New Tool Makes Everything iPod Compatible

That is until founder Jon Lech Johansen is sued into oblivion by Apple. Johansen's new tool will make it possible for labels and other digital music copyright owners to sell iPod compatible music and consumers will not have to use Apple's iTunes store. It's like Apple's FairPlay DRM and it fools your iPod into playing the song. The repercussions are great for the record industry if Johansen's Doubletwist company survives the almost certain litigation. Labels can implement the variable pricing scheme that Apple CEO Stephen Jobs is stubbornly preventing. Of course labels should be careful what they wish for because Jobs may be saving&hellip

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Caution: Gen Y Makes Sharp Turns

I'd like to share some insights I've gained from my Gen Y students at USC. Their generation wants what they want when they want it (who don't know that, as they say in Philly). But when they get what they want, they may not want it for long. Can you say instant messaging? It's so on it's way out. While texting is hot now, even my Gen Y'ers can't guarantee that it has a place in their lifestyle much longer down the line. Facebook -- the college social network has peaked. MySpace could be on thin ice if Rupert Murdoch's News Corp makes it too much a business. And while YouTube has never been hotter -- well, you get the point. This&hellip

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NAB Selling Out Radio (Again) on Consolidation

The National Association of Broadcasters is at it again. The group that helped tuck in legislation to enable radio consolidation in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is now urging the FCC to allow further consolidation. Cross-ownership, a loosening of the limits. It argues that radio needs to be more competitive with other platforms and more consolidation is how they can do it. But broadcasting's own trade association is only finishing what it started -- the demise of localism and pandering to evil empires of consolidators answering to Wall Street not Main Street. And radio broadcasters sit idly by while their lobby group acts in&hellip

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Latte Lessons From Starbucks to Tower Records

When Tower Records finally ran out of steam and closed its doors it made me think of how unthinkable it was that such a large record store could go belly up. Maybe one store. Maybe a chain, but even though Tower Records was the chain that closed its doors forever everyone knows all record stores are in big trouble. Big trouble because the majority of the next generation loves the convenience of the virtual record store and because, frankly, record stores have lost their reason for being. Contrast that to Starbucks -- perhaps the prototypical remnant of the genre -- and you see a glimpse of the future. Starbucks -- the coffee company&hellip

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New Media Needs Old Media

Do you want a utility -- say, a mobile telephone company -- creating the content that is on your future mobile device? Do you think they have what it takes to produce compelling content or should they just stick to efficient and economical delivery of content? With technology becoming the leading edge for everything Internet or mobile, one would think utilities are qualified to be the creative force that markets mobile media. Not so fast. They've failed miserably. The greatest provider of content on the face of this earth is still traditional media. They act like they forget this as they wade into the unfamiliar and uncharted turf of&hellip

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