interest in this space. It's a really exciting time," said
Sean Ryan, vice president of RealOne's
Music Division, which owns the Rhapsody digital music service.
"I don't think we can look at the old models of how we made money in
the past and say we can
duplicate them in the new world; that's not going to work," said Courtney
Holt, head of new
media and strategic marketing at Interscope A&M Geffen Records.
Associated Press Dec. 2003
Earthlink, Musicmatch start 99-cent store
Earthlink and Musicmatch have started selling downloadable songs for
99 cents--with no
subscription required--via their EarthLink Digital Music initiative
in an effort compete with
Apple Computer's fast growing iTunes service. Hollywood
Reporter Dec 2003
Talks Seek Global Internet Ground Rules
GENEVA - Negotiators from 192 countries have narrowed differences on
setting the global
ground rules for expanding use of the Internet, but remain undecided
on whether rich nations
should help their poor counterparts pay for the increase. Two
days of closed-door talks, which
continued into the early hours Sunday, have resolved most of the key
issues to be tackled at a
U.N. summit on information technology which starts Wednesday, said
Marc Furrer, the Swiss
official who brokered the discussions.
"Unfortunately, we didn't settle everything, but one has to be realistic.
We're probably at 98
percent," said Furrer, director of Switzerland's Federal Office of
will meet again Tuesday, on the eve of the three-day World Summit on
the Information Society,
he told reporters. The negotiators, meeting for the fifth
round of talks already this year, have
been trying to draft documents for the nearly 60 heads of state or
government expected in Geneva.
Key decisions about controlling the Internet's core systems remain with
the U.S. government and
a private, U.S.-based organization of technical and business experts
known as the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Number, or ICANN Associated
Press December 2003
China likely to have 78 million Internet users at
end of 2003
China will probably have 78 million Internet users by the end of the
year, keeping its position a
s second only to the United States for the number of people online,
state media reported.
AFP - Sat Dec 6
HP to Launch Online Music Store
Hewlett-Packard Co., one of the several computer companies pushing
into the consumer electronics
market, plans to launch an HP-branded online music store in the first
quarter most likely at a January
trade show, an HP executive said. The music service will be run
in conjunction with an existing service
such as Musicmatch.com. HP also plans to unveil a digital music
player. Reuters Nov. 2003
Will bidding raise prices? Selling concert
tickets at online auction is looming
music industry prospect
Live music: going once, going twice...sold to the highest bidder?
That proposal is looming over
the pop world these days. A show at the Hollywood Palladium show
with the Red Hot Chili
Peppers, System of a Down and Metallica is the immediate example.
A little more than half of
the 3,500 tickets for the benefit were sold the convential way at the
face value of $55 for floor
seats, $85 for the balcony. The remaining 1,500 were sold via
Internet auction. The result:
those tickets went for $110 to $400 each, boosting the concert's gross
The question is whether auctions will become part of the day-in-day-out
experience. LA Times Nov.
One-Third in U.S. Quite Tech Savvy, Survey Reports:
The Internet and
wireless tools are essential to the "elite" 31%
Technology geeks, unite. There are more of you than you might
have realized. A study released
Sunday found that 31% of Americans were "highly tech-savvy" people
whom the Internet, cell
phones and hand-held organizers were more indispensable than TVs and
phones. And though this group is predominantly young, the study
found plenty of baby boomers
and seniors who are equally ardent about technology. People are
saying that technology helps
them organize or take control of their lives. AP
Europe's IPO Market Awakens
Europe's Market for new stock offerings finally is heating up again
with a late-year spurt, a sign of
rosier prospects for the IPO market in 2004. Wall
Street Journal Nov. 2003
Counting both DSL and cable modems, 15% of American households have
This take-up is dwarfed by that of South Korea, where more than two-thirds
of house holds have
high-speed connections. Some 23 million of the country's 30 million
cell phones are Internet enabled.
WIRED Nov. 2003
Microsoft to Launch Online Music Service
Microsoft Corp. said it would jump into the online music sector next
year as we expected, joining an
increasingly crowded marketplace that also includes LiquidAudio.com,
MusicMatch, Buy Music.com,
Apple Computer, RealNetworks and others. Microsoft's Windows
Media Player, which allows
users to play songs and videos on the Web, could easily be turned into
a platform for selling music
analysts have said. Retuters Nov
Sony Music and BMG Mergeddd
The merger of Sony Music Entertainment Music and Bertelsmann's BMG
would combine the world's
second and fifth largest music companies, bringing popular Sony artists,
such as Bruce Springsteen and
Beyonce Knowles, and BMG performers including Britney Spears, under
a single label.
Sony and Bertelsmann on Thursday announced a nonbinding letter of intent
to negotiate exclusively
with each other in the weeks ahead to create a jointly-owned firm,
to be called Sony BMG. No cash
would be exchanged to complete the deal, which is expected to occur
within two months, according to
a press release from BMG and Sony. The new company would claim
roughly 25 percent of global music
sales, placing it just behind industry front-runner, Vivendi's Universal
Music Group, which had roughly
25.9 percent of the world market share, according to last year's music
sales. AP Nov 2003
Cablers Grow Web Subs
"Cable currently has about two-thirds of the market share in the broadband
business," Greenfield said.
I expect it will lose modest market share to DSL over the coming `12
- 24 months. But broadband
will remain a source of significant growth and strong profitability.
LOS ANGELES - The recording industry, it seems, doesn't hate absolutely
everything about illicit music
downloading. Despite their legal blitzkrieg to stop online song-swapping,
many music labels are benefiting
from — and paying for — intelligence on the latest trends in Internet
trading. It's a rich digital trove these
recording executives are mining. By following the buzz online, they
can determine where geographically to
market specific artists for maximum profitability.
