Breakfast Reading, July 31

EMusic, the second-largest seller of downloadable music after iTunes, has cut a deal with AT&T to sell independent-label songs directly over cell phones.  Competing services from Sprint, Verizon, and others feature high-profile artists, such as Prince.  Robert Levine, New York Times.  Mashable wonders whether this puts AT&T and Apple at loggerheads over the iPhone.  Mashable

News Corp is trying to pull one more faction of the Bancroft family over the line before proceeding with the deal, most likely a Denver trust that is holding out for $66 a share instead of $60.  To sweeten the price without raising the bid, News is now considering picking up the family’s advisory fees.  Wall Street Journal

Meanwhile, alternative Dow Jones-bidder Brad Greenspan (MySpace founder) is keeping his own crackpot plan on life support and has reportedly attracted backing from Intel Capital, Softbank, and others.  Greenspan plans to launch a WSJ business channel that will drive DJ stock over $100.  Reuters.

The New York Times has introduced long-form video advertisements, with FedEx as the first customer.  The videos are available in the site’s Video Lounge.  The NYT will continue to offer the standard 15 and 30 second pre-rolls.  No word yet on pricing or, more importantly, user interest.  ClickZ

Illegal music downloads in the UK have hit an all-time high, thanks to the social network sites, a new study says. The UK survey found that 43% of people downloaded tracks illegally, up from 36% last year.  There was also a dramatic slowdown in the growth of legal downloads, with the number up just 15% this year, compared with 40% in 2006.  Telegraph

rumour of the day: AOL may change name to TMZ.  Sounds like a joke and probably is, but marketing guru Bill Hartzer is taking it seriously.

New York Times and will share content about the 2008 presidential election. The two will  swap breaking news, MSNBC will get NYT stories, and NYT will get NBC video. paidcontent

The Drudge Report sends 25% of U.S. traffic to UK newspaper sites.  Guardian, via Paul Kedrosky.

The Financial Times is casting around for a partner in the wake of the (probable) Dow Jones-Murdoch deal.  CNBC, which makes the most sense, is at the top of the list.  New York Times

Facebook homophobic?  Mashable confirms that the world’s hottest company refuses to let you sign up if your last name happens to be “Gay.”  Mashable


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