National Geographic Launches The Soundtrack of the World – National Geographic Magazine’s new music initiative offers consumers ethnic music, traditional roots music, and unexpected hybrids from the furthest reaches of the globe. The new groundbreaking world music web site – worldmusic.nationalgeographic.com – brings media-rich features, music news and celebrity DJ playlists to a broad audience. There are free music video streams, interactive maps, an online library of resources on world music, MP3 downloads for 99 cents each, and more.
The idea is to match National Geographic’s trademark approach to highest quality visual imagery and editorial content with audio content which will resonate with audiences. Some examples are blusey rock from Mali, massive electrified tabla beats from Asia, trance musicians who built their microphones out of wood with magnets from used car parts, Tuareg rebels who traded in their guns for electric guitars, and a string band of 20 ukuleles and banjos maintained by the Cook Islands Ministry of Health. David Beal, a composer and former Palm Pictures executive, worked on the music initiative for the past year. He stated: “Music brings geography to life. It creates an emotional connection, builds a sense of community and is the most palpable connection that most Americans have with other countries and cultures.”
Cable Operators Seek New Retail Outlets – Comcast Corp. – the country’s largest cable provider – has made a deal with Wal-Mart stores to sell their high-speed Internet and digital cable services thru Connection Centers in 11 stores, with plans to roll out to 500 stores shortly. They are marketing a cable modem and self-installation kit for $59.97, and if successful may eventually branch out to do business in all of the more than 3000 Wal-Marts in the U.S. Other cable operators are in discussion with Wal-Mart. Time Warner Cable – the second largest operator – already has retail partners across the U.S., including Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Radio Shack and Tweeter Home Entertainment Group.