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MYPLAY, PLAYJ HOPE AD PLAY MAKES CASHPLAY

"Embedded" Ads in MP3s Touted As Legal Alternative To Napster & Ilk
Sure, but will it play in Peoria?

A deal between online music locker site Myplay and PlayJ, the music division of Net marketing outfit EverAd, represents another well-hyped, but still untested, attempt to make money from the free distribution of music online.

How do labels, publishers and (maybe) artists make their cheddar? "Unobtrusive" banner ads are embedded in downloadable music files, with a portion of the revenue going to copyright holders.

PlayJ says it has some 65,000 tracks in various genres to choose from, and thanks to the alliance announced today, those tracks can be zapped directly from its site to users' Myplay lockers. The pact ensures the two companies will "actively promote" one another, according to the touchingly optimistic lingo of today's release.

From a label's perspective, it beats Napster.

But even with that many tracks, consumers are still subject to the choices offered by PlayJ, whereas free peer-to-peer services have virtually any track consumers could want available instantly—without any ads, obtrusive or no. And loading any MP3 track into a Myplay locker is child's play, though the company has been quite vocal in its attacks on services accused of infringement and/or piracy.

Still, songs are going to circulate for free online—at least in the short term, record companies and other content-holders may be drawn to the idea of some immediate income from this clearly inevitable process.

In a related story, the research firm AdRelevance reported recently that rates for banner ads online have dropped 10% over the last six months, plunging in price by an average of nearly $3 per thousand impressions (CPM); even so, the company found, online advertising rose 14% over the same period.

In another related story, the two major political parties agreed today to shred the constitution as "unobtrusively" as possible.

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