A summary of search related news items that occurred this week including Google to acquire telephone management company – GrandCentral, U.S. web broadcasters hold day of silence in protest to increase in royalty fees, MySpace to launch MySpace TV to compete directly with Google-owned YouTube, Yahoo! Search Marketing adds some new features to their ad management console, and finally, Twitter getting ready to raise first round venture capital funds.
- Google To Acquire Telephone Management Company GrandCentral – TechCrunch reports that Google is planning on acquiring telephone management company, GrandCentral in which the central idea is to have “one phone number for all your phones, for life.” Apparently the service coordinates the variety of numbers you might have (i.e. home, business, mobile, etc.) into one number and then responds according to the rules you have set forth for each number and/or caller. TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington speculates that Google might use GrandCentral with Gmail and GTalk. The acquisition could also be the next step in competing with Skype and other instant messaging platforms.
- U.S. Web Broadcasters Hold Day of Silence - In protest at plans to hike royalty payments when music is played online, many web radio broadcasters across the US held a “day of silence” on Tuesday. The planned hike may cost webcasters an additional $1 billion dollars each year. Protestors claim that the sharp rise in royalty fees could be fatal to the nascent industry. The BBB reports that the increases could represent a 300% rise in current payments and the plan is to eventually charge royalties every time an online listener hears a song. Looks like a battle between webcasters, musicians and copyrighters is heating up. No telling who will come out the winner in this one.
- MySpace Steps Up Competition Against YouTube - The New York Times reports that MySpace will launch a new service that will compete against Google-owned YouTube. Called MySpace TV, users will be able to share and watch videos, even if they have not signed up for MySpace account. The new service will also offer some new ways for members of MySpace to more easily integrate the videos they create and watch into their personal profiles. The Times has further details on the future plans of MySpace TV including professionally produced content that will become available.
- Yahoo! Search Marketing Adds New Features - For starters, you can now copy and move keywords from one ad group to another. They have also improved the keyword selector tool which now provides an estimate of the monthly searches. Finally, they now have a new “ad writing help guide,” that allows you to preview ads as they would appear in search results for selected keywords. Full details at the Yahoo! Search Marketing Blog.
- Twitter To Raise VC Funds - News.com reports that Twitter, the social network for spewing random thoughts to friends via digital messages, is on the road to raising its first round of venture funding, company cofounder Biz Stone said this week. What will be interesting to watch is how they plan on becoming profitable. The company is just 8 months old and seems to be concentrating on growing its network of users before worrying about making money. According to research firm ComScore, the service attracted about 226,000 unique visitors in May, up from 94,000 visitors the previous month and down from a peak of 397,000 in February.