Sony and Google have teamed to fight Amazon in the e-book market. The two companies are expected to announce a partnership today, which would give Sony Reader users access to the 500,000 books available as part of Google's digital book project for free. Sony's Steve Haber, president of the Digital Reading Business Division, said "We believe the more content that is allowed access to the device, the better value it is to our customers."
Yesterday at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit NBCU Chief Jeff Zucker defended Jim Cramer and CNBC from attacks by Jon Stewart. Zucker said "We all want to blame someone, you know -- that's human nature...CNBC has done a great job. I'm incredibly proud of the job they've done, and I think that the criticism of CNBC, and the business media in particular, was completely out of line." In response, Viacom's Philippe Dauman, defended Stewart, calling him "a great person" and noting that Stewart's "common-man sensibility is the reason it got so much attention. He is one of the few people on the air who spoke to what people were really feeling."
Time Inc. announced that it will "experiment" with charging for online content. The publishing company plans to mix free and paid content on sites like SI.com, Time.com and EW.com in order to develop a next generation strategy for effectively monetizing web content. Time Inc. EVP John Squires noted that "certain content area of our sites will try some pay tests, just to see what will drive consumers to get out their wallets or subscribe to one of our magazines."
NBCU announced that it will use Microsoft's Silverlight video platform to serve the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver on the web. While Major League Baseball dropped the Microsoft service, it worked out especially well for NBC during the 2008 Summer Olympics. Both NBC and MSN will stream events live in both standard and HD and will also package interviews, bios and on-demand event coverage on their sites.
Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.