MySpace will pay $300 million to acquire Photobucket, one of the Web’s largest photo- and video-sharing sites.
Photobucket boasts about 14.7 million monthly unique visitors, compared to MySpace’s 55.9 million. There’s a lot of overlap in userbases, though, meaning MySpace will only gain a few million extra unique visitors.
But the uniques aren’t the point. It’s the growth in page views and video streams that MySpace is after. That, and enforcing the continuing relevance of MySpace, which is constantly threatened by newer/better/faster social networks, by incorporating sites and features that compete for its users’ time. If you’re a Photobucket and a MySpace user, it just became extremely onerous to switch to a new network.
In buying Photobucket, News Corp. is following the same strategy that Google employed when considering a YouTube purchase. Google knew that video would only become more important to Web users; if more people were searching for video, that meant more search pages (and more results pages) on which to sell ads.
Google, which last year struck a three-year rev share ad deal with MySpace, comes out a winner in this News Corp. purchase, too. They get to serve more ads on more MySpace pages. Come time to extend that deal to video ads, Google could be sitting pretty.