Reading Round-Up: Stories I Found in January

We all get busy, especially at the beginning of the year, and have to work to prioritize what we do and what we get done. One of the things that tends to fall to the side for me is reading and writing about things that have caught my eye in the world of radio, new media, and marketing. Here are a few interesting stories that I intended to write about, but just didn’t get to:

  • An application in the Apple App Store called iFart sold 100,000+ units in the 14 days leading up to Christmas. How is that even possible? Jordan Mendell of Ando Media (a vendor and partner of Entercom) first alerted me to the “news” in his blog.
  • Marc Hirsh wrote a piece for MSNBC about the songs we supposedly didn’t hear on the radio in 2008. I intended to research the songs he mentions – using MediaBase or a similar service – and respond with accurate totals. With thousands of radio stations across the country and hundreds of formats, I can virtually guarantee someone heard the songs. Marc clearly wasn’t listening to the right station at the right time and jumped to conclusions. Tsk tsk.
  • MSNBC also published the news that album sales dropped again while digital sales were up. It’s been a tough few years for the music industry, but hopefully we’re starting to figure out a system that works economically and still serves the consumer.
  • I found a fantastic article in the New York Times about “Passive Houses” in Germany. These homes are specially designed to heat themselves using only the warmth generated by appliances and their human inhabitants. Technology can do amazing things when clever people have both resources and foresight.
  • I received an email on January 13 from Amazon.com promoting the sale of carbon monoxide alarms to residents in Philadelphia. The reasoning? New fire-safety legislation that requires residential properties in the city to be equipped with an alarm. What a great example of timely and relevant marketing to the exact audience that needs to receive it. And who knew Amazon.com even sold carbon monoxide alarms?
  • There was another great article in the Science section in the New York Times about the creation on an anti-love drug. I wonder where this will go for humans.
  • And finally, Billboard reported that the creator of the Fox series “The O.C.” is lining up bands for a special web-only show called “Rockville.” The series will become part of TheWB.com’s effort to create special short-form scripted series. It debuts March 17 with four episodes and will then move to two or three new episodes each week until the show ends. Innovative content is definitely important in 2009.