MySpace has purchased music based social networking site iLike for an estimated $20 million. The sites will continue to operate separately but will begin sharing technology, such as iLike’s search capabilities, syndication network and discovery tools. MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta says the acquisition is about technical talent, as well as promoting MySpace across the broader social web.
Brothers Ali and Hadi Partovi founded iLike in 2006. It eventually grew to be the largest music application across all social networks with 55 million total users and 1.5 billion monthly impressions. The Partovis will stay on at the company.
In related MySpace news, the company expects to save a significant amount of money in licensing fees by turning off the feature that makes music play automatically whenever the site is visited. Reports say the company is spending around $10 million a month on paid streaming of songs, with autoplays accounting for a billion or more streams per month. It is expected that stopping this feature will give artist handlers more accurate listening data. Some users and MySpace execs saw this as one of the site’s distinguishing features. Accordingly, users can still opt-in to autoplay songs.