Tag Archives: media

Social networking’s sexier than Blu-ray

The price of Blu-ray players and discs seems set to fall this season, as those involved seek to take the format into the mass market – meanwhile that market’s changing, with consumers flocking to sign-up to location-based social networking services for their mobile phones, a pair of ABI Research reports claim.

“Blu-ray vendors and dealers are starting to realize that for Blu-ray to become the next DVD, they need to lower player prices in order to generate interest and build volumes,” said ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson.
 
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OpenTV Movie portal now on Canada’s Bell TV

OpenTV Corp. has launched a movie portal application in partnership with Bell TV, Canada’s leading satellite and High Definition TV provider.

The Bell TV movie portal developed by OpenTV enables movie content providers to promote specific channels, as well as the movies they feature, through a fully customizable application that runs on OpenTV’s Core middleware platform. In addition to a themed search option, the application features a unique scheduling option that allows viewers to schedule movie recordings and set reminders weeks in advance.

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Apple, RIM win smartphone market share from Nokia

So at this stage we have a two-horse race.

“HELSINKI, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Surging demand for the latest iPhone and Blackberry models helped Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Research In Motion (RIM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)(RIMM.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to win larger shares of the smartphone market in the third quarter at the expense of top vendor Nokia, market research firm Canalys said on Thursday.”

Apple, RIM win smartphone market share from Nokia.

US album sales dip 19% – do music lovers care?

US album sales in October declined 19.4 per cent year on year, according to the latest SoundScan numbers as reported by Coolfer.

That’s steeper decline than 2008 has been as a year, but quite possibly attributable to a relatively weak summer release schedule (just watch the action hot up from mid-October on), the US elections and – principally – the economic downturn which will have a huge impact on music sales.

Why will recession have such an impact on music sales? Because years of litigation against customers has driven a schism between US music consumers and US labels, sadly to the detriment of all concerned, including the artists.

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Wal-Mart offers music customers handy relief

Giant US retailer Wal-Mart has given previous online music customers some kind of reprieve with a partial capitulation on previously-stated plans to close its DRM server for music purchases, meaning previous customers won’t lose their music.

Naturally, though, it’s only a partial capitulation, and fails to address the central issues of such DRM authorisation denial.

“Based on feedback from our customers, we have decided to maintain our digital rights management (DRM) servers for the present time,” an email from the company reads.

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100 groups demand to see ACTA treaty

“The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is on a fast-track process as rich nations hope to wrap it up by the end of the year. Unfortunately for everyone who cares about the outcome, it’s midway through September, and no draft text has yet emerged,” Ars Technica reports.

“The secrecy and the delay have inspired many conspiracy theories, none helped by leaked sets of corporate “wish lists” and public comments making outrageous demands.”

Leaked documents suggest the treaty could require Internet service providers to monitor all consumers’ Internet communications, interfere with fair use of copyrighted materials, and criminalize peer-to-peer electronic file sharing.
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ITN Source offers online Clips On Demand

ITN Source today began offering over 500,000 broadcast-quality clips for purchase and download online.

Available clips include news, history, entertainment and wildlife categories selected from ITN Source’s vast range of video archives. Hundreds of clips will be added daily from ITN, Reuters, FOX Movietone, Setanta Sports News and UTV.

Clips on Demand offers over a million hours of video content, made available rights ready for “all types of media use”, the company explained.
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BBC Trust to review licence fee collection

The BBC Trust is today launching a public consultation as part of a wide-ranging review into how the licence fee is collected.

The Trust is responsible for overseeing the licence fee collection arrangements, put in place by BBC management, and ensuring they are “efficient, appropriate and proportionate”. This is a new responsibility for the BBC’s governing body which is stated in the Royal Charter for the first time.

Sir Michael Lyons, Chairman of the BBC Trust, said: “It is use of a television, or other television receiving equipment, which dictates the need for a television licence, but the purpose of the licence fee is to pay for all BBC domestic services – on television, radio and online. For the BBC to meet its remit, and deliver the quality programmes and services the public rightly expects, it is essential it collects the funding needed.
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Sirius completes XM Radio purchase

Sirius Satellite Radio said today that is has completed its purchase of XM Satellite Rario to form a new combined company.

The news follows last week’s approval of the merger of the two firms following an extensive period of government scrutiny of the deal, ending when the US FCC gave the deal the go-ahead last week.

The new company will be named Sirius XM Radio, and will have more than 18.5 million subscribers, making it the second-largest radio company, based upon revenue, in the country; and, based upon subscribers, the second largest subscription media business in the US.
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Bono plans (RED) digital music service

Bono has a new plan for online music – philanthropic subscription services – planning to launch the scheme under the Product (RED) imprint in the autumn.
Essentially, users will pay $5 per month to receive three pieces of media every month, one track from a leading artist, (U2, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Elton John, Emmylou Harris and Death Cab for Cutie have all signed-up to take part in this initiative), another track from an up and coming act and a surprise piece of content they’re calling a ‘crackerjack surprise’, which could be a song, video, short story or anything else that fits the description. Subscribers can also look forward to detailed stories of (RED) cash being spent in Africa.
Here’s how the (RED) team are explaining the service:
“This fall (RED) will unveil a simple, seamless way for people to receive music from artists they love and artists they will discover. By applying the (RED) idea to music this model will create a new revenue stream for artists and labels and buy life-saving medicine for those living with AIDS in Africa.”
Half of the money raised will go through (RED) to the Global Fund, and the other half to the artists who contribute songs.
“There’s so much music out there now, and people aren’t getting their information in the ways that they grew up with,” Paul McGuinness, U2’s manager, told the New York Times. “I think there’s quite an opportunity to help people keep current with music.”
(RED) partners have generated more than $60 million for the Global Fund, money is spent helping to finance comprehensive national HIV/AIDS programs led by the ministries of health, to provide antiretroviral treatment for children and adults, to assist in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, as well as essential counseling and testing activities to reduce the overall risk of HIV transmission.
Don MacKinnon, founder of HEAR Music and former Vice President of Music & Entertainment of Starbucks Coffee Company, designed and developed this concept. 
“(RED) is such a powerful model,” said Don MacKinnon, President of (RED) Content. “The world’s best brands created (RED) products that have generated over $110 million. What we are doing now is applying the (RED) model to music. Every week you will receive great music from amazing artists and people living with AIDS in Africa will receive lifesaving antiretroviral medicine.” 
“Don MacKinnon just might be the penicillin the ailing music business needs. He is an innovator by nature and I have no doubt that some of the music software we are working on at (RED) will help change the way music is received, as well as changing the lives of Africans who will die without the AIDS drug that (RED) can help purchase,” said Bono.
This new direct link to customers is very important to (RED).  Not only because it creates an annuity to buy lifesaving medicine for those living with AIDS in Africa, but also because it gives us a direct relationship with (RED) consumers, creating a new platform to communicate the impact (RED) purchases are having on people’s lives,” said Susan Smith Ellis, CEO, (RED).
The notion of philanthropic business isn’t new – you’d have to look to Robert Owen for the seeds of these concepts – but investment works. You can read Impact Stories about beneficiaries of (RED) money in Africa here.