MySpace goes to Murdoch’s News Corporation

News Corp to buy Intermix for $580 million on Yahoo! News: “News Corp. on Monday said it would buy Intermix Media Inc., owner of the popular MySpace.com social networking site, for $580 million in a move to expand the media conglomerate’s Internet offerings.”

Absolutely stunning, and thrillingly, good news to happen in the online social networking and blogging space. A lot has been said on this deal so I’ll make my own thoughts brief.

News Corp. is buying Intermix Media, which separately announced today it would buy the 47% of closely-held MySpace Inc. it did not already own, solely for its MySpace property. MySpace.com generated 15.5 million unique visitors in May 2005 and was the 38th most visited Web property, according to ComScore Media Metrix. That’s almost as many as its parent company, Intermix, which had 16.4 million unique visitors across the rest of its sprawling array of Web sites and Intermix ranked 32nd. So, simply put: MySpace was almost as popular of the combined sites of its parent, which is some serious traffic. Because of its viral nature and the fact people put out vast amounts of their personal information online to the public on their profile pages, it’s sure to please advertisers which covet that key 18-34 demographic, which is even harder to reach than the broader but equally popular 18-49. Together, Intermix and MySpace combined are a Top 10 Web property so I would say $580 million in cash is more than reasonable for the company formerly known as eUniverse, Inc., and bled huge amounts of money when online advertising dollars dried up after the dot-com crash, was the subject of a bitter proxy war of words with its former CEO and significant shareholder, and managed to survive it all and is now said to be hugely profitable.

Murdoch’s News Corp. also wants MySpace because it has been hugely successful for both up and coming musical artists looking to freely tout and their indie compositions to the world but also for established recording label-backed artists such as the Black Eyed Peas or R.E.M. News Corp. owns a recording company (or several) and by being able to own the medium in which people listen to, buy, and download music will prove immensely popular and valuable.

Separately, both Intermix CEO Richard Rosenblatt, a turnaround artist, and MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe will retain their positions post-acquisition and join Fox Interactive Media, led by Ross Levinsohn, the companies said.

Other companies within the Intermix fold include: Alena, a company that produces, sells, and markets (through MySpace and other Intermix properties) products such as wrinkle reduction cream, weight loss and body toning cream, and a veterinary supplement designed to make dog food more “tasty and nutritious” and Intermix Network. Within Intermix Network, the Web properties include: gaming and entertainment site Grab.com, which includes GameRival; FlowGlo which offers cartoons, jokes, parodies, crossword puzzles, and other viral content; MadBlast; SmilePop; greeting e-card sites PerfectGreetings, CastleMountains.com, and FunnyGreetings; inspirational self-help sites Self Network and Quick Inspirations; and, last but not least, CoolQuiz.com. It had sold private-label online gaming distributor SkillJam to SkillJam Technologies Corporation, a U.S.-based wholly-owned subsidiary of FUN Technologies PLC, a British corporation that trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under symbol “FUN”.

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