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CBS Acquires Social Music Site

  • BBC News, Wednesday, May 30, 2007 11 AM
Continuing its digital push, CBS Corp. today announced the acquisition of the UK-based Last.fm for $280 million. Last.fm is a social music site that connects users with similar music tastes, helping them find new music, build their own collaborative radio stations and watch music video clips. It was founded in the UK five years ago, and now has more than 15 million active users.

Last.fm founding member Martin Stiksel said an alliance with such a major media player would help the site put "every track ever recorded and every music video ever made onto Last.fm." As part of the deal, the Last.fm management team will remain in place, and the site will retain its brand--although CBS might want to think about a new name.

What does the move do for CBS? CEO Les Moonves said Last.fm figures largely into the company's push to syndicate content. The company's demo also hit the media giant's target audience. CBS could make its new social network into a MySpace competitor by integrating CBS media content (like radio broadcasting) with its existing offerings.

The Last.fm acquisition is the latest in a string of disparate digital moves for CBS Digital this year, which include the launch of the CBS Interactive Network, an investment in virtual world content creator Electric Sheep Co. and the acquisition of the quirky Wall Street-oriented news show, "Wallstrip."

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