America's CBS Pays $280m for UK Online Music Service

01 June 2007

NEW YORK: In a bid to boost its waning audience of younger adult viewers, US TV network CBS is in process of acquiring London-based online music service for a reported $280 million (€208.66m; £141.79m)., which boasts over 15 million users across more than 200 countries, enables fans with similar tastes in music to interact. It also recommends songs by tracking users' music-playing habits and linking them to other fans with similar tastes.

According to CBS head of digital services Quincy Smith, he intends to use's technology to build new communities for online videos, among which will be the broadcaster's own archive of hit shows.

Smith, in rah-rah mode, compares the significance of the acquisition with that of MySpace by News Corporation. "We're emulating what Fox did with MySpace," he says. "There are a lot of super-cool, whiz-bang applications [] have that I can't wait to apply to other parts of the business."

The deal follows-through from the network's creation in April of CBS Interactive Audience Network - a platform intended to boost audiences and interaction with viewers; also to provide an online distribution outlet for the parent company's content.

Launched in the UK in 2002,'s audience base is primarily in the United States, Britain, Germany, Poland, Brazil and Japan.

Says CBS ceo Leslie Moonves: "Their demographics play perfectly to CBS's goal to attract younger viewers and listeners across our businesses."

Data sourced from USA Today/Reuters; additional content by WARC staff