Articles of the Day


Yahoo Music, Rhapsody Partner For Music Search With Full-Track Streaming; ‘IMDb For Music’ — Yahoo Music and Rhapsody Networks are live with the latest example of their partnership: full tracks served up with Yahoo U.S. search results. For instance, search for Bruce Springsteen and the top unsponsored result is a search box with links to five tracks; pick one and the FoxyTunes player pops up near the bottom of the browser. The music kicks right in. Browsing can continue and you can even use other screens. The catch: unless you’re a Rhapsody subscriber, full-stream play is limited to 25 songs a month. Rhapsody, as you may recall, picked up Yahoo’s subscription music business when the portal shrugged it off as something that couldn’t gain enough scale. This move, part of an expansion of Rhapsody across Yahoo, meshes the power of Yahoo Search with Rhapsody 25—a service Rhapsody already offers as its music gateway—a combo promo vehicle and ad-supported offering. (Yes, I know Google owns the search world but Yahoo still accounts for roughly one in five U.S. searches and that’s not peanuts when it comes to something like this.)

NYT’s August Revenues Down 14 Percent; Online Sales Recover After Weak July — The New York Times company’s revenues fell sharply in August (16 percent at its three main papers NYT, IHT and Boston Glober), yet its online showed a marked improvement over the flat July. Online ad revenues in its news media properties grew 7.9 percent despite weakness in online recruitment advertising, particularly in late August. About.com Group’s ad revenues rose 16.1 percent due to growth in both cost-per-click and display advertising. Online revenues made up only 13 percent of overall revenue at the Times in August. But this online growth is still slower than previous month before July (of course August is seasonally a very slow month): In June, the online revenues rose 21.5 percent over June 2007. Online ad revenue grew 14.2 percent in May, 25.6 percent in April, and 14.8 percent in March.

Amazon Launches CDN As It Enters A Highly Competitive Field — This was to be expected after Amazon’s (NSDQ: AMZN) S3 storage service and EC2 on-demand computing service already leading the way in cloud computing. Now it is launching a content delivery network later this year, that will take on the likes of big incumbents like Akamai (NSDQ: AKAM) and Limelight and also the slew of starts that have gotten funding over the last two years. As to what differentiation the book giant will have besides the big network, it is going to be charging its customers on usage instead of the long-term contracts current players foist on their clients, as Om explains here. There will be no long term contracts and it will publish the prices online, something of a rarity in the famously-obtuse sector. Amazon CTO Werner Vogels also explains the service on his blog here.

Telstra Axes 800 Jobs in ISP Division; Rebrands It As Digital Media Division — Some digital thunder down under (sorry, bad cliche): Telstra, the Aussie telco giant, will slash 800 jobs and restructure of its BigPond ISP and portal business. BigPond’s ISP functions will be integrated into Telstra’s main business, while a new division, to be known as Telstra Media, has been created to oversee the integration of Telstra’s online and mobile content businesses, reports SmartCompany. Telstra Media will continue to be led by current BigPond group MD Justin Milne. Milne’s portfolio has been expanded to include an international focus and a remit to purse M&A activity.

Could Display Make A Comeback? — “Display ads have fallen on hard times,” according to The Wall Street Journal, and given this week’s meltdown in the financial sector — traditionally a big buyer of online display ads — things may get worse before they get better for Web publishers. Even so, some major Web companies are trying to engineer a comeback for display ads, despite the dark economic times. Microsoft, in particular, is making the pitch that display performs better for marketers than search in certain areas. Yahoo and Time Warner’s AOL would agree (given Google’s insurmountable lead in search, the largest online advertising category, they have to). In fact, Yahoo is set to release a new display advertising system next week, while AOL recently relaunched its ad platform, dubbed Platform A.

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