Hot List: Digital

Facebook and Spotify are among the year's hottest digital media companies

News Website
Huffington Post

HuffPo may not be popular among its peers—The New York Times recently filed a cease-and-desist for the website’s Parentlode blog, written by the Times former Motherlode writer—but the news aggregator continues to be a hit with users, growing since its acquisition in February by AOL by 40 percent to 35 million monthly uniques. With more to read (HuffPo’s sections have increased to 21), it’s no wonder the blog won Adweek’s Readers’ Choice poll. There’s a vertical for everyone.

Entertainment News Website

As a news outlet, TMZ has made a name for itself the old-fashioned way: with (often unsavory) scoops. Since its founding six years ago, TMZ has transformed itself into the Politico of entertainment news, aggregating an enviable audience in the process. Today, TMZ gets an average of 17.5 million unique visitors per month and even boasts a spinoff syndicated series, TMZ on TV.

Streaming media

Of all the streaming music services that have sprung up in recent years, perhaps none has posed so serious a threat to iTunes’ hegemony as Spotify. Unlike iTunes, Spotify is a social experience. Users can listen to their Facebook friends’ playlists and can then announce to the world what they’re listening to at any given moment. It also has two tiers of service: a paid subscription plan that is ad-free (sort of a Netflix for music) and an unpaid, ad-supported service. With its bold transition last week to a platform with integrated apps, Spotify’s “new direction” seems to be a great leap forward.  

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