– Channel 4: While it negotiates with BBC Worldwide and Lord Carter on its future, Channel 4 is still innovating commercially: the broadcaster is to sell ads for its online content distributed to third party sites like Bebo and YouTube as part of a shake-up of its digital ad sales department. Currently, Channel 4 content distributed to third parties comes with adverts promoting Channel4.com or other Channel 4 TV shows — but now commercial messages will be shown instead. From Mediaweek.
— Fox International Channels: Fox has chosen Italy as the place to launch its first web TV offering with the launch of the in-beta comedy-centred Floptv.tv. The site, produced by Italian new media division FoxFactory, has originally-commissioned as well as bought-in shows which range from two to 10 minutes in length. The site is on mobile, games consoles and MySpace. Via Variety.com.
— Playboy: Ahead of a re-launch of its flagship US site this Spring, Playboy.co.uk has re-launched here as an ad-funded, upmarket men’s lifestyle portal. Likes its Us counterpart, the site will have sport, entertainment and music channels — but its most premium content, pictures of Playboy (NYSE: PLA) girls, is locked up behind a paywall and costs “less than £ 3 a month”. Playboy’s UK recently re-launched as an ad-funded TV channel on Sky between 8pm and 11pm and a free mobile site is due soon. Via Mediaweek.co.uk.
— Sony (NYSE: SNE) PSP: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has confirmed it will wind up its Go!Messenger instant messaging service for the PSP, co-developed by BT (NYSE: BT), at the end of March. Sony wrote on the official PSP messageboard: “Although Go!Messenger brought innovative communications features to the PSP community, the service has not developed the base of users that we were hoping for.” The free service was added to PSP a year ago
— Imagine Publishing: The first of a series of 2009 web launches for Imagine Publishing, NowGamer.com went live on Friday. The site has news, reviews, features and blogs and promises a customisable element to its users. Imagine has now launched 25 websites and 20 magazines since its launch in 2005. From Journalism.co.uk.