... worth noting 29/5/03



:: RealNetworks has cut the price of its newly-acquired Rhapsody music download service to just 79 cents (47p) per track. Apparently the new price, which applies to Rhapsody's entire library of burnable content of over 200,000 tracks, is the lowest per burn price available to US consumers through any of the digital music services currently on offer.

:: A new study suggests that high-speed Internet access in Europe has continued to grow at a healthy rate, boosted by consumer demand for file-sharing, mature content and music. According to market research firm Nielsen//Netratings, the number of European surfers using fast broadband Internet connections at home grew by 136% in the year ending in April, 2003. Apparently the beneficiaries of the broadband boom are entertainment sites, in particular adult entertainment.

:: A new study by search engine marketing group WSPS has discovered that many major companies are failing to promote their Web sites via search engines. About a third of the official sites for FTSE100 companies could not be located in the top 30 results on the UK's most popular search engines, including Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Lycos displayed up to 88% of the sites, but AOL and Yahoo! search tools couldn't find more than 60% of these corporate Web sites.

:: Amazon.com has revealed plans to open several more stores on its online shopping Web site this year and has confirmed it's been considering online distribution of digital media such as music for several years. The Web retailer said at its annual shareholders meeting that it would keep expanding as it aims at reaching profitability this year.

:: A new European Internet venture called 20six has been set up to take advantage of the growing popularity of blogs. The venture has been set up by three former founders of German Internet auction site Ricardo.de, Stefan Glanzer, Stefan Wiskemann and Christoph Linkwitz, and claims to be the first company to bring the blogging phenomenon directly to European users.

:: Interactive TV specialist YooMedia has launched the first games channel on Freeview, following a partnership with MIETV, which it invested in last month. The games channel, Free2Play, has first-mover advantage and is completely free for viewers that might be looking for something to do in between programmes.