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iTunes to Get Movie Rentals

UPDATE: Less than a year after launching, Walmart shut down their video download service. The reason – poor performance. “Download sales equaled about 1 percent of the $24.5 billion in DVD and home video sales and rentals in 2006, but industry experts expect downloads to grow to 10 percent within a decade.”

Finally – movie rentals are coming to iTunes. Yesterday, Twentieth Century Fox signed a deal with Apple so you’ll be able to download DVD releases on iTunes. In the past you could buy movies from Disney, Paramont, and others. This is the first iTunes rental service.

While Apple isn’t the first to offer this service, they have better distribution. According to MarketingVox, most people don’t relish watching a movie from their PC or iPod. As of last year just 3% of Americans have downloaded full-length movies. NetFlix was going to offer this service in 2005, but couldn’t get the studios to agree to license their content.

Pringles to Air User Generated Ad on Christmas Day

Sometimes you get more than you ask for. That’s the case when Procter & Gamble asked their fans in the UK to come up with a new jingle for their ads. But a man from Scotland named Nils Elders made an entire commercial. Procter & Gamble liked it so much they will air it on prime time on Christmas Day in the UK.

The 40-second ad 25-year-old Elders $600 and three days to make. It features a bunch of dancing, singing Pringles chips dressed in Santa hats. He named the commercial “Jinglin’ Pringlin.”

Elders is a musician and won $4,000 as the winner of the contest. He said the commercial was inspired by South Park.

NewTube?

The New York Times has announced that they will begin featuring “citizen journalism” videos focusing on the upcoming presidential election. (That’s right, start your countdown clocks now, only 50 weeks left. Joy.)

Read/WriteWeb reports:

The videos will feature non-professional journalists and will run on the Op-Ed section of the site until February 5, so-called “Super Tuesday” when a large number of US states hold primary elections.

RWW also points out that the NY Times has run clips from Bloggingheads.tv since October.

However, I think this constitutes a new level of involvement from the New York Times. If you were never a comms major in college (ah, freshman year), the New York Times is an institution in print journalism. This the newspaper that’s won the most Pulitzer Prizes, the one with “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” the one that can get away with its own style guide (which does mean that they’re supposed to print things like “U.R.L.’s”). It’s one of the three largest print dailies in the US.

Tech Bubble Video – Hilarious!

If you’re debating whether we are in another tech bubble, this should help…

Hat tip Scott Wittig.

YouTube Expands Advertising Partnership Program Again

Back in May of this year, YouTube began allowing its “most popular and prolific original content creators” to become partners and receive profits from ads displayed alongside their videos, and other revenue sharing models. These lucky few included such noted contributors at lonelygirl15. Despite promises to bring the program to more of their content creators, for the last seven months there hasn’t been any news on this front.

Today, YouTube announces that they’re opening up the Partners Program to a much broader group of videomakers. Anyone in the United States or Canada can apply to be in the Partners Program now.

The other criteria:

  • You create original videos suitable for online streaming.
  • You own the copyrights and distribution rights for all audio and video content that you upload — no exceptions.

Social Shopping Experience Wins Best Invention of 2007

Social networking is so popular online that it’s spilling into the physical world – at actual stores. Called social retailing, the concept debuted at the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) show last January 2007. Recently, the concept, by IconNicholson was selected by Time Magazine as One of the Best Inventions of 2007.

The technology was developed for renowned fashion designer Nanette Lepore and was tested at Bloomingdale’s early this year. Aimed at young women, they can get other’s opinions on what clothes look good and what their peers are buying. They can also text message, IM and email each other about their shopping choices. Live video feeds show what they try on, send a video of an outfit, and get friends feedback. They can also try on outfits virtually. Retailers get something out of the experience too – real time feedback on inventory, buying habits, and preferences for a pretty fickle group of shoppers.

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.