>>> Microsoft has invested $240 million in Facebook. (ars) This should only accelerate growth at Facebook which in turn will force MySpace, Google and others to follow Facebook and open their platform to outside developers and marketers.
>>> Groove Mobile and digital distributor The Orchard have sidestepped the mobile carriers and are offering the first ever full track off portal mobile download system in the US. (details)
>>> Spanish language sensation Juanes has a whopping 6 million download pre-orders for tracks from his unreleased CD. (AP)
>>> Mass market merchants and chain stores are leading the steep decline in CD sales. (Coolfer)
>>> A new Jupiter study shows a huge jump in widget use. (Jupiter) These new simple bits of code have huge potential for viral marketers and direct sales of music, merch and tickets. If you're new to the widget game iLike, Nimbit and ReverbNation all have easy wideget creation tools for bands and labels.
>>> Swedish social networker Ezmo has launched in the US. Among other things you can upload your music collection and share it with 10 friends. (press release) Perhaps we should dub this micro-casting. Radio with a dedicated audience of 10 or less. But if you trust the "DJ" it can still be a powerful concept when multiplied.