THE BLOG
06/16/2009 08:51 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Universal Music Group Giving Music Away: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer June 16, 2009

Universal Music Group is making its entire catalog available for free with subscription to the new UK Virgin Media website. While the world's biggest recorded music company has been offering songs for free wrapped with DRM on other services like eMusic, the latest move shows UMG giving unlimited streaming and downloading access to users who purchase full subscription plans with Virgin Media. Virgin plans to sell a monthly subscription for less than the cost of two albums.

HuffPo has replaced CEO Betsy Morgan with Eric Hippeau. Hippeau, the managing partner at Softbank Capital, will be the second CEO in as many years for the popular news aggregator, who is still looking for a viable way to turn a profit online. Hippeau, who already serves on the board of Huffington Post, will take over as CEO this week.

Facebook users have already registered six million custom URL's. The social network, which originally planned to sell the vanity URL's for $5, or $5 a year, showed an impressive opening weekend, with lots of participation from users. Facebook chose not to employ an auction system for the custom URL's, as beta-testers complained that Twitter and MySpace already gave users custom URL's for free.

ABC's broadcast of the NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic drew 14million viewers Sunday Night. The game garnered a 5.6 rating with the critical adults 18-49 demographic, while the entire series averaged 5.8 rating and 14.3 million overall viewers. While ratings were down year over year, ABC still managed to win Sunday night.

Gannett CEO Chris Dubow is set to take a temporary medical leave of absence following back surgery. EVP and CFO Gracia C. Martone will serve as acting CEO while Dubow is recovering. Doctor's predict that Dubow could be away from struggling newspaper company, who earlier this year forced employees to take a mandatory week off without pay, for as long as four months.

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer 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. Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at shelly@palmer.net For information about Get Digital Classes, visit www.shellypalmer.com/seminars