Tuesday, August 12, 2008

snapshot 8/12/08

MySpace faces rejection, internal dissent in hiring music venture CEO
MySpace Inc.'s search for a new CEO to run the MySpace Music joint venture has hit a number of snags, not the least of which is that its preferred candidates have declined the job. Another obstacle: Key technology executives inside the company have urged top brass not to hire a new leader until after MySpace Music launches next month.

The source describes the technology team's push to launch MySpace Music in September as "all-consuming and desperate," adding that any further delays could jeopardize the venture's relationships with content partners. While leadership for the music division is badly needed, the source said, the technology team either wanted a new CEO several months ago, or wants one a month or two into the future -- but not now. DeWolfe and Kapur are overseeing MySpace music's development a chief executive is hired.

Starz kills Vongo online movie service
Vongo, a service provided by Starz Entertainment, was one of the first major players in the online movie space. But it looks like Starz has decided to pull the plug on Vongo. Starz will now focus on Starz Play, a service the company recently launched for Verizon. Starz Play looks and feels a lot like Vongo -- but it has Verizon branding all over it. Starz is pursuing similar partnerships with other companies.

Current Vongo customers can continue using the service through September 30th. There's some good news in the announcement. Vongo customers paid $9.99 a month for unlimited movie downloads. Starz Play charges just $5.99 for access to the same content library.

States may tax iTunes, other digital downloads
With retail e-commerce sales now estimated to exceed $130 billion a year, and iTunes song purchases topping 5 billion, state politicians and tax collectors have begun to levy new fees on digital downloads.

Text message in your Netflix movies and Amazon wish lists with Kwiry
Kwiry, a service that allows you to interact with different web services through your phone, now allows you to use text messages to send in movies you wish to add to your Netflix movie rental queue. You do this simply by texting “netflix” and then the name of the movie you want to add to Kwiry’s number, 59479 (k-w-i-r-y).

Kwiry is also launching similar integration with Amazon’s Wish List feature. This is the area of the site where you can add items that you hope to buy, or that someone will buy for you later. Simply text “amazon” followed by the name of the product you wish to add to the same 59479 number and the product will be in the list the next time you check it.

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