RealTime IT News

Fox Snaps Up More Web 2.0

UPDATED: News Corporation dipped back into its $2 billion war chest to buy Newroo and kSolo.com, two sites that specialize in user-generated content.

For the company's Fox division, the buy is all about finding "early stage, technically savvy Web 2.0 companies," as Fox Interactive Media president Ross Levinsohn called the purchase in a statement. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Newroo offers users a content aggregator tool. kSolo.com is a user-generated music service that enables its community to create, share and rate their own recorded music and connect with others around shared tastes in music genre and style.

It may sound Web 2.0, but it also sounds like Fox is building up more of what has advertisers and publishers chasing Web inventory these days. After all, that's where youthful audiences can be found, gathering around communities and user-generated content.

The deal comes amid a big buildout of its network of sites within News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media (FIM) division, centered on entertainment, news, information and self-expression. The network includes Foxsports.com, Americanidol.com and Fox.com.

Fox's News Corporation acquired Intermix Media and its social-networking site, MySpace.com, for $580 million last year. The site has since exploded in popularity, growing by over 400 percent, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Last month, rumors circulated that media giant Viacom offered to buy Facebook, another popular social-networking site, reportedly for $2 billion, which Facebook reportedly turned down.

Weeks later, Facebook announced a third round of funding of $25 million.

Big numbers are floating around because old media has big fears about its future. The desirable 18-34 year-old market is moving online for its entertainment and advertisers are following. Last year, Internet ad revenues went up 30 percent.

Corrects prior version to indicate that Fox purchased MySpace.com last year.