-- iLike CEO Ali Partovi says the company has been cash-flow positive since December. That's not profitability, but it's a great start for an online, music-based service. Profitability would take into account depreciation and amortization, among other items. Neither would take into account accrued but unpaid expenses. VentureBeat points out that because it offers samples rather than full songs, iLike does not have to pay streaming royalties as do most music startups. That's practically the definition of a competitive advantage. (VentureBeat)

-- An affiliate of Pegasus Capital Advisors has acquired a majority interest in New York-based music publisher Spirit Music Group. (Press release)

-- A study by market research firm Millward Brown shows that only 300 independent record stores are still in business across the U.K. In 1984 the U.K. had over 2,400 stores. (The Sun)

-- DoubleTwist, a startup that allows users to handle and share a variety of media formats, has raised $5 million in second round funding from a group of people including former Warner Music Group executive Alex Zubillaga. The format-agnostic application connects to any portable device and allows users to easily share media with friends. Two early complaints: the application does not rip CDs and it updates its music catalog by following only two folders, iTunes and Windows Media. (VentureBeat)

Independent promoters in the UK are hoping to benefit from a £1.8 million marketing plan organized by VisitBritain, the national tourism agency of Britain. The campaign will emphasize the weak British pound and the 20% discounts given on festival tickets. (Music Week)

-- The National Association of Broadcasters continues its fight against performance royalties by launching a new Web site, www.noperformancetax.com. (R&R)

-- A new line of Phillips GoGear Aria and Opus portable digital players got a tepid review. "...while the design is getting better, there's still a lot of wasted space, mundane controls and ancient-seeming software -- we suppose you get what you pay for." The models range from $50 for 4GB with a 1.5-inch screen to $100 for a 16GB with a two-inch screen. All units have FM radios and come with a free trial of Rhapsody. (Engadget)

-- If the Ethan Hawke-Toby Keith dustup shows anything, it is that Rolling Stone magazine is still relevant and getting mentioned in everyday conversation and articles. (Nashville Cream)

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