MediaBytes 07.16.2007

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THE ASSOCIATION FOR DOWNLOADABLE MEDIA launches today. The new trade group brings together 15 companies involved in the world of digital distribution, and aims to standardize ad content and measurement in downloadable digital media. Founding members include Apple, Nielsen, and National Public Radio. The trade group will focus on monetizing podcasts, blogs, and other RSS-delivered content.

SONY relaunches Grouper today as CRACKLE. The new site aims to differentiate itself from YOUTUBE by shunning amateur, user-generated content, in favor of hand-picked higher-quality videos. Sony plans to work with filmmakers, reviewing ideas and funding selected projects. Sony also created Crackle Studios, a 15-person in-house studio to create content for the new site.

TBS is experimenting with some new DVR-fighting tactics. According to viewer reports, the station recently paused Everybody Loves Raymond immediately following a punch-line to overlay an animated graphic promoting another show. When the ad finished, the show un-paused and continued. The new ad was reported by angry viewers who found it disruptive to their viewing experience.

DIRECTV has begun televising video games played by competitors in the Championship Gaming Series, a new video game league. The league aims to turn video games into a spectator sport, and will host bi-weekly matches on sound-stages in front of a live studio audience. DIRECTV hopes the matches will draw gamers in the 18-24 demographic.

APPLE recently introduced a new price tier for iTunes albums, and the experiment has yielded some interesting results. iTunes added a section called “Next Big Thing,” featuring unknown and “developing” artists with albums priced $5.99 and $6.99. Musician Sara Bareilles saw her album shoot to the top of the charts, selling about 14,000 albums in one week. That put her in the same league as established artists such as Paul McCartney and the White Stripes — who each sold about 16,000 albums in their first week of release earlier this year. Other musicians involved in the promotion also report increased sales.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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