Earlier today, News Corp (NWS) social network MySpace announced it acquired music-recommendation app-maker iLike.
Below, we’ve pasted MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta’s memo announcing the buy to MySpace employees.
The memo makes two key points, echoed in MySpace’s press conference earlier today.
- This acquisition is as much about hiring iLike’s talent as it is buying its tech and business.
- MySpace will use iLike’s recommendation engine to recommend new games and video as well as new music.
The memo, originally obtained by MediaMemo:
I’m pleased to announce this morning that MySpace has entered into an agreement to acquire iLike.
iLike is a social music discovery service that in just two years has become the largest, most comprehensive music application across all social networks. With 55 million users and 1.5 billion monthly impressions, their growth speaks directly to the usability of the product, the technology behind it, and the great team that built it.
One of the great things about MySpace is that its openness enables discovery – we’re going to take that strategy one step forward by also allowing users to experience content on the distributed Web.
On MySpace, users connect with the content they love in a centralized and social environment. On iLike, users can access the content they love in a highly distributed environment across their favourite websites. This shared vision around content distribution is a key component to the future of MySpace.
What the iLike team has done with music is applicable to all of the areas that are important to MySpace users today such as entertainment, video, and games. Because we view the opportunities of this acquisition beyond the music category, MySpace Inc. will be making this acquisition separate and apart from the MySpace Music joint venture.
The company’s current management – CEO Ali Partovi, President Hadi Partovi, and CTO Nat Brown – will continue to lead iLike’s future. I’ve known Hadi and Ali for almost 10 years and the two of them, along with Nat are talented entrepreneurs with a strong track record for building world class product.
Just to give you a sense of their history and professional achievements:
· Ali established himself as an entrepreneur by co-founding LinkExchange, which started as the web’s first and largest banner-advertising network and grew to become the web’s largest small-business portal before being acquired by Microsoft in 1998. In 2002, Ali became CEO of Garageband.com and then iLike.
· Hadi co-founded Tellme Networks, a leading provider of voice/telephone technology and services, where he ran product and technology, and later spearheaded the company’s shift from consumer services to enterprise call-centre automation for AT&T, FedEx, and E*TRADE. Tellme Networks was acquired by Microsoft in 2007. Both acquisitions (LinkExchange and TellMe) rank as two of Microsoft’s biggest deals to date. Hadi was also an original group program manager for Internet Explorer, a general manager of MSN.com, and he incubated Start.com (now Live.com).
· Nat has a deep and respected history as an early architect at Microsoft. He rapidly earned a reputation as one of Microsoft’s foremost technical minds by creating and evangelizing the ActiveX/COM object model in the early 90s. He went on to play a seminal role in the creation of XML, DHTML, and as a primary architect of the first XBox. After retiring from Microsoft, he served briefly as CTO at CAC Media and has informally advised numerous startups.
In addition to this great management team, iLike has 26 employees in various technical and business functions including a market leading development team that will join MySpace. iLike will remain headquartered in Seattle but our teams will be working very closely. I’m excited to see the great things that come out of the collaboration between our management teams, employees, and cultures.
We have an all-company meeting next week and I look forward to seeing everyone and answering any questions you might have.
Please join me in welcoming Ali, Hadi, Nat and everyone at iLike to MySpace.
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