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Summary:

It’s a good morning to be a social media web startup. First Fox Interactive Media sends out a release officially announcing it’s buying both photo sharing site Photobucket and slide show widget creator Flektor. Then CBS announces that it’s bought music social network Last.fm for $280 […]

It’s a good morning to be a social media web startup. First Fox Interactive Media sends out a release officially announcing it’s buying both photo sharing site Photobucket and slide show widget creator Flektor. Then CBS announces that it’s bought music social network Last.fm for $280 million.

Whoa, media sharing madness. While FIM didn’t disclose terms of its deals, Photobucket has been rumored to have gone for $250 million and TechCrunch says Flektor is in the $10 to $20 million range.

Peter Levinsohn, President of Fox Interactive Media, told us in a phone conversation Wednesday that Photobucket and Flektor are part of the company’s growth and monetization strategy, along with FIM’s recent acquisition of Strategic Data

“Photobucket is a stand-alone destination that has real value outside MySpace. Flektor is an easy to use photo- and video-editing tool that is going to enhance MySpace and other properties like American Idol,” said Levinsohn.

When asked about Facebook, he added, “I think MySpace has grown by 6 million uniques since January and we are growing from a big base. We are conscious of Facebook’s growth and we are three times the size.”

Levinsohn told Om in a previous interview that the company was looking to make a series of smaller acquisitions working on filling holes and monetizing. Looks like he wasn’t kidding.

CBS has been buying up its share of web properties lately, too. Liz confirmed last week that the company had bought online video show Wallstrip for a price in the single-digit millions.

Last.fm and Photobucket, which both have large loyal communities, are quick to reassure their users that being sold to corporate networks won’t change the day to day experience.

From Photobucket’s blog:

First and foremost, we expect nothing to change in our day-to-day operations. After the transaction is closed and finalized, the plan is to operate Photobucket as an independent, standalone company within FIM.

From Last.fm’s blog:

OH NOES UR SELLIN MY SCROBBLES!!1!! — Don’t panic. The openness of our platform and our approach to privacy won’t change.

We’ll add more details and thought pieces throughout the day.

  1. And I’m closing my Last.fm account. Thanks for the heads up!

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  2. CBS’s acquisition of Last.fm shouldn’t just be shrugged off, it should really be looked at closely. I think it is the start of a trend. I’d bet down the road in a few months we’ll start seeing their label’s artists pop up a lot more frequently. I’m sure its even bigger than that… probably looking to use Last.fm’s name brand to build out their iTunes competition.

    I’ll keep an eye out for your upcoming post about NBC Universal buying Pandora.

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  3. [...] by Om Malik Friday, June 1, 2007 at 2:00 AM PT | No comments Why did CBS decide to spend $280 million to buy Last.fm, a UK-based music community that faces many challengers, and other risks such as the rapidly [...]

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  4. [...] News Corp has just acquired Photobucket in a strategic move to monetize its MySpace asset. My prior writings leading up to this acquisition are below: [...]

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  5. [...] flurry of acquisitions last week once again exponentially boosted my motivation although I also worry about how long the [...]

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  6. [...] otherwise what is the point,” CBS Interactive President Quincy Smith told us when his company bought Last.fm for $280 million. “In the end that is what we are buying. I think we want to do some minor grafts with the [...]

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  7. [...] written about here, or at the mother ship, GigaOM. (For example: Club Penguin by Disney, also here; Photobucket by Fox Interactive; and StumbleUpon by eBay). Steve includes links to many other useful stories on [...]

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  8. [...] for other websites including MySpace, eBay, and other large sites. Press Release | TechCrunch | GigaOm | Mashable | [...]

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