Deals, Deal and Deals in the advertising, music, search and social networking!

Regular readers already know. Some nice dealflow last week.


It is monday morning and here is a complete update as far as we could track it. If you have more info, just inform us!

The advertising sector has been active also – French ad firm Publicis bought Performics Search Marketing from Google for an undisclosed sum, Microsoft’s Silverlight 2 and Google’s DoubleClick will broadcast online video coverage of the Olympics for US broadcaster NBC on nbcolympics.com, and Blinkx has bid USD40.3m for search ad network Miva in order to boost its advertising revenues. Finally, mobile ad firm Amobee Media Systems raised funding from investors including Motorola and Cisco, in a deal StrategyEye sees as a shrewd move for Motorola, enabling the firm to cut costs and branch out into China, and an equally beneficial one for Amobee, as it could result in a lucrative exclusivity deal with either firm in the near future.

The music sector has been active this week – Sony will gain full control of music company Sony BMG Music Entertainment after acquiring Bertelsmann’s 50% stake for approximately USD1.2bn.The new music company, renamed Sony Music Entertainment, will become a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. Mobile carrier O2 and Sony BMG launched a new online music store, MyPlay, aimed at O2’s mobile subscribers and, in the future, iTunes customers, Virgin Radio is in talks with all four major record labels about a planned music subscription service, and music streaming site Last.fm expanded its services in Japan with new content from Universal Music Group and music aggregators IODA, The Orchard, CD Baby and Naxos.

In search this week, Alisher Usmanov, owner of the Kommersant publishing group, is in negotiations to buy a 10% – 20% stake in Russia’s largest search engine, Yandex for between USD500m and USD1bn. In China, Google launched a music search engine offering access to free ad-supported downloads of licensed songs via partner site Top100.cn, and Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and other internet firms and human-rights organisations introduced a voluntary code of conduct for operating in China and other countries where web activity is restricted, according to the Wall Street Journal.

It has been a busy week in the social networking field. Facebook and LinkedIn are due to let staff sell a proportion of stock options at a fixed price to encourage staff loyalty. Friendster raised USD20m from IDG Ventures and hired former Google MD for South Asia, Richard Kimber, as its new CEO to strengthen its position in Asia, where Friendster enjoys its greatest popularity.In China, location based social network GyPSii partnered with handset maker Ramar International for technology, product and branding rights in a deal as providing the Finnish firm with a significant inroad into a potentially lucrative and as yet untapped location-based mobile social networking market. Virgin Mobile signed a deal to sponsor Bebo’s new online drama series The Secret World of Sam King, youth sports social network WePlay raised USD8.6m, and MySpace signed a wireless broadband deal with service provider The Cloud for an undisclosed sum, giving free Wi-Fi access to the social network in the UK.

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Published by Reinout te Brake

Reinout is a games investor and strategic business consultant specializing in the games industry. Reinout established his credentials through his own successful investments, start-ups, consulting and (advisory) board positions that led through time to strong bonds with key stakeholders in this fast paced industry. He is known for his outstanding results in the gaming industry. He has worked with many game studios around the globe and is therefore well known in the international gaming industry. Check out his games podcast; https://www.game-consultant.com

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