As predicted, 365 Corporation (www.365.co.uk) has finally given up on keeping music365 as a website. It was once the jewel in its crown but will now just be a weekly e-mail newsletter. The closure of the site, along with several of its other consumer offerings over the past few months, shows how tough the market is and the importance of keeping a site focused. While music365 attempted to be a site for all music fans, others, such as Ministry of Sound (www.ministryofsound.co.uk) and Q 4 Music (www.q4music.com), targeted their respective niche audiences. Being all things to all people was OK when the competition wasn’t out there, but today it is all about focus.
CMP Information (formerly United Business Media) has dropped plans to sell off its dotmusic website (www.dotmusic.com) in favour of integrating it into the Music Week stable. Earlier in the year, the company was said to be in talks with 365 Corporation with a plan to integrate music365 within dotmusic.
Adobe (www.adobe.co.uk) has released the latest version of its professional page-layout software package, PageMaker. The new version claims to make it even easier to create pages for print or web use, with enhanced ability to import files from Microsoft Word and QuarkXPress. Expect to pay £400 for the new version or £59 for an upgrade.
The Scotsman is said to be looking at its online activities with a view to streamlining. Job losses are expected across its internet sites including Scotsman.com. The move is the latest by newspaper owners considering how to deal with the huge cost of running online operations and not seeing any return. Last year saw the biggest example when Richard Desmond closed down the online version of the Daily Express and replaced it with just a scanned-in image of the day’s front page. More recently, express.co.uk has re-emerged with actual stories supplied by PA as well as the scanned-in front page.
Trinity Mirror has finally sold its ic24 internet access service (www.ic24.net). Brightview, a small company focused on turning around struggling businesses, has paid £4.5m to gain access to its active users, said to number around 250,000. Expect Trinity Mirror to start focusing more on its own major newspapers as it seeks to develop its online presence in a market that is much more mature than a year ago. As Trinity Mirror has shown, it can be a very painful and expensive exercise to try to launch hip-sounding web ventures which can distract from your core business and brands.