Sunday, August 23, 2009

MySpace buys social music service iLike

Social networking firm MySpace announced it has agreed to acquire iLike, a music recommendation service that's the most popular music application used by members of rival Facebook.

MySpace Chief Executive Officer Owen Van Natta said the Beverly Hills firm plans to extend iLike's scope beyond music to other forms of digital entertainment, including film and video games.

"We believe what iLike has created isn't limited to just music,'' Van Natta said in a conference call to reporters.

Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed, although published reports have valued the deal at close to $20 million.

Slumping MySpace is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. MySpace, which cut 30 percent of its workforce earlier this year, has slipped behind Palo Alto's Facebook in popularity.

Launched in 2006, iLike has 55 million registered users across several social network platforms. Through iLike, users can share playlists, buy songs and find concert tickets.

The 26-employee company will remain headquartered in Seattle and founders Ali Partovi, Hadi Partovi and Nat Brown will stay with the firm.

"By joining forces with MySpace, we think we can provide an unmatched social music platform to help you discover music and connect with your favorite artists," the Partovi brothers wrote on the iLike company blog.

With the deal, Van Natta said the company can focus "on areas where MySpace has been strongest. "Music and entertainment are a very important part of people's lives,'' he said.

He also said he expected Facebook and other social networks to be "thrilled'' by the deal. There was no immediate comment from Facebook.

UPDATE: Here's a statement from Facebook:

iLike was one of the first applications built on Facebook Platform and has become a success with more than 10 million monthly active users. We expect that users will continue to discover and share music through the iLike application on Facebook. We look forward to working with the iLike team to make music a great social experience on Facebook and across the Web.

Read more: SFGate.Com

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