Welcome to the New Media News Digest for the week of June 4th. For those of you who are new, I comb and curate various new media sources on a weekly basis with an eye towards issues specifically related to new media activities within public broadcasting. I welcome comments and feedback. If you have received this from a friend or colleague, please email me to be added to the list of upcoming mailers. If you would like to unsubscribe, please do the same.
> The big story this week is that Radiosophy will be offering a $60 HD Radio. Why is this, in light of everything else going on this week, the top story? Because commercial and public broadcasters have collectively invested hundreds of millions in HD Radio conversion, while audiences have stayed away in droves. Surveys indicate that consumers don’t see spending $150-$200 on a special radio just to get a couple extra channels of CD quality programming, especially in light of cheaper, better alternatives such as online streaming audio and satellite radio. However, consumers might be willing to spend $60 or, if the Radiosophy announcement is just the beginning of an industry-wide price drop, $30 or $40.
> The key theme this week is disintermediation. Up until now, those who doubted the possibility of Internet video distribution rendering the television network obsolete could argue that, at the end of the day, people don’t want to watch television on their computer. While there have been ways to download Internet-distributed video straight to the TV for a while now, Apple has finally made it consumer-grade with their announcement this week that YouTube will be accessible directly on the television, via AppleTV. The first beneficiary of this move? Possibly the audiences of Venezuela’s Radio Caracas Television, who announced this week that they will broadcast via YouTube despite having had broadcast operations shut down by President Hugo Chavez. Students protested violently, but may get their RCT after all.
> The think piece this week is another Apple announcement – as part of a re-launched Apple Music Store, Apple has added iTunes U, a portal for universities to offer filmed lectures free online. Many public television and radio stations already offer public service content online, such as university lectures and interviews with local political figures. Public broadcasters’ podcasts have benefited greatly from the increased visibility and easy user interface offered by the Apple Music Store. Could pubcasters find a way to partner with Apple to distribute these other types of public service content?
New Media News Digest, May 28th– June 4th, 2007
Offers Free Educational Content on iTunes
From Apple: "Apple today announced the launch of iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com) featuring free content such as course lectures, language lessons, and campus tours provided by top US colleges and universities."
Launches DRM Free Music
From Apple: "Apple today launched iTunes Plus DRM-free music tracks featuring high quality 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio quality virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings for just $1.29 per song."
Signs Deal with YouTube
From the WSJ: "EMI Music, the music division of EMI Group, will make music videos and recordings available on Google's popular online-video Web site. YouTube visitors will also be able to include EMI content in their own video postings on the site."
YouTube Coming to
From Apple: "Beginning in mid-June, Apple TV will wirelessly stream videos directly from YouTube and play them on a user’s widescreen TV."
Venezuelan TV station moves to YouTube
From CNN: "Radio Caracas Television, the station silenced by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has found a way to continue its daily broadcasts -- on YouTube, the popular video Web site."
YouTube to Share Revenue From TV Video Clips
From the WSJ: "Hearst-Argyle Television Inc., one of the nation's largest operators of local TV stations, will distribute news, weather and entertainment video to Google Inc.'s YouTube in a revenue-sharing agreement."
From NYT: "The cost of receiving digital AM and FM signals will drop next week as Radiosophy releases its HD100 receiver for less than $60 with a rebate."
From ComScore: "An analysis of the iTunes podcasting audience revealed
that males represented a significantly larger share of the audience than did
females.Â In addition, 18-24 year olds represented a substantial share of
the audience." (Thanks to Dennis Haarsager)
CBS Buys Last.FM, an Online Radio Site
From the NYT: "CBS said yesterday that it had acquired Last.FM, an online radio and social-networking site, for $280 million to expand its digital offerings. The purchase is regarded as a way for CBS to grab an audience online."