Digest: Royalty rejected; Google spike
Some small Internet radio broadcasters are rejecting a new offer from SoundExchange to pay discounted royalty rates for streaming music online through 2010. SoundExchange, the music industry group that collects royalties from webcasters and distributes them to artists and record labels, said its offer is for qualified webcasters -- those earning $1.25 million or less in annual gross revenue and with a certain size audience -- to pay royalty fees of 10% or 12% of annual revenue. The radio stations have until Sept. 14 to accept the offer, or pay higher royalty rates mandated by copyright judges this year or stop streaming music.
Google Inc. has seen a spike in usage of its mobile services since May, partly offsetting the traditional summer slump in computer-based Web surfing for the first time, an executive said Wednesday. According to Google vp search products Marissa Mayer said traffic to Google's maps, e-mail and searches on mobile phones and wireless hand-held devices rose 35% between May and June, reversing an annual pattern of slowing mobile phone and computer use during the summer months. Apple's iPhone Internet phone, available since late June, deserves partial credit, Google said.
Black River holdings
Black River Asset Management held a 5% passive stake, or about 3.6 million shares, in Blockbuster Inc., the No. 1 U.S. movie rental chain, as of Aug. 13, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Blockbuster shares, struggling for much of the year, rose 2.9% on Wednesday to $4.58. They have traded between $3.59-$7.30 during the past 52 weeks. The company recently replaced longtime CEO John Antioco with James Keyes, a former CEO of 7-Eleven.