Video may have killed the radio star, but iTunes has seen an increase in full-length album purchases at a time when record labels are complaining about low record sales. iTunes offers exclusive songs, bonus tracks and digital booklets to consumers, thereby branding the album purchase as an "iTunes Version."
Initiative conducted a study which found that major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, European Soccer championships, and Formula One's Canadian Grand Prix may draw large audiences, but the audience is not as globally diverse as advertisers would hope. Ninety-three million people tuned in to last year's Super Bowl, but 98 percent of the audience was from North America. The Academy Awards also fail to boost the global draw it once touted; it estimates having "several hundred million" viewers, and has shied away from using the one billion number when discussing global viewership.
Not only did TNT conclude the year as the most-watched ad supported cable channel, the network also has the most viewers in the 18 to 49 demographic (1.17 million) and the 25 to 54 demographic (1.24 million) for the fourth year in a row. USA Network placed second, and FX's Nip/Tuck was the most watched show among 18- to 49-year-olds, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The Super Bowl isn't until February 5, but don't tell that to General Motors. The company has wrapped its Detroit headquarters in a 24,748-square-foot wrap that covers 20 stories of the building. The ad was given a seal of approval by the City Council but the National Football League and the Super Bowl XL Host Committee fought against the wrap, hoping to protect its sponsors from what it deemed "ambush marketing."
Looking back on a business year that took its share of hits, Phyllis Furman compiled a list of losers the business world would like to forget (Dennis Kozlowski) and winners who kept both consumers and analysts interested in their next business moves (thank you Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Steve Jobs). Furman also included a watch list of possible 2006 candidates. Let's see if Howard Stern can put his foul mouth where the money is, and what will happen to Viacom chief Sumner Redstone and his newly split empire.
A judge ruled in favor of Sylvester Stallone, allowing the actor to keep Sly magazine, a publication devoted to lifestyle and fitness for middle-aged men, on newsstands despite complaints from an online magazine, deemed a shoe "fetish" publication, bearing the same name. Ironically, Sly's Sly magazine was slated for just a four-issue run to determine its popularity, and the last issue is on newsstands now.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has singled out four midseason replacements for their positive portrayal of gays and lesbians. NBC's "The Book of Daniel," ABC's "Emily's Reasons Why Not" and "Crumbs," and CBS' "Love Monkey," were all cited by GLAAD as shows where "viewers can be both entertained and educated by stories on television that reflect the diversity of families and communities across this country."
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has hired Les Goodstein, former president-chief operating officer of the New York Daily News, as senior vice president, News Corp., a newly created position. Goodstein will be responsible for the company's new-business development and serve as an advisor to numerous company divisions, including the New York Post, Goodstein's former competition while working at the Daily News.
If you can't beat em, join em... or, if you see an area of vulnerability within your competition, quietly build your own Trojan Horse. Fox has hired a former executive producer for the "Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn" to spearhead any future late night programs for a network that hasn't had a late night program since 1993, when Chevy Chase had a month-long show. The timing could work to Fox's advantage, with Jay Leno retiring in three years and rumors about David Letterman signing off in 2007.
Facing competition from new media for both advertisers and readers, as well as a worsening two decade slump in circulation, major newspaper companies will find it hard to sell their more expensive ad pages next year, says The Wall Street Journal. The highest rate increase among the majors is 6 percent for USA Today; other raises include 3 to 6 percent at the Los Angeles Times, 5 percent for The New York Times, and 2.5 percent at the Journal, which is concentrating on "wooing more advertisers." The article includes a forecast by Lehman Brothers' Craig Huber, characterized as "among the …