Business Matters is a daily column that offers insight, analysis and opinion on the day's news.

-- The Lee Development Group and Montgomery County have struck a deal that will create a Fillmore Music Hall in Silver Springs, Maryland. Maryland and Montgomery County will each pay $4 million to pay for the venue, which will be owned by Montgomery County. Live Nation will operate the venue. The promotion giant purchased House of Blues Entertainment, Inc. in 2006 for $350 million. (Washington Post)

-- Verizon Communications is reported to be on the verge of sending letters - as a test - on behalf of the RIAA to customers believed to be illegally downloading songs from the Internet. The letters are expected to advise recipients that they have been suspected of illegal activity without threats of suspended Internet service. (CNET)

-- University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist has posted online the slides and audio from a talk he gave on the threat of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that is currently being negotiated by the U.S., Canada and many other countries. It makes for a good primer on the anti-piracy implications of the trade agreement. (Michael Geist

-- MOG has posted a video at YouTube that shows the playlist creation functions of its upcoming music streaming service. MOG is planning to launch a $5-per-month music streaming service. A recent report put the launch date at Thanksgiving week - just two weeks away. MOG's streaming service should make for a nice counterweight to the free streaming services. Content creators should watch MOG closely for indications on the features and tactics music services can employ to entice paid users. Slowly but surely, people are losing hope in ad-supported, free services. So let's see what MOG does to show people a good streaming service is worth a few dollars a month. Based on the very nature of MOG - a portal for the content of hundreds of MOG's music bloggers - it appears they are going after a group most likely to pay for a streaming service: music fans. (YouTube)

-- According to Gartner, Blackberry has reached 20% of the global smartphone market in Q3 2009. That's up from 16% last year. Apple rose to 17% from 13%. Nokia is the leader at 39%, down from 42% last year. (Press release)

-- Slumberland Records' Mike Schulman shows how a label can find a niche and survive through changes in the market. Slumberland just celebrated its 20th anniversary. "I'll make records as long as people buy them, but you can't turn back the clock and there's no way you can get people to start only buying records. So for the people who still value that type of experience with their music, I'd like them to be able to have it with our stuff. If you don't, I don't want to punish you and make you have to go get an illegal download or something like that. If you're going to have a download, you should have something of quality."(A.V. Club)

Follow Billboard senior analyst Glenn Peoples on Twitter at twitter.com/billboardglenn.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print