What Are You Missing? Oct 10-23

October 24, 2010
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Ten (or more) media industry stories you might have missed recently:

1. Jeff Price has launched a six-part series looking at the state of the music industry, from revenue to piracy and everything in between. Former UK music exec Rob Dickens suggests radically lowering the price of music to save it from piracy and boost revenue, an idea which Ian S. Port agrees with and insists won’t devalue music. Google is testing a new search engine designed to curb digital music piracy in India, but the music industry doesn’t think Google is doing enough to fight piracy.

2. Google is trying to keep up with Apple in mobile activations, but despite Google’s impressive revenue results lately, Henry Blodget insists the company is just a one-trick pony of search wonders. Pretty good trick, though, like Google Instant, which is garnering fans, if not more revenue. Google has figured out another trick: avoiding paying taxes thanks to a complicated overseas scheme.

3. Apple has tons of cash laying around, so if I was the 9-year-old iPod, I’d ask for a really expensive birthday present (maybe an iPad?). It’s still too early to tell if the iPad will make a ton of cash from magazine and newspaper sales but apps sales for Apple devices have reached the 7 billion mark, and a Nielsen study shows consumers increasingly connected to such devices. Apple needs to watch out, though, because its fart app supremacy may be in jeopardy. (I’d bet the 9-year-old has suggestions for improvement there.)

4. New York Times ad dollars have declined, as have magazine launches this year, and online advertising is thriving, but UK journalist Peter Preston says the evidence just isn’t there to prove that the internet is killing print. Also counter to what most would assume, a market analyst study claims that hard news generates more ad revenue online than LiLo news. And I’m sure we’d all be in much better moods for clicking on ads if newspapers could figure out better ways to counter abusive commenters.

5. The Weinstein Co. has hired a new production president, who will hopefully get them back on the award-winning track. Weinstein Co. does have a few films nominated for the Gotham Awards, which apparently hosts a great party. The Weinsteins can fill hours of cocktail conversation at the party with tales of their battle against an NC-17 rating for Blue Valentine. Also a good Gotham Awards party conversation starter: the MPAA ratings and male nudity. If Ken Loach shows up at the party, be sure to have a big drink handy; he might talk your ear off about how cinema has been debased by Hollywood and TV.

6. The two studio news stories I haven’t linked to lately because I got bored of hearing about them have now threatened to become one: MGM and Lionsgate. Hearing nothing but glowing praise for Pixar can get a little boring, but here comes a little bad press to shake things up: accusations of sexism for the firing of its first female director. Steven Zeitchik has some info on movies you’ll never hear from again, and you’ll likely be hearing more about 3D sound — literally! Ha! See what I did there?

7. Netflix this, Netflix that, Netflix the other. Blockbuster? Not so much. Sorry ‘bout that, DVDs and video stores. And sorry studios, you coulda had a piece of that.

8. Redbox is entering the video game rental business, while game sales continue to decline, and EA’s stock price took a hit allegedly due to negative Medal of Honor reviews. Maybe EA should follow the Kinect’s lead and have Oprah give it away to her audience; I’d buy stock in whatever it is that makes people act like that. But such passion raises a question: should game developers be swayed by fan input?

9. Twitter is popular in Brazil, but not at the Washington Post, and Twitter is more popular than Facebook for click-throughs. Facebook Places has not hurt the popularity of Foursquare yet, nor has The Social Network hurt Facebook’s popularity. And internet popularity might be measured more by social networking than searching soon, as long as we’re not measuring popularity by actual profits.

10. Some good News for TV Majors links from the last two weeks: Ratings Delineation, Mad Men finale reviews and good tweets, Cable & Satellite Future, Albrecht Profile, BBC Freezing the Fee, Over-the-Top Competitors, Glee Cast in GQ, Quitting Cable, Networks Block Google, Creator Demands.


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