Tuesday, May 08, 2007

News Corp Needs a Bucket to Quench Its Thirst for Acquisition -- a Photobucket That Is!

First, Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. make a multi-billion dollar play for Dow Jones.

Then, Dow Jones' very own Wall Street Journal (page B4) today reports that News Corp's MySpace.com has signed a preliminary deal to acquire Photobucket.com -- the photo-sharing web site -- for approximately $250 million in cash. Interestingly, the apparent deal -- which is still reportedly in early stages -- follows closely on the heals of MySpace having briefly blocked Photobucket's services from its site for "encouraging users to embed advertising on MySpace profile pages."

Hmm, interesting strategic play by Photobucket -- first, be a little irritating (like an annoying commercial jingle -- remember the Seinfeld episode, "Co-stan-za" to the tune of "Buy Mennen"?), but then be impossible to shake! This deal would mark Peter Levinsohn's (President of Fox Interactive Media) second acquisition while at the helm, having previously acquired Strategic Data Corp. in February.

News Corp. certainly is busy in more than reporting the news ... Murdoch's team is being fair and balanced in its acquisition strategy.

The Long Tail Lives -- Good for Consumers & for Artists

Today's Los Angeles Times features a compelling article showcasing the power of the long tail -- in this case, the "digital renaissance" experienced by popular musical artists of yore (such as Frankie Avalon) as a result of the Internet, iTunes, Napster and others. Such artists -- previously relegated to the discount bins of music stores -- now are seeing a resurgence on the Internet as a result of recommendation engines, music discovery, and plain old serendipity.

The article prominently features Digital Music Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: DMGI), on whom's Board I sit -- DMGI is a global leader in digital media content and owner of, among other things, digital rights to the Chancellor Records catalog (with Avalon).