MySpace buying online music sensation iLike

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Aug 19, 2009 at 5:31 PM EDT

MySpace on Wednesday announced it is buying online music discovery hotspot iLike and plans to expand the service to other forms of entertainment such as games and films.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but technology blogs claiming inside sources have valued the deal at approximately 20 million dollars.

"The iLike acquisition advances our relentless pursuit of innovation and the need to create new distributed social experiences in music and beyond," said MySpace chief executive Owen Van Natta.

Since being founded two years ago by brothers Ali and Hadi Partovi, iLike has become a favorite way for people to find new music, live performances, and concert tickets.

People can visit iLike's eponymous website or install the Seattle startup's applications at Apple's online iTunes shop or social networks including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, hi5 and Orkut.

ILike reports having 55 million users.

MySpace expects to close the iLike deal quickly and said there are no plans to yank the service from arch-rival Facebook.

"ILike is a great application across many social networks and we expect to extend that," Van Natta said during a conference call with reporters.

ILike will remain based in Seattle and its technology will be integrated deeper into MySpace, according to Van Natta.

MySpace indicated it is eager to apply iLike discovery and sharing technology to other areas of entertainment such as videogames and film.

"It?s a humbling moment for Ali and me," the brothers wrote in a message posted at iLike's website.

"Having built the most popular music services on the other social networks, we never imagined that we?d someday team up with MySpace, and we?re excited to see what we can accomplish as one team."

The iLike.com website and applications will continue to operate as they always have "except that we?ll be working to make them even better in the weeks and months to come," the brothers wrote.

ILike said it will continue testing a service selling digital music downloads and its goal is to eventually enable people to "impulse buy in-page" from anywhere they can access the Internet.

News Corp-owned MySpace has focused on connecting music makers and song lovers since being eclipsed last year by Facebook as the world's most popular social-networking service.

Earlier this year MySpace announced it was slashing its domestic staff by nearly 30 percent and reducing its international staff from 450 employees to approximately 150 employees.




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