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What’s more, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer may have a substantial effect on pricing models with his inquiry into the pricing of online music – an investigation that may affect the entire business model.

Also, after years of fighting with consumers and file-trading networks, the major labels may be ready to embrace new distribution models. Because the rise in independent music, which now accounts for 18 percent of total music sales, is directly tied to the genre’s use of the services such as free music blogs, peer-to-peer networks, and message boards, major labels will likely react, by seeding blogs and boards with free music to get fans interested in new releases.

Telco companies get ensnared in a domestic eavesdropping scandal. If the scandal involving the current administration’s efforts to listen in on America’s communications gains momentum, look for the role of U.S. telecommunications firms to be examined, many of whom have already been outed as compliant in monitoring U.S. citizens. So telco execs will likely appear before U.S. Senate hearings, to further explain their position, and possible complicity, in the affair.

A video search company is acquired by a major player. As more media companies put their video assets online (in many cases, for free), look for Yahoo, or even a major, offline-based media company, to purchase a video search site in 2006. Truveo is a good bet, since it’s one of the best of the lot. Although Google has already launched its own video search service, its search accuracy and the types of pages searched fall short of standalone companies.

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