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Digital Media Revenue Set for Explosion

With entertainment giants having woken up to the online and other new business opportunities, digital revenue could grow as much as 40 percent on a compound annual basis between 2005 and 2010 for sector biggies, Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen said in a report Wednesday. Time Warner has a leg up on its peers in the field, but News Corp. is aggressively investing, and Viacom Inc. and the Walt Disney Co. also are increasingly looking for ways to expand in the digital space, the report found. This means that overall, the financial impact for the big entertainment players could become significant during the next three to five years, the report suggests. In presenting her report to attendees of the annual Merrill Lynch Media & Entertainment conference in Pasadena, Calif., Reif Cohen said that estimating the market opportunity remains difficult as companies have so far disclosed few financials about their digital businesses.

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