In the world of the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” it’s not just the fire-breathing dragons which drive the plot, but gold dragon coins.» Read More
DVR giant Tivo and RealNetworks, which runs the Rhapsody music service -- are announcing a partnership. Starting today TiVo customers will be able to access Rhapsody's four million song library from the TiVo interface on their TV set.
The Recording Industry Association of America won a big victory--the first of 26,000 music file sharing copyright infringement suits settled in their favor. The amount of the settlement: $222,000. Considering that 10,000 of the suits have settled for less than $5,000 this is a good thing.
I'm at the Digital Music Forum at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel where start ups and music industry honchos are trying to figure out the future of pricing, how to conquer piracy and the role that social networks can play in boosting music revenues. The representatives of artists and music labels are asking for higher payments from Internet radio and online broadcasters are trying to negotiate rates so they can afford to survive.
The Writers Guild of America is asking if its members to authorize a strike. Leaders of the powerful Hollywood guild asked its 13,000 members for strike authorization: saying that the movie studios and networks are basically giving them no choice, are refusing to engage in serious negotiations, and are rejecting all the proposals.
The numbers are in and it was a rich third quarter for candidates--Hillary Clinton's campaign raised $27 million in the third quarter, beating Barack Obama, whose campaign raised about $20 million over the same time period.
Pricing Rules? Radiohead, the British band, is ignoring them entirely. Now that the band has fulfilled its relationship with EMI music label and is on its own, it's letting its fans decide how much to pay for its new 10-song album. The new album called "In Rainbows" will initially be only available on the band's Web site. And fans name the price.
There's no question, text messaging isn't just increasingly popular, it's increasingly useful to everyone from Universities (St. John's University used texting to alert the campus of an armed student) to city governments (NYC officials announced they'll begin testing "rapid-alert" programs, sending texts to New Yorkers cell phones).
I love these Hollywood showdowns. Media moguls know how to slap each other in the face more publicly than perhaps any other group. Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen, just gave Viacom's top brass one of those slaps.
The founder of BET, Robert L. Johnson, just announced he's going into a new business--one that has very little to do with his media background. He's going to be buying and operating car dealerships in the southern and midwest regions of the country, partnering with the McLarty-Landers Automotive Group.
Rumors are flying about Microsoft's interest in investing in a 5% stake in Facebook--a stake that would value the social networking upstart at some $10 billion dollars. Viacom and Yahoo have both made bids for the company, Google is reportedly interested (though co-founder Sergey Brin told me back in July that they weren't pursuing Facebook) and now Microsoft's offer is shaping up.
CBS CEO Les Moonves, wanting to dispel concerns that an economic slowdown would hurt ad sales, said that CBS ad sales are up 30% in the current scatter market, at Merrill Lynch's Media conference.
Free is the big trend these days when it comes to TV and newspaper content on the web. Television networks and newspapers are adopting free, ad-supported models online. They're ditching pay-per-episode and subscription services to go after a bigger audience and higher profits. The new approach? More, more targeted ads.
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman had a point to make to investors at a media conference this week. Dauman said that losing star producers and DreamWorks chiefs Steven Spielberg and David Geffen would be "completely immaterial" to Paramount and Viacom.
Yahoo's take at Internet 2.0. Since Jerry Yang took the helm at Yahoo again, the Internet company's been trying to get back on track. And that means not just getting its ad strategy sorted out, but also starting to compete more with some of the more innovative Internet 2.0 companies, which of course means Facebook and social networking.
Facebook had a pretty smart deal: get innovative kids to create applications for its site--the kind of cool functions that they want to use, which means higher traffic and more ad dollars. But now, Facebook is going to start compensating those innovators, launching a $10 million fund.
Since when does scandal stop anyone in Hollywood? It's certainly not stopping HBO's former CEO Chris Albrecht, who was forced to resign from the top spot after he was arrested and charged with assaulting his girlfriend in a Las Vegas hotel parking lot.
The Emmys kicked off the awards season last night--worst dressed lists are already up and starlets have begun collecting the season's "gifting suite" loot. The Emmy 'prizes' were doled out to some of the usual suspects--"The Sopranos" team collecting the gold statuettes for 'top drama series', best writing and direction.
Jodie Foster blew away the box office competition with her vigilante thriller "The Brave One," but the poorly reviewed film's performance paled against her recent efforts.
AT&T is a solid, historied brand -- the blue globe. Cingular was cool and hip -- the orange figure. Since acquiring the Cingular brand, AT&T has been working on integrating the two brands while maximizing what CIngular had that it didn't -- that orange hipness.
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