Telecom Headlines

Gary Handman (
Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:02:26 -0700

Title: Record and CD's? How Quaint
Source: New York Times (B1,B6)
Author: Jon Pareles
Issue: E-Commerce
Description: Electronic distribution is a big topic at Plug In '98, a
conference on music in the digital era taking place in NYC this weekend. If
transferring music over the Internet continues to increase in popularity,
eventually, home music collections could become obsolete and stores could
see their role reduced as consumers are able bypass the middlemen and access
music from central archives upon demand. Mark Mooradian, group director of
consumer content for Jupitor Communications, one of the groups organizing
the conference, says that Jupitor thinks record labels should aggressively
pursue digitally downloaded music. "He said digital distribution should be
important for its marketing value, to combat piracy and to reposition labels
as retail outlets." Individual musicians and independent labels see this
form of distribution as a way to deliver music directly to the listener.
"Record companies have a lock right now on how an artist can get music out
to a global audience," said Larry Rosen, the chairman of N2K, which owns the
online retail site of Music Boulevard as well as its own N2K label, which
makes some of its songs available for digital downloading. "With electronic
distribution of music, there's a break in that kind of power structure."

Title: Videophones, Evolve, Slowly
Source: New York Times (E1,E7)
Author: Ian Austen
Issue: Telephony
Description: While the world's fist videophone was introduced by AT&T over
1964, companies are just begriming to realize that there are serious limits
to the market ably of this "Star Treck" technology. Today's videophone
technologies include both television-based and computer-based systems. "We
are very realistic: it's not a mass-market product," says Dainel Flohr of
C-Phone, a videophone manufacturer. "Everyone's not going to run out and get
one." Psychological barriers appear to be an important deferent to
mass-market success. "People who don't use videophones are worried about
having their privacy invaded", says Professor Mantei Tremaine who has
studied videophones for more than nine years, "People who did use them
feared they were invading someone else's privacy."

Title: Survey Finds TV Is Major Casualty of Net Surfing
Source: New York Times (E3)
Author: Matt Richtel
Issue: Internet Use
Description: A recent survey by Strategis Group, a Washington-based research
firm that studies patterns in telecommunications use, has found that
cyberspace is stealing time from watching TV, working, sleeping and
exercise. But the activity being most effected is television- and
VCR-watching. Of 500 Net users surveyed, nearly 65 percent said they had
sacrificed time in front of the television for time in front of the
computer. Forty-eight percent reported they spent less time reading and 29
percent said they slept less. What does this mean? According to John
Zahurancik, director of Internet and telephony at Strategis Group, said the
findings show that "The Net is becoming a mainstream medium. It is a
competition to all these other traditional sources of entertainment." Allen
Goldberg, vice president for business development at Relevant Knowledge, a
research company based in Atlanta, points out that it took 40 years for
radio to gain 50 million domestic listeners and 13 years for television and
cable TV to acquire the same number of viewers. While Goldberg acknowledges
that the population is larger now, he said it is noteworthy that it has
taken only four years for the Web to reach the same plateau.

Title: MCI Reported To Be Near Full Internet Sale
Source: New York Times (D1,D4)
Author: Seth Schiesel
Title: Cable & Wireless, MCI Reach Deal
Source: Washington Post (C1,C2)
Author: Mike Mills
Issue: Mergers
Description: MCI Communications Sorp. is close to reaching an agreement to
sell its entire Internet business to Cable and Wireless PLC for about
$1.5-$2 billion is cash, said executives close to the negotiations
yesterday. A deal between the two companies is expected to be announced
later this week. MCI is selling all of its Internet assets, valued at $2
billion, as a result of the European Union's concerns that the two companies
combined would have unfair control of Internet traffic. The deal would clear
the way for the Justice Dept. to approve the $37 billion acquisition of MCI
by WorldCom Inc.

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld