NATIONAL BRIEFING

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

INTERNET

YouTube Adds Click-to-Buy Links

Google will add click-to-buy links to its popular YouTube video-sharing service, letting customers purchase songs and video games they see mentioned on the site.

The links will take users to online stores such as Apple's iTunes or Amazon.com, according to a posting on Google's blog. The program, only available in the United States for now, will expand to include additional content and partners.

Google aims to squeeze more revenue out of YouTube, the most popular video Web site, by moving beyond the advertising that gets posted alongside clips. Google, which gets most of its sales from text ads next to online search results, also is testing the idea of inserting ads into videos.

Web Ad Revenue Declines

U.S. Internet advertising revenue dipped slightly in the second quarter from the previous quarter.

According to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, online advertising revenue totaled $5.7 billion in the second quarter. That was compared with $5.1 billion in the second quarter of 2007 and $5.8 billion in the first quarter of this year.

This is the market's second straight decline. In the first quarter, ad revenue fell from the $5.9 billion reported for the fourth quarter of 2007.

AUTOMOTIVE

GM May Mortgage Headquarters

General Motors said it is looking to take out a mortgage on its headquarters complex as it tries to raise operating cash in an era of tight credit.

The automaker's top real estate executive said GM will make a presentation tomorrow to the Detroit police and fire pension board to see whether it is interested in investing in the Renaissance Center, a seven-tower complex on the Detroit River.

GM took out a $626 million mortgage in 1996 to buy the buildings and pay for millions worth of improvements.

The automaker paid off the initial mortgage when it expired in May, and since then has been looking to raise cash with another financing deal.


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