Report: eMusic Mulls Sale; Best Buy, Rhapsody Among Suitors


New York
– The investment firm that owns digital music service eMusic is exploring a
possible sale of the company, and has spoken with potential suitors including
Best Buy and RealNetworks’ Rhapsody, The New York Post reported.

The company is
owned by Dimensional Associates, a unit of investment firm JDS Capital

"We’re opportunistic stewards of capital," eMusic CEO
Daniel Stein told the Post. "If an offer was made that created value for
our shareholders, we’d listen to it."

In addition to a sale, the company
is reportedly considering recapitalization, as well as adding a streaming
component to its core subscription-based download service offering.

A rash of
acquisitions has recently hit the streaming music service market, as News
Corp.’s MySpace acquired iLike and imeem, and Apple purchased Lala.

The Post
cited sources who said that eMusic is generating $65-$70 million in annual
revenues from some 400,000 subscribers, and is not in dire financial straits.

The company had long catered mainly to fans of independent music and genres
like classical and jazz, but recently signed a deal to include major label Sony
Music’s catalog.

The Post reports that eMusic is close to signing similar back
catalog deals with two of the remaining three major labels.


Related Links:

(New York Post)

Report: Jan. 27 Apple Media Event Sparks Tablet Speculation


San Francisco – Adding fuel
to the rumor mill surrounding the expected introduction of a tablet PC from
Apple (NASD:  AAPL), the company has scheduled a media event for Wednesday, Jan. 27 in San Francisco, sources
told All Things Digital. While the sources did not provide details on what
Apple planned to launch at the event, the Financial Times and other outlets
have published reports corroborating that Apple will hold a media event later
this month.

However, the rumor mill had also previously speculated that Apple’s
tablet device would likely not be introduced until March.


Related Links:

(All Things D)

News Corp.'s IGN Sells Rotten Tomatoes to Flixster


San Francisco
– News Corp.’s (NYSE: NWS) IGN Entertainment unit announced on Monday that it has sold its
movie review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes to rival Flixster.

terms of the transaction were not disclosed, although IGN will receive a
minority equity stake in Flixter as part of the deal.

The companies had
recently partnered to syndicate Rotten Tomatoes’ aggregated reviews on
Flixster’s website and mobile applications.

Founded in 2006, Flixster counts
more than 20 million monthly users, and boasts the most popular movie-related
application for Apple’s iPhone.

The companies said that they will command a
combined audience of around 30 million monthly visitors, and offer a database
of half a million reviews from critics alongside 2.3 billion user-generated
ratings and reviews.

News Corp. also recently sold off its Photobucket
photo-sharing service tol Ontela.


Related Links: Gets $1 Million for Digital Comics Delivery Platform


–, a digital
comic book publisher and community platform, announced on Monday that it has
raised more than $1 million in first round funding, led by DFJ Mercury.

investors included Liberty Media’s (NASD: LINTA) Starz Media, Northstar Equity Investors,
GC&H Investments, and individual investors David Cohen, Chris Sacca, Jake
Nickell, Paige Craig and Dave McClure.

Colo.-based, formerly known as TakeComics, was part of the 2009
Techstars program.

The company offers a digital content delivery system for
publishers of comics and other content. will use the funds to expand
development and marketing efforts, and to develop content partnerships.


Related Links:

WebMediaBrands Acquires Digital Media Trade Shows


New York – WebMediaBrands,
a business publisher and events producer whose titles include,
announced on Monday that it has acquired the social media tradeshows Social
Gaming Summit, Virtual Goods Summit and iGames Summit.

Under the terms, WebMediaBrands
acquired all of the equity of 3rd Power, organizer of the events, from Charles
Edward Hudson.

The deal also includes several new tradeshows due to be launched
this year.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Hudson will become a consultant to

"3rd Power’s social media tradeshows are leaders in their
respective areas of coverage," said WebMediaBrands chairman and CEO Alan
M. Meckler.

"We expect these shows to continue their growth trajectories
and we plan to add east coast and European versions in 2010."


Related Links:

Seesmic Buys Social Network Update Aggregator


San Francisco
– Seesmic, the provider of a social networking application that integrates
Twitter and Facebook feeds, announced on Monday in a blog post that it has
acquired, a provider of social network aggregation that lets users
update up to 50 social networks at once.

Financial terms of the transaction
were not disclosed.

San Francisco-based Seesmic said that angel investors
Joi Ito, Reid Hoffman and Mohamed Nanabhay will become shareholders in the
company. co-founders, Adam Duffy and Sean McCullough will join the
Seesmic team and work to integrate Ping’s features
into the Seesmic platform. currently counts over 500,000 active users, who
post more than 200,000 updates daily on the service.


Related Links:

RealNetworks Acquires Varia Mobile


– RealNetworks (NASD: RNWK), a provider of media delivery technology, has acquired mobile
content distribution firm Varia Mobile, TechFlash reported.

Financial terms of
the transaction were not provided, although Real took a minority interest in
the company last year.

Varia was created in 2007 as a spin-off from Tegic

The company powered Real’s Ibiza Rhapsody MP3 player; other technologies
offer wireless syncing and cloud computing for mobile devices.

Varia Mobile CEO
John McQueen will become a vice president of business development and OEM at


Related Links:



Report: 2009 U.S. Box Office Beats Home Video Spending


Los Angeles – For the first time since the mid-’90s, Americans
spent more on movie tickets than they did on DVD and Blu-ray discs in 2009,
according to a report from Adams Media Research cited by Video Business
Magazine. Spending at the box office totaled $9.87 billion, up 9.8% from 2008,
while sales of DVD and Blu-ray discs was $8.73 billion, down 13.3% from the
prior year.

"In part, the reversal of fortunes of the theatrical and
retail businesses can be laid at the feet of the recession," said Adams Media
Research president Tom Adams.

"Going to the movies is the value option
compared to other options for going out. For in-home entertainment, though,
rental, not purchase is the value option."

Overall, U.S. spending
on movies in 2009 was flat at $28.4 billion, although the total number of
transactions rose 3.5% to nearly 5 billion.

In addition to box office and
retail movie purchases, Adams also tracks
pay-per-view, video-on-demand and online movie rentals and purchases.


Related Links:
(Adams Media Research)

Quantcast Secures $27.5 Million for Web Audience Measurement


San Francisco
– Quantcast, a provider of Internet audience measurement services, announced on
Monday that it has closed a $27.5 million third round of financing, co-led by
Cisco (NASD: CSCO) and Polaris Venture Partners.

Previous backers Founders Fund and
Revolution Ventures also participated in the round.

Founded in 2006, San
Francisco-based Quantcast provides free audience measurement services that
monitor more than 10 million Web destinations.

The company said it will use the
new funds to support adoption of its Quantcast Media Program, which it says
offers "a standardized means to measure, organize, buy and sell real-time
audiences, all based on the distinctive characteristics of a marketer’s
proprietary customer data."


Related Links: