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VIACOM, MGM and LION’S GATE will launch an “as yet un-named” premium cable channel in the fall of 2009. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said the channel will “meet the needs of varying distributors and take advantage of online distribution.” The deal may hit Showtime right where it hurts, as all three companies are major sources for their programming. Premium channels are good business; let’s see how many consumers will support.
MICROSOFT is experimenting with a subscription-based model to sell its popular Office software suite and other applications to consumers in the U.S., as the company faces heightened competition in its core desktop-products market. Is this going to work? Or, will inertia force the status quo, either way this is an experiment worth watching.
GOOGLE will sell more advertising this year in the United Kingdom than the ITV television network, until now the largest ad seller in Britain. In fact, Google’s numbers are staggering. Morgan Stanley estimates Google’s total advertising revenue to top $21.9 billion this year, making it the largest seller of advertising in the world.
In semi-related news, GOOGLE VIDEO will receive a face lift this week. Search results can now be viewed in a variety of ways, including a “TV view” which allows users to stream video and search for content at the same time. Yep, everyone wants to be “Google for video,” even Google!
MYSPACE and PLAYLIST.com announced a partnership which has resulted in the number one application on the new MySpace application platform. The Playlist.com widget allows consumers to create video playlists powered by YAHOO’s music video license. Playlist.com touts 23 million registered users. A big number for a successful application you’ve never heard of.