Paramount’s “Jackass” Web-Only Distribution Gambit

Reporter’s Notebook: On December 19, viewers will be able to log on to to see Johnny Knoxville et al doing, ah, what they do best.

Blockbuster, the famously family-friendly movie rental company, is facilitating the release with its Movielink service. Blockbuster, of course, has had its own troubles in dealing with disruptions created by the Web.

The movie will be free to watch, with short pre- and post-roll ad clips.

In part, the release is to generate buzz about the Jackass franchise and draw traffic to the Web site, a new social community built around the franchise.

“The Jackass movie is the first of several feature films that we plan on distributing online and as the digital world evolves,” Thomas Lesinski, President of Paramount Pictures Digital Entertainment, said in a statement.

“Paramount will continue to turn digital distribution of content on its head.”

But must it all be so high brow?

High Tide For Spam

That 5 percent better be worth it. Tell me how much a baseball player would be worth with a batting average of .050?

If I got my stories right just 5 percent of the time…well, so that might elicit a sigh of surprised relief from my editor; bad example. But e-mail, I expected more out of you.

Barracuda Networks has released its annual spam report, finding that nearly 95 percent of all e-mail is spam. In 2001, Barracuda estimate that just 5 percent of all e-mail was spam.

The report identifies spam as the single greatest advertising irritant among office workers. Worse than postal mail, worse than telemarketers.

In 2004, when the CAN-SPAM Act took effect, spam was just 70 percent of all e-mail.

The report found that more spam messages are coming with attachments of PDFs and other file formats.

Next up: New Year’s Resolution spam messages. With spammers increasingly disguising themselves as legitimate retailers, the messages often appear with professional-looking text and images enticing the recipient to click on a link promising what the subject heading suggests. “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” saw a spike in these campaigns, and you can expect the same after New Year’s, Barracuda suggests.

Amazon Buys Into Bill Me Later

Earlier this week, Amazon bought an undisclosed stake in the payment processing company Bill Me Later.

That makes the decidedly non-PayPal payment technology the only alternative payment method on the Web’s most profitable retailer. Quite a boost for Bill Me Later, which Amazon describes as a “very customer-centric” technology. Following Amazon’s buy-in, more retail sites could begin to integrate the technology to their checkout.

Bill Me Later was doing pretty well on its own, rivaling eBay’s PayPal in terms of market share with no help Amazon. Now, it seems well situated become the dominant alternate payment technology.

Kenneth Corbin is a staff writer with

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