Digest: AmieStreet funds; gamers upgraded

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AmieStreet funds

AmieStreet, a digital music startup featuring a variable price model, said Monday that Amazon.com Inc. led a first round of investment in it. Started in October by three Brown University graduates, AmieStreet allows musicians to post songs initially priced for free. The price gradually rises with popularity, to a maximum of 98 cents, with up to 70% going to the artist. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. The round included a few private investors.

Vid gamers upgraded

Video game companies Electronic Arts Inc. and Take-Two Interacdtive Software Inc. were upgraded Monday by Bear Stearns analyst Edward Urban, who said the delay of Take-Two's next version of "Grand Theft Auto" could boost sales of games for rival EA. As for Take-Two's stock, a 16% drop since announcing the game delay makes it affordable, Urban said. He upgraded EA to "outperform" and Take-Two to "peer perform." EA's 5.6% gain led The Hollywood Reporter's Showbiz 50 stock index, closing at $52.84, while Take-Two fell 4% to $13.59.

Record Q2 at CME

MOSCOW -- Central European Media Enterprises chalked up record second-quarter results at five of its six regional TV stations, achieving a 38% overall revenue increase to $216 million. The strong results in all territories except Ukraine, where it underperformed, reflect continued strength in the Bermuda-registered firm's assets. The results come despite June's gloomy long-term forecast for the TV industry from CME CEO Michael Garin. Garin's faith in central and eastern Europe -- where CME runs 16 networks -- is evidently being rewarded. The company's second-quarter operating income was up $22.5 million to $66.6 million, and net income from continuing operations increased $27.3 million to $34.6 million.
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