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YouTube has finally named its price according to a US newspaper report that claims the video sharing website is holding out for $US1.5bn ($1.99bn) offer from would-be suitors.

Yesterday’s report in the New York Post said the figure had come from a senior industry source and it named potential buyers as Viacom, Disney, AOL, eBay, and News Corp, parent company of The Post.

Youtube is seeking out new ways to generate revenues on the back of its success through advertising and content deals and is also facing a battle to legitimise its activities amid industry accusations that much of its video content violates copyright protection.

Other labels, including Capitol Records, have also been dabbling with the idea of releasing commercial videos on YouTube and NBC is using YouTube to promote some of its television content after the two forged a partnership in June.

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Media companies looking to acquire internet sensations Facebook or YouTube would need to take a “big leap of faith” to pull the trigger on a deal at the valuations of close to $1bn being discussed, said Dick Parsons, chairman and chief executive officer of Time Warner. He said the two most attractive assets available to increase web traffic were Facebook and YouTube. “[But] it’s a tough assignment. Valuations that are put on those businesses that currently make no money are astronomical and you have to have a big leap of faith,” he said.

  • About 83% of iPod owners throughout Europe do not regularly buy digital music
    Only one in five European iPod owners regularly buys songs online, new research shows, a signal that the music industry will need to rely more heavily on other ways to recover revenue lost to piracy and illegal downloading.
  • Wallflowers leader Jakob Dylan has signed with his father’s label, Columbia Records, after his band ended its relationship with Interscope Records.
  • Clive Davis and Courtney Love have teamed up to help revive her floundering career.
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INXS, which found a new singer via the CBS reality show “Rockstar,” is no longer with Epic Records North America.

Drew Alexander who KOAR talked about in the buzz section signed with Geffen.

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Check out unsigned Virginia act Race The Sun. After playing a few local shows the band recorded their first EP, Contents of a Dead Man’s Pocket, in late 2002.  Two years later, after countless self-booked tours, the band had begun to refine their sound as well as build a substantial buzz for themselves up and down the East Coast.  The band inked a deal with Fidelity Records (home to Madison, Escape Engine) in February of 2004 and released their highly anticipated full-length, The Rest Of Our Lives Is Tonight, produced by Jesse Cannon (Lifetime, Senses Fail, Northstar, and Madison) later that year.  Member changes struck and the band sought out to reinvent themselves in 2006.  The team consist of manager Eron Bucciarelli (drummer for Hawthorne Heights), lawyer Dan Friedman and booking agent Mike Mori (The Agency Group). The band recently recorded two songs with producer David Bendeth (Hawthorne Heights, Breaking Benjamin) as well as two additional songs with Jess Cannon.  Check out the track Puss Masters of the Universe

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Yahoo! is a threat to Apple and Microsoft and is looking to end Apple’s and Microsoft’s dominance of the technology behind online music.

Yahoo! will sell Jesse McCartney’s new album “Right Where You Want Me,”(Hollywood Records), in the unprotected MP3 format.

That means consumers will be able to play it on any digital music device, including Apple’s iPod. MP3 files are the only type that will play on an iPod besides those downloaded from iTunes.

Since MP3 files have no no copy protection, they can be easily traded on peer-to-peer networks, emailed to friends or burned onto an endless number of CDs.

“We’re trying to be realistic,” said Ken Bunt, senior VP of marketing at Hollywood Records. “Jesse’s single is already online and we haven’t put it out. Piracy happens regardless of what we do. So we’re going to see how Jesse’s album goes (as an MP3) and then decide on others going forward.”

Labels and Netcos will be watching sales of the album, which Yahoo! will promote heavily to see whether consumers are more interested in buying unprotected MP3 files and whether it has any impact on piracy.

Yahoo! only has rights from Hollywood to sell the album in its entirety, for $9.99, not by individual track. ITunes and other musicstores also will sell “Right Where You Want Me” with copy protection.

“We think this is a really good experiment, because copy protection is not doing anything to stop people from stealing when you can just get unprotected tracks off of a CD or get music illegally online,” said Yahoo! Music topper Dave Goldberg. “We think it’s good to make it easy for consumers to get digital music on whatever device they want and for companies like us to not be reliant on one particular technology company for how our consumers can access music.”

For furter reading check out KOARs article “Why not Sell MP3’s?”

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