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-- Vevo, the video streaming joint venture between Universal Music Group and YouTube, is raising capital at a $300 million valuation, according to paidContent. Seem high? Maybe, but Vevo has a few things going for it that an audio competitor like Spotify is missing: better CPMs due to more attentive users, a better ability to promote recorded music products, a clearer route to ancillary revenues (such as tickets), a more direct link to artist web sites (via overlays, for example) and, as a result, a better ability to turn viewership into direct-to-consumer marketing opportunities. All this from a site that puts eyeballs over ears. By the way, Spotify has been reported to have landed investors at a $250 million valuation. That valuation hinges on the company's ability to turn free, ad-supported users into paid, premium users. The iPhone app, to be available only to premium users, will certainly help in the necessary conversion. (paidContent)

-- SanDisk has introduced the new Sansa Clip+ MP3 player. The + sign denotes the inclusion of a microSD card slot. You may recall the poor sales results of the slotMusic format from Nielsen's NARM 2009 presentation. Sales of the slotMusic format had dropped 65% from December 2008 through May 2009. In other words, demand for an MP3 player with a microSD card slot is not going to be driven by sales of pre-recorded media on slotMusic cards. On the other hand, buyers of the Clip+ get a microSD option in a very inexpensive and - if like previous Sansa devices - very easy to use product. (Engadget)

-- experienced a 62% year-over-year increase in unique visitors in July. According to Nielsen Net View, it is the fifth most-visited music site last month. (Press release)

-- As of Tuesday morning, Irish ISP Eircom is blocking its subscribers' access to the Pirate Bay in accordance with a court order. (

-- Apple is expected to update its line of iPods at an event next week. (Wall Street Journal)

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