Nielsen Entertainment Research reports that music labels keep about 34 cents from each 99-cent music track sold through a-la-carte music services.

Approximately 31 cents goes to the seller, such as Apple Computer's (AAPL) iTunes Music Store, and about 34 cents is paid out for rights and royalties, the research firm determined in a study of the market for on-demand programming.

The economics of video downloads are similar. "Assuming the 70/30 split, the $1.39 net to the content owner is virtually identical to what a commercial-free episode of a TV series generates from a DVD box set," Nielsen said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen is a division of VNU NV (VNUVY) .

There is no question that on-demand is the wave of the future, Nielsen said. "The issue is how to best monetize the opportunity and understand the underlying economic models." The concept of "consumer as programmer" is a challenge for businesses, Nielsen said.

HowStuffWorks.com Draws Millions From Icahn

The founder of WebMD, a medical information site, said his newest venture has drawn "tens of millions" of dollars from investor Carl Icahn. The site includes explanations and descriptions of products and processes such as how hollow chocolate Easter rabbits are made and how global positioning systems work. Jeff Arnold, chairman and chief executive of HowStuffWorks.com, said Icahn's level of involvement has made him a "significant" shareholder in the company. Arnold also announced that the site has inked exclusive content guides giving it online publishing rights to both Consumer Guide and the Mobil Travel Guide.

New Yorkers Work the Web Ahead of Transit Strike

It's no longer uncommon after a major news event to read how the Internet covered the story. Amid uncertainty about the New York transit system's labor negotiations, the Internet has become a resource for people who like to plan before something happens. The "transit" discussion area on Craigslist.org has become a popular place for people to seek rides to work, in case buses and subways stop running, CNet pointed out. The New York Times Co.'s (NYT) About.com New York sections published "how to survive" guides detailing places where carpools can be formed, and contingency plans by railroads and the city government. Both the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us) and the Transport Workers Union () are using the Internet to alert commuters.