Owen Van Natta, the Chief Executive Officer of MySpace, has confirmed reports that MySpace has purchased music centered social networker iLike. Sources put the purchase price at a recession battered $20 million. "iLike users and the artist community should expect the iLike experience to be unaffected by the acquisition," MySpace said in a statement. iLike will remain headquartered in Seattle.
(FINAL UPDATE) The purchase is not part of the MySpace Music partnership with the four major labels so that the iLike's technology "can be used across the entire MySpace system". During a conference call today, Van Natta suggested that the iLike acquisition was about technical talent, as well as, spreading MySpace across the broader social web.
The MySpace CEO stated that iLike would continue to operate as an autonomous company. He also pointed to iLike's "superior" music search function as an example of the tech that would be spread across both platforms.
Van Natta side-stepped a question as to how Facebook might react to its top music application now being owned by its #1 competitor, by saying that he expected the "social networking community to embrace the fact the iLike was poised to offer an even richer experience".
“The iLike acquisition advances our relentless pursuit of innovation and the need to create new distributed social experiences in music and beyond,” said Owen Van Natta, Chief Executive Officer of MySpace. “We are deeply committed to bringing world class talent into all areas of the company and this acquisition demonstrates our focus on this objective.”
“MySpace’s strengths have been a long-time source of inspiration for iLike,” said Hadi Partovi, President of iLike. “Combining MySpace’s existing platform, reach and resources with iLike’s syndication network and social discovery tools creates the potential for truly exciting innovation and commerce across any vertical entertainment category -- our combined assets now span all the major social networks. I'm enthusiastic about what this combination will mean for our users, artists, advertisers, and our staff. We are beginning an exciting new journey together.”