MySpace Close To Buying Social Music Service iLike

MySpace is near to closing a $20 million deal to acquire the service, which tracks tastes and recommends music to its 50 million registered users.
MySpace is reportedly close to acquiring iLike, a social network for music lovers, for about $20 million.

The deal, expected to close this week, would bring under MySpace the most popular music application on Facebook, Bebo, Hi5 and many of the social networks, the blog TechCrunch, reported Monday, quoting multiple sources. ILike, which has 50 million registered users, tracks members tastes and recommends music. The site also hosts band pages.

Contacted by InformationWeek, a MySpace spokeswoman declined comment.

If completed, the acquisition would be the first under new MySpace Chief Executive Owen Van Natta, who took the helm in April. The deal would link MySpace to nearly 10 million Facebook users who also use iLike, TechCrunch reported. A key driver for the purchase is the iLike executive team and the site's underlying technology.

MySpace in June announced it would lay off about 30% of its workforce under a restructuring plan that would leave the site with 1,000 U.S. employees.

Owned by News Corp., MySpace executives acknowledged that site's staffing level were "bloated," and said the cuts were needed to return the site to an "environment of innovation that is centered on our user and our product."

Once the Web's largest social network, MySpace is now second to Facebook in number of visitors. MySpace grew in popularity, in part, through a focus on music, providing an effective environment for artists to communicate with fans.

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