eMusic to Offer Audiobooks: will anyone listen?

emusic booksIn digital music retail there is Apple in one corner and then there is everybody else.  Apple’s iTunes store accounts for approximately seventy percent of the market.  The runner up, eMusic, has less than ten percent. This week eMusic’s hoping to get a few more customers, especially from older demographics, with the introduction of audiobook downloads starting Tuesday.

eMusic’s book formula will follow the same recipe the company has used for songs.  The books will be sold via subscription in an unrestricted MP3 format (e.g. free of digital rights management encryption) at lower than average prices per title.   The absence of DRM technology will insure their offerings Click to Read More

Brightcove Emphasizing B2B Video Platform

brightcove.gifMore and more well funded startups seem to be aimed at creating portals for internet video.  Brightcove, one of the best capitalized of video centric startups, is going the other way and distancing themselves.   While the company has been running their own video site for the past year, today it was reported they are shifting internal resources to instead focus on greater development of their technology platform and distribution services.  Their video portal, which has been up for a year,  will remain at Brightcove.TV as “something that runs itself” said Brightcove VP of marketing Adam Berrey but the company is “not trying to become the next YouTube.”   The companies priorities are elsewhere.

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The State of Gaming: NPD Retail Stats for August

gameEvery month gaming analysts wait for retail sales statistics like others sit anxiously in wait for interest rate news from the Fed. Thursday, they got their monthly relief when NPD, North America’s primary source of game-retail statistics, released its sales figures for August. As seems to consistently be the case, and the story for the year, the numbers handedly beat expectations and continue to validate projections that the industry is growing revenue at an astonishing rate.

For August, Nintendo continued its reign as king of the consoles and portables. Click to Read More

Newly Financed: Recent VC Deal Roundup

vc recapAround industry a number of financings have closed in the past week.  Tallying it up and presenting them all at once, here’s the round up of who got cash:

Kewego –a European video sharing site based in Paris raised $6.9m in a second round led by Banxei venture Partners and CDC Enterprises.  The company has local video sharing sites in 10 European countries. They also provide digital signage, enterprise video syndication and advertising services.

Audiokinetic – a company providing game developers with software tools, notably middleware, for creating audio soundtracks for video games raised Click to Read More

Yahoo and Bebo Partner

logosGoogle has MySpace.  Microsoft has Facebook.   Now, at least in some markets, Yahoo has Bebo.
Yahoo today won a multi year deal to manage the bulk of display and video advertising on social networking site Bebo within certain geographies.

Yahoo already powered the site search functionality on Bebo but this new deal with give them management responsibilities for ad inventory for Bebo’s UK and Irish users.  The Yahoo Answers property will also get further integration into the social network and a new browser toolbar is in development.

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MTV Networks Consolidates Web Properties into new Spike.com

spike.comSometimes there is greater value in the sum of a company’s parts, other times, breaking things up just leads to confusion and lost value (or lost customers).  Fearing the latter to be the case with their web strategy, MTV Networks is regrouping some of their slate of websites into a new consolidated property.

In a tip of the hat to the rapid growth of Spike TV, the new site will be called Spike.com.  It will be home to the former Spike TV website along with video site iFilm. Some content from gaming site GameTrailers and Xfire will also move over though those properties will retain their own URL’s.

The new site will target the same audiences in the 18-34 age group as they did when operated individually but as a consolidated effort, and with audience overlap erased, the company hopes they’ll now be better positioned for ad sales.  (And single ad team should mean lower cost overhead too) Click to Read More

Netscape Social News Site to become Propellor

propeller logoFew brands have gone through more reinvention in less than a decade then Netscape.  Since it was acquired by AOL in 1999 (primarily for its browser technology) the online website seemed to be constantly in flux; used as something of an sandbox for testing new concepts.  In 2005, flash animation was the technology du jour.  By 2006 it was abandoned and replaced with social news format similar to the now popular Digg.  Now, another year later, they’ve scrapped that too and are backtracking and reinventing again.  

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