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Imeem Offers Universal’s Music Free

The music industry has had a lot of shakeups recently, and here’s yet another. Social media community imeem has signed a licensing deal with Universal Music group, the largest music label in the music industry. Now you can listen to Universal’s streaming music and watch videos free.

Rather than make money on the music, they show ads and split ad revenues. This isn’t a new model, of course and I wonder what the artists make from it.

Universal is finding ways to get around Apple’s stronghold by not only working with imeem, but also with cell phone provider Nokia. There Comes With Music feature comes with a one-year, unlimited access music download service. Not only are the songs available on your cell phone but you can keep any music you downloaded after your subscription expires.

Hitwise Features Help Search Marketers

Hitwise has some new features for marketers through their Search Intelligence™ product. The information is geared towards helping companies improve and plan their search engine marketing strategies.

Marketers can now see which of their competitor’s keywords are successful in driving traffic. The keyword analysis covers both paid and organic search terms. They also report on the fastest moving keywords or trends weekly to as to keep current on what customers are searching for.

The most valuable feature here is that the data is separated into paid vs. organic keywords. In general organic SEO takes longer but then they are permanent links that can build over time. I help companies with SEO blogs and many are hoping for a quick benefit. The money keeps going out but the results are slow to show up (though they do show up). Interestingly enough, education also plays into this (based on research I’ve seen). If you’re targeting a higher educated customer they’re more likely to be more savvy and skip the ads.

On Using an Ad Network

Most site owners aren’t adept or don’t have the experience to find ads for their sites. Perhaps you don’t have the staff to manage ad campaigns. If you would rather let someone else handle that, joining an ad network is the way to go. You will split the ad revenue based on how many clicks or how many times the ad is views.

MarketingSherpa just published another part in their series about ad networks about what works best. The article is only accessible for a week.

As you probably know, people often don’t click on banner ads, text ads usually perform better. But there is still a place for them and the more targeted they are to the site, the better.

Initial research you need to do.

Your Viral Marketing Message Dissected

Sometimes the turn of a phrase or even just the lack of a single word can be all the difference between delivering a powerful and highly proficient viral marketing message or missing the boat entirely. Gord Hotchkiss has recently posted an excellent breakdown of what turns a rumor or message into that successful viral entity all marketers hope for.

Gord begins with “Jumping The Weak Ties”. This is the concept of creating an idea compelling enough that it will have the ability to transcend a social group and leap out to other groups, creating the viral buzz. Gord also addresses “Moral Hazard” at the same time, which is the idea that even a compelling idea, when laden down with conditions, may fail to be able to break the barrier of the initial social group and ultimately fail. Gord does a nice job of covering historical research on these ideas as well as offering up some well thought out and useful examples.

Google Philandering Behind DoubleClick’s Back?

Yesterday we mentioned that it looked like the FTC would soon give the Google/DoubleClick acquisition the green light after all. But Google’s not going to let that stop them: paidContent reports today that Google is exploring more partnerships, regardless of whether their current deal goes through:

the company also hopes to charm ad agencies and TV networks that appear increasingly concerned about the online giant’s respective online ad moves and its audience measurement agreement with EchoStar.

They didn’t, however, ignore the pending merger completely:

In terms of looking for the connectivity tissue between supply and demand, DoubleClick fits very squarely into our strategy. Given that strategy, one of the things we exploring the ability to work with multiple partners. We feel very strongly that the deal should be approved, in light of the approvals our competitors have received.

NBC Pulls Videos from iTunes

NBC’s contract with the iTunes store has expired, which means NBC no longer has content on the site. That means Battlestar Galactica, The Office, NBC News, CNBC, NBC Sports, and other popular show are gone. The two have been long fighting over pricing.

NBC has launched a number of new initiatives like NBC Direct where downloads are free. They also have deals with NetFlix and others to distribute their content, often free, rather than the $1.99 charged on iTunes. NBC wanted to experiment with different prices and bundles but iTunes refused.

The problem with NBC Direct Player is that it requires Internet Explorer, a proprietary player, and the latest .Net framework. You can watch the videos 7 days after they are released and they expire 48 hours after you begin watching a movie. You can’t watch them on another computer or on a portable video player like your iPod. A Mac version is planned for next year.

Sites Let Bloggers Make Money on Photos

With the popularity of Flickr photo sharing site, some people get shortchanged for their work. Two sites are finding ways to compensate the photographer and the bloggers who post their photos.

I learned about photo money for bloggers first from Photrade, at BlogWorldExpo. Now stock photography company Corbis is offering bloggers to use some of their images free. The images have ads embedded in them (and show up when you mouse over them) or the ad is an overlay on top of the image.

Rather than user-generated they are professional pictures. Corbis has more than 100 million creative, entertainment and historic images from top photographers. They will offer the images through the site Picapp. The images can be tracked and the company can determine if they’re used illegally. Bloggers earn revenue when people click on the images.