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Gov. David Paterson wants to solve New York’s debt problem by taxing the sale of digital downloads, including mp3’s from iTunes. The iPod tax, along with 88 other new fees, is part of the “extreme measures” Paterson is using to tackle the $15.4 billion budget gap. Movie tickets, taxi’s, soda, beer, wine, cigars and massages are also amongst the proposed new taxes.

Nielsen is reporting that most online video is consumed during business hours. 65% of viewers watch online videos between 9am and 5pm. Why this may be interpreted as a “non-threat” to primetime ratings, it simply shows that more people are sitting in front of their computers between 9 and 5.

Take-Two Interactive renewed their contract Grand Theft Auto designers Rockstar Games. Take-Two, who Electronic Arts spent a good portion of the year courting, will restructure their profit sharing agreement with new incentives for the partnership with Rockstar. The new contract expires January 31, 2012.

Reuters is reporting that 17.5% of US households are now without a landline. As cell phones become more ubiquitous the need for landlines lessens. Analysts suspect 20% of the country will be without landlines by early 2009.

Plus, today’s consulting question, “Why would CBS and Turner team up to bid for the Olympics?” Shelly has the answer on today’s MediaBytes.

Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is Managing Director, Digital Media Group at Landmark|ShellyPalmer a technology focused Investment Banking & Advisory practice specializing in M&A, Financings, Strategic Partnerships and Innovation Access. He is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert and well known for his work on Fox Television's Shelly Palmer Digital Living. For more information, visit shellypalmer.com.

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"Gov. Paterson Proposes "iPod Tax": MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer December 18, 2008" by @ShellyPalmer