Viacom's MTV Networks is launching two Web projects in hopes of reclaiming its title of king of mass media cool. The first is a social networking site called Flux that allows users to surf and network across multiple affiliate sites while sharing content. The second, VBS.tv, is a secretive video partnership with Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Vice Magazine.
Responding to pressure from advertisers, Nielsen ratings will begin counting the number of viewers tuning in to commercials. The move could mean a tough road for cable companies because cable's younger viewers are believed to be channel surfers, which potentially could lower ad prices.
Prince is taking eBay, Pirate Bay and Google'sYouTube to court over the sites' alleged failure to protect copyrights. A company hired by Prince to patrol online content reportedly has plucked about 2,000 clips from YouTube. EBay maintains it is working to protect artists' content, with a company spokesman saying, "The bottom line for us is that counterfeit or pirated goods are illegal and have no place on eBay."
E! has teamed with Sprint Nextel for its first live mobile simulcast of the red carpet event at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 16. The preview show also will be broadcast on The Vine @ E! Online, Sprint TV and the wireless carrier's cable joint venture service, Pivot.
Movie-on-demand products that retrieve content online have yet to catch on because viewers must pay to download, even after purchasing equipment. But executives at startup Vudu claim they have overcome the obstacles that sunk predecessors, from design and technology to relationships with studios.