"The record industry has always been more about vibe and hype," said
Jeremy Welt, head of new media for
Maverick Records in Los Angeles. "For the first time, we're making
decisions based on what consumers
are doing and saying as opposed to just looking at radio charts." Yahoo
News Nov 03
Return of the "Techstasy"
Investors have fallen in love with tech stocks like it's 2000, a time
when Microsoft was briefly the most
valuable company int he world. Now Microsoft, ast $310 billion
in market cap, once again reigns as
the Globe's most highly valued company...The shares of companies once
perceived to be on the path
toward bankruptcy and whose stocks had traded for chump change a year
ago--Lucent, Nortel, Sonus
Networks--are some of the best performers of 2003. Money
Will Bidding Raise Prices?
Selling concert tickets at auction is a looming music industry prospect
Live music: going once, going twice...sold to the highest bidder?
That prospect is looking over the
pop world these days as musicians, managers, promoters and concert
facility operators gingerly but
staeadily experiement with selling tickets by auction. For a
concert in Los Angeles more than half
the tickets sold the conventional way at face value of $55. The
remaining tickets went via the Internet
auction. The result: Those tickets went for $110 to $400
each, boosting the concert's gross dra-
matically. LA Times 11/04
For the three years ending in March 2006, Sony said it had earmarked
$3.09 billion. "The year 2006 is a goal point for us," said Chief
Executive Nobuyuki Idei.
"We envisage that the world of broadband and wireless networks will
be very prevalent.
That's what we have been preparing for in the last few years." October
29, 2003 AP
Deal Puts EMI Music's Catalog Online
LONDON - A file-sharing network on Friday said it has signed a deal
with EMI Music to put a
"majority" of the music publisher's catalog online for users in Europe.
British company Wippit Ltd.
said the deal with EMI will boost the number of tracks it offers online
by about 100,000.
Wippit's chief executive and founder, Paul Myers, told The Associated
Press that his company
signed a deal last month with EMI, whose artists range from the Rolling
Stones to Coldplay. Wippit
distributes authorized copies of songs on its file-sharing network,
allowing subscribers to download
an unlimited number of tracks for an annual fee of $49, or $6.50 a
Consumers can burn the songs onto CDs, transfer them to portable music
Windows Media Audio or store them on a computer. Customers keep the
music even after their
subscription ends, Myers added. A Wippit user gets a license
for each track downloaded. Myers
said the user can download the same track onto different computers
by entering the license details
each time, but cannot share the track with other users or convert the
music file into MP3 format.
Fri Oct 24 Associated Press
Universal Bids for New Ears Via Ebay
Universal Music Group, which turned heads last month with a plan to
slash CD prices, may
soon auction other recordings to the hightest bidder. The Vivendi
Universal music arm has
reached a pact to sell special albums, artist memorabilia and concert
tickets on the Ebay Inc.
auction site. The deal would let Universal tap EBay's audience
of more than 34 million active
users at a time when record companies are racing to develop profitable
businesses on the
Internet and counter the tide of online piracy. LA
Apple Teams With AOL for Legal Music Downloads--
Apple Computer is bringing legal music downloads to the masses.
It announced that it would
become the music download service for AOL, the No. 1 Internet service.
As expected, it
also said iTunes works now with Microsoft Window's-based PCs. Previously,
users could use the servicew. Apple is well positioned to dominate
the growing ranks of legal
download options. "Legal digital music is on the launching pad."
iTunes lets consumers down-
load songs for 99 cents each. When it was launched in April,
it was seen as the first site to
appease both musicians and fans regarding an issue that had divided
record companies and
consumers. USA TODAY 10/13/03
PEPSI, APPLE OFFER TUNES
Pepsi Co and Apple announcede Thursday a promotion that will offer
Pepsi consumers free
songs from iTune's library starting Feb. 1. For Apple, the deal
puts Pepsi promotional muscle
behind generating awareness and new customers for the service. USA
|T-Mobile rings up free concert evening--
T-Mobile is launched a night of free concerts that
took place simultaneously in five cities. Concerts
were free but you had to go to websites Aol.com
TMobole.com or to get the tickets and the concerts
were webcast free on both Internet sites. Sept.
CD Dangles Carats--
Interscope Records is about to launch an ad campaign that will turn
release into a kind of lottery...The Vivendi Universal-owned label
is hiding "golden tickets"
in albums and consumers who buy the CD containing a ticket get a diamond
medallion valued at $12,500. The promotion represents the latest
gambit by major record
companies to appeal directly to consumers, rather than route marketing
dollars through retail
so as to booster their losses from people going to the Internet. AP
New report indicates one-third of US homes will have
broadband by 2005.
In its latest report, Broadband Worldwide, eMarketer estimates broadband
will be in over one-fifth (22%)
of US homes this year. At such a critical mass, the online content
sector is well advised to take advantage
of the market.
While Internet penetration has already reached 59% of US households,
broadband will be in over one-fifth
(22%) of US homes this year, rising to one-third (32.2%) by 2005, according
to eMarketer's new Broad-
band Worldwide report. "If that isn't a big enough audience to sustain
an innovative online content sector, I
don't know what is," says Senior Analyst Ben Macklin. So where is this
"Still gun-shy from the dot-com crash and continuing economic uncertainty,
telecom, media and marketing
companies are understandably hesitant to fully embrace the broadband
concept," says Macklin. "The
countries and companies that realize the full potential of widespread
broadband will surge ahead in the next
decade. It's now time to take the Net to the next level."
AOL has committed $35 million to a branding campaign for broadband,
and it is finally focusing on de-
livering the content that can drive broadband subscriptions."