Music streaming sours for Murdoch. How will this be spun in Australian News Corp outlets? News Corporation’s 38% associate, BSkyB, is shutting its year-old Sky Songs service from next February after only attracting 10,000 punters who thought it worth paying 4.99 pounds a month to stream popular music. Despite having the support of four major record groups (EMI, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music), it has bombed badly, a warning for The Times paywall (and plans by the Telegraph Group in London to venture down the paywall route next year).
It’s a big loss for son and heir, James Murdoch, who has been a big champion of The Times subscription model and monstered anything or anyone who opposed it. It’s another example of how the Murdochs and their employees don’t get the net. MySpace is dying and will probably be separated from News Corp next year. The Rupster blew over $US4 billion on net ventures back in the late 90s and the early years of last decade. Now The Times paywall experiment is the big white hope for the family’s nascent tech dreams.
The idea was late to market; the Murdochs didn’t recognise or accept that Apple had forged a superior position, and didn’t notice or ignored the steady rise of streaming sites and internet radio. The irony is that the music service was basically legal and cheapish, but UK consumers either didn’t know about it, because it was poorly promoted, or they preferred to continue downloading illegally from various sites like Spotify. But the real reason was iTunes and Apple’s huge installed base of existing iPod, iPhone and now iPad users who had no reason to change or abandon their present mtethods of downloading. — Glenn Dyer
The grouchy art critic returns. “The Australian media is unworthy of Australia.” Coming out of Radio Four, during a programme about UK expatriates by Roger ‘Spitting Image’ Law, the voice was that of Giles Auty, one-time art critic for The Spectator, who moved to Oz and started writing for … The Australian. “I mean media is my profession and … ahhhhh…” Auty’s eeyoresque voice trailed into exasperation.
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Readers will remember him as a grouchy, resentful traditionalist who banged on about political correctness, the inadequacy of modern art, and political correctness. Hilarious. There we were thinking he was a conservative firebrand, and it turns out he was that stand-by figure — the whingeing Pom. — Guy Rundle
Barbie is watching — for all sorts of reasons. There’s all sorts of uses for new Video Girl Barbie, no doubt a hot favourite for the tween girl set this Christmas. Our Media Monitors friends brings us this report from Sydney radio 2UE at 8:22 this morning:
Breakfast presenter Stuart Bocking says the FBI issues a cyber-crime alert on a Barbie doll that comes with a hidden video camera, Mattel’s Barbie Video Girl, which can record up to 30 minutes of footage to be downloaded on computer. Officials says it may be used in child pornography. He says the warning was inadvertently sent to the media. The FBI says as yet there are no recorded incidents involving the doll.
And earlier, this exchange between Sunrise hosts Andrew O’Keefe and Samantha Armytage:
Christmas Gifts Ideas: 20 Shopping days left until Christmas. Hosts recommend Apple’s MacBook Air, and say that Mini Cooper have a great life style range, and recommend Apple iPad, Wii remote which is red for Christmas, Donkey Kong is back in fashion, Barbies are a massive thing this Christmas, Barbie has a built in camera that looks like a necklace. O’Keefe says Cindy has been baiting greyhounds and Barbie will film her.
NY Times could be investigated over WikiLeaks cables
“Senator Joe Lieberman said that the New York Times may have committed a crime by accepting and publishing the State Department cables from WikiLeaks, and should be investigated for potential violations of the Espionage Act.” — The Huffington Post
The stories you missed in the media this year
“Ten events and trends that were overlooked this year, but may be leading the headlines in 2011.” — Foreign Policy
Who’s reading your private tweets?
“The bottom line is this: almost every Twitter application you authorise, no matter how trivial, has near-complete control over your account. This is not a new revelation, but it still takes a lot of people by surprise.” — The Guardian
Be careful what you look for…
“Dozens of websites have been secretly harvesting lists of places that their users previously visited online, everything from news articles to bank sites to pornography, a team of computer scientists found.” — The Sydney Morning Herald
“Disney/ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney tops The Hollywood Reporter‘s Women In Entertainment Power 100 list. This is the second year in a row that Sweeney has held the top spot — she shared the 2009 honor with Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal.” — The Hollywood Reporter