Apple Buying Twitter?

It didn’t take long for a rumor about Apple acquiring Twitter to circumnavigate the globe at warp speed.

Gawker’s tech-gossip blogger ValleyWag fired up the rumor early Tuesday. Citing a source described as “plugged into the Valley’s deal scene” as well as newly recruited by Apple for a “senior position,” ValleyWag claimed Apple and Twitter are in “serious negotiations” and that a deal may be announced by the June 8 launch of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose.

How much is Apple rumored to be offering for Twitter? $700 million.

Since Twitter has yet to make a profit, or make anything close to what could loosely be described as income, the company’s value is up for speculation. According to ValleyWag, Facebook once dangled $500 million in cash and stock in front of Twitter, but didn’t ink a deal because Twitter’s investors couldn’t determine which company’s stock was valued higher.

However, ValleyWag also points out that Apple has plenty of cash, and Twitter’s investors might find it difficult to turn down all that green.

The only thing more interesting than ValleyWag’s Apple-loves-Twitter piece of gossip is how quickly other tech/gossip/news sites picked up on the rumor.

“Tech Rumor of the Day: Apple Twitter” is how delivered the not-quite-ready-for-real-news item. Meanwhile, Reuters went with “Apple-Twitter Deal: Just A Rumor?” and MacDailyNews ran with “RUMOR: Apple to buy Twitter for $700 million.”

Furthermore, a blogger at BusinessWeek described the rumored deal as “A Better Combination Than You Might Think,” making us think rumors quickly gain more traction when Apple is rumored to be involved.

Is the rumor true? Apple rarely comments on rumors, or for that matter, on anything it doesn’t feel like commenting about.

On the other hand, one of Twitter’s founders did find time to squash rumors of an impending sale.

Appearing on ABC talker “The View,” co-founder Biz Stone told Barbara Walters the company wasn’t for sale, nor were they planning to put it on the market.

“We’re just getting started as I’ve said,” Stone said. “The company is two years old, we have so much to do, so much product stuff to fix, and so much growing to do.”

CBS Combines Online Music Properties

CBS has gathered all its digital assets and placed them under one roof. Called CBS Interactive Music Group, the new umbrella includes all of CBS Radio’s 100 or more digital streamers as well as its 2007 acquisition,

In a statement announcing the new division, the broadcasting company stated it would “create richer and more immersive experiences for millions of music fans around the world. At launch, the combined assets of the newly formed CBS Interactive Music Group reach almost 40 million unique monthly users worldwide.”

Translated, that means CBS is combining all of its online music properties in an attempt to focus its marketing and programming muscles in a singular direction. Translated, that means the network wants its digital music sections as compartmentalized as, say, its news, sports and entertainment divisions.

On top of the newly formed division is David Goodman, who was named President of the CBS Interactive Music Group. Goodman joined CBS Radio in 2002 and has served as its president of digital media and integrated marketing since late 2007.

CBS says its Interactive Music Group will “complement” its existing CBS Interactive division, which primarily focus on technology and news; business; sports and games; and entertainment and lifestyle.

CBS Radio also powers AOL Radio and Yahoo! Launchcast Radio. Add those factors to the mix and CBS Interactive Music Group launches as an already-established online, music-delivery powerhouse.

Along with streaming music directly to listeners, CBS Interactive Music Group will also command “sideways” applications of its services, most notably as widgets enabling users to relay streams from their personal pages located at social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. In short, the new division wants to rule interactive radio on the Net.

“Our stations are better equipped than any of their competitors at delivering music enthusiasts a fully interactive on-air and online user experience,” said CBS Radio President / CEO Dan Mason. “With the power of CBS Interactive behind our efforts we will only get better. No other radio company has the caliber of resources of CBS and no other interactive company can own local radio like we do.”

Trent Reznor’s Apple Problem

In commercials for its famed Apps Store, Apple says there’s “an app for everything.” That is, unless you’re a Nine Inch Nails fan.

NIN’s Trent Reznor recently received an e-mail from Apple refusing to include the band’s iPhone app, called “NIN: Access,” for downloading from the App Store, saying:

“Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.”

The message, which Reznor posted in a forum on the band’s Web site, goes on to finger the song “The Downward Spiral” for having objectionable content.

But Reznor is the lord and master of, which means he always gets the last word. After chastising Apple for not precisely pinpointing what word or words the company found objectionable in “The Downward Spiral,” he points out iTunes had no problem selling an unedited Downward Spiral CD.

Reznor compares his App Store dilemma to WalMart’s old policy regarding CDs for which the retailer demanded “clean” versions to sell in stores, pointing out the store chain didn’t appear to have any qualms about selling DVDs of the movie “Scarface” or “Grand Theft: Auto” in the video game department.

“But you could literally turn around 180 degrees from where the NIN record would be and purchase the film ‘Scarface’ completely uncensored, or buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto where you can be rewarded for beating up prostitutes. How does that make sense?”

Reznor closes his less-than-complimentary shout-out to Apple by urging the company to get its “app approval scenario together.”

Apple has not responded to Reznor’s public complaints about App Store approval. However, “NIN: Access” was available as a free download less than 24 hours after Reznor took the company to task. Do you suppose Steve Jobs is a Nine Inch Nails fan? Maybe that’s why the Apple head always dresses in black.