MySpace has gotten its butt kicked by Facebook over the last year. So here’s an interesting move that could kick-start MySpace’s new strategy as an entertainment portal, and tweak Facebook at the same time.
MySpace is “close to acquiring popular social music service” iLike for around $20 million, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington reports. The deal should close this week, he says, and “details are still flying in.”
Update: PaidContent’s Rafat Ali confirms that the deal is real and that the price tag could be more than $20 million.
Either way, what’s next?
As MySpace’s new team tries to craft the site into an entertainment portal, it gets another huge music site. This in addition to MySpace itself, and its boring MySpace Music joint venture with labels. As Arrington notes, it’s important that MySpace — not the JV — is buying iLike. (Though we understand that MySpace Music will continue to operate as-is.) iLike has more than 50 million registered users.
MySpace chief product officer Jason Hirschhorn gets some help building out MySpace’s entertainment portal. Since MySpace doesn’t need help negotiating with labels, we assume that TechCrunch’s statement — that MySpace is buying the iLike founders and their technology, in addition to their userbase — is accurate.
MySpace now owns Facebook’s top music product. iLike has 9.6 million monthly active users on Facebook, and is the top music service on every other social networking service besides MySpace, according to Arrington. MySpace could also stick their brand on there, if it wanted to, which would strengthen itself as an entertainment service, vs. Facebook’s “social utility.” But anyway, music has never been as important to Facebook as photo sharing, casual games, or other apps. Which is why Facebook didn’t buy iLike.
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