Daily Marauder



Digital-music retailers such as Amazon MP3 are selling full albums — even popular downloads — for as little as 99 cents. “It is the schoolyard crack-dealer approach,” a metrics expert said. “We will essentially give it away in order to get you to try it because we think you’re going to get hooked, and we think you’re going to come back.” The Boston Globe (3/18)

Some new releases, including ”No Line on the Horizon” by U2 (above), are being priced for a limited time on Amazon MP3 for $3.99. (CBS, Jeffrey R. Staab via Associated Press)


The Counting Crows have ended their eighteen-year label relationship with Geffen Records (now part of Universal Music Group), lead singer Adam Duritz says on the band’s website.  Duritz says the band will go it alone, saying “the internet opens a world of limitless possibility, where the only boundaries are the boundaries of your own imagination.” (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/18/counting-crows-goes-label-free/ 3/18)


Prince is launching a fan subscription service called Lotusflow3r. For $77 a year, subscribers will get exclusive music, video, lyrics, artwork and photos of the musician himself. The site also might offer streaming live performances of Prince — complete with song requests. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://www.reuters.com/article/musicNews/idUSTRE52H00K20090318 3/17)


More Americans bought digital music last year while the number purchasing CDs declined sharply, says market researcher NPD Group. In addition, nearly half of U.S. teens listen to music on social networks such as MySpace, the study says, up from 37% in 2007. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://tech.yahoo.com/news/afp/20090317/tc_afp/entertainmentusmusicinternetnpd 3/17)

After being ridiculed by Democrats on the campaign trail for his lack of digital savvy, John McCain participated in a “ Twitterview” yesterday conducted by ABC News This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos, a first for the hill. The 72-year old Senator has been relying on the microblogging platform to bend his more than 200,000 followers’ ears this month about the excesses of the recently-passed $410 billion federal spending bill. (Cynopsis 3/18)


MTV new-media executive David Gale told the crowd at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, that the network has deals with MSN, Fancast, AOL, Joost and Imeem to distribute programming and video clips online. According to this report, the network also is in talks with online sites such as MySpace.com about possible collaborations. TVWeek.com (3/17)

Chappelle Show veteran Charlie Murphy (Eddie’s brother) will star in a new series on Sony’s Crackle.com portal beginning Friday March 20, one of four shows debuting on the site this week.  Crackle shows are also distributed on YouTube, Hulu, MySpace, AOL, Sling Media, Veoh, VCast, Sprint TV and direct to broadband-enabled Bravia TVs. (Cynopsis 3/18)

CBS’ TV.com is making several content deals, bringing its video library to more than 2,000 hours of content. The new content deals with NCAA and Starz Media are in addition to existing agreements with companies including MGM Studios, PBS, Showtime and Sony Pictures Television. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/tvcom_signs_content_deals_with.php 3/17)

News Corp.’s MySpace is set for some big changes, according to Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield. Unit parent Fox Interactive Media is seeing costs increase as revenues shrink. The company will have “little choice” but to make significant job cuts. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2009/03/17/myspace-pali-sees-big-rev-drop-expects-layoffs/ 3/17)

WPP and Google are teaming up to fund a three-year research program on how advertising in traditional and digital media work together to influence consumer choices. Digital “is young and hasn’t had the same amount of rigorous study applied to it” as print and TV advertising. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123733535930164021.html 3/18)

Comcast’s plan to make cable programming available online to subscribers, an initiative that will be called On-Demand Online, will reinforce cable TV’s economic model because it will require viewers to pay for top-quality content, according to Karin Gilford, Comcast Interactive Media’s senior vice president of Fancast and online entertainment. “We want to bring a lot of content that is not online right now, while still preserving the economic model for the industry,” she said. Multichannel News (3/17)

AOL is moving aggressively toward becoming a producer of traditional news, hiring journalists and launching content sites, such as the forthcoming Politics Daily. The company says it aims to create “blue chip editorial brands rising out of the ashes” of newspapers and magazines. (Iwantmedia 3/18, http://www.thewrap.com/article/1921 3/16)

The Diffusion Group has announced new statistics showing that 76% would categorize a widget toolbar on a primary TV set as “valuable.” Yahoo!, Intel and Verizon Communications are among the companies making inroads in the TV-widget space. The New York Times/GigaOM (3/17)

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