BUSINESS CLIPS

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ERICSSON READY TO PLAY

Sony Ericsson has rolled out its PlayNow arena, an over-the-air download service that will sell DRM-free music as well as games and applications. The expanded mobile music service went live Friday in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. Each country will have localized content in the relevant language. The London-based joint venture between Sony and Ericsson has secured the global rights to 5 million tracks. Universal Music Group is the only major not to sign up the service; the company said it is in discussions with UMG as well as 30 other labels.

Smith Defeats TiVo

Movie ads again dominated the list of TV spots most viewed in a time-shifted format, with ads for "Hancock" leading the pack for June, TiVo said. Ads for the Sony film that ran during the May 29 finale of ABC's "Lost" were seen by 7.7% of TiVo's viewers. The show itself garnered a 12.8 rating in time-shifted viewing, meaning about 40% of those viewers chose to watch the ad.

Facebook's friends

Facebook has begun testing three ad placements designed to help brands better tap into the site's social nature while balancing users' desire to stay within the site's confines for as long as they'd like. For the past week, the social networking behemoth has been running what it's calling an alpha test of three new ad offerings, dubbed "Engagement Ads," including one that allow users to befriend brands within an individual ad unit — thus not requiring them to click away to a brand's profile page.
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