News Corp. approaches Vevo about potential Myspace joint venture
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As News Corp. aggressively explores its options for Myspace, another name has surfaced in connection with its efforts to offload the struggling social network.
New York investment bank Allen & Co. approached music website Vevo about a potential sale and, when rebuffed, proposed exploring a joint venture, a person with knowledge of the matter confirmed. It is unclear how Myspace would combine with Vevo, which streams music videos and has emerged as the second-most popular Internet video site. Discussions are still exploratory, the person said.
A News Corp. spokeswoman declined to comment. A Vevo spokeswoman could not immediately be reached.
The talks were first reported by Bloomberg News. Vevo is owned by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media Co. Sony and Universal are also investors in Myspace Music, on which fans can listen to and buy music, read news and check out concert dates.
News Corp. retained Allen & Co. to evaluate offers for Myspace in hopes of reaching a deal by June, Bloomberg reports. Several names have been mentioned as being in early-stage talks to explore the purchase of the social network, including Myspace co-founder Chris DeWolfe.
Uncertainty about its future, and declines in monthly users, have made it difficult for Myspace to attract advertisers. Ad revenue is expected to fall to $184 million this year, down 36% from 2010, according to new estimates by eMarketer.
-- Dawn C. Chmielewski