give me my space
When News Corp announced it was buying MySpace for $580 million, there was some speculation that Murdoch would use the site as a backdoor to competing with Viacom's MTV. News Corp execs shrugged this off, saying they were just interested in audience, not in changing MySpace. Then comes NYT Styles (yes! NYT Styles!), which throws MySpace as its lead story this week, with a final line quoting co-founder Tom Anderson (the guy who is friends with everyone who joins MySpace by default): "It's kind of like, who cares about MTV anymore?" Also revealed: MySpace will be creating a new record label, which will work under a major label's supervision. So with one purchase, Murdoch managed to sneak in a way to compete in three industries (internet, cable tv, and music).
For the second time this summer, business coverage of MTV lands on the front page of NYT Sunday Arts. This time, it's basically a look at MTV's "multi-plat-fornication" efforts disguised as a profile of the network's president, Van Toffler. The focus is on MTV Overdrive, which I predicted a while back would quickly disappear, but last night's VMAs were an attempt to prove the "broadband video channel" (blech) is a real competitor. I suppose this is one prediction I wouldn't mind being wrong about.
Iraq has adopted Western-style reality tv in many forms, including Materials and Labor (basically Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) and Iraq Star (basically American Idol).
More on those viral Serenity promos over on Ponderance. I guarantee Whedon has been reading Gibson.
The lead review in this week's NYTBR is Jay McInerney. He reviews a new novel that I've never heard of, but it's an interesting essay on first novels and the bildungsroman.
New Yorker: Dictionaries slip in fake words.
An obscenely large collection of Madonna through time: Madonnashots.com.
ILM thread on the VMAs. It's way to easy to be sarcastic about the VMAs, but this was easily the worst one in several years.
CJR interviews Jessica Coen and Jesse Oxfeld.
Me likey the new LCD Soundsystem video.
Mark Romanek guest hosts NYT's Playlist. Because the site doesn't nicely link to everything, here are most of the clips he mentions: Nine Inch Nail's "Only" | Beck's "E-Pro" | Iron and Wine, "Naked as We Came" | The Sun's "Romantic Death"| Bright Eyes' "Easy/Lucky/Free".