MySpace Founder Acquires Video Site Revver.com - InformationWeek

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MySpace Founder Acquires Video Site Revver.com

Revver.com has tried to build a business around amateur and professionally created videos free of copyright infringement.

Online entertainment network LiveUniverse, led by MySpace founder Brad Greenspan, said Tuesday it has bought video site Revver.com, which has tried to build a business around the sharing of video free of copyright infringement. Financial details were not disclosed.

LiveUniverse, parent company of LiveVideo.com, plans to operate Revver as a separate property. The sites, however, would share advertising sales and customer service operations. LiveVideo posts video that people stream live from their computers.

Revver has tried to build a business around amateur and professionally created videos. The site, which carries only videos free of copyright infringement, shares advertising revenue with video creators and sites that embed the content in Web pages. Revver has developed technology to tract the number of views within its network.

The acquisition reflects the difficulty startups have in making money on online video under the shadow of Google-owned YouTube, which dominates the market. In a blow to Revver investors, LiveUniverse paid less than $5 million for the company, according to the Wall Street Journal, quoting anonymous sources. Revver investors had spent $12.75 million on the Los Angeles company.

In a statement, however, LiveUniverse said Revver was growing quickly in 2006, but hit a snag the next year when MySpace, for competitive reasons, blocked Revver's video player from working on the social network, thereby taking away a potential revenue stream. MySpace took the action after members started embedding the Revver player on their profiles.

Greenspan launched MySpace in August 2003. The site was acquired by News Corp. nearly two years later. Revver hosts more than 40 million monthly video streams, while LiveVideo has more than 200,000 users a day, according to LiveUniverse.

In December, Google video sites, which are mostly comprised of YouTube, accounted for 3.3 billion videos viewed in the United States, making Google the largest online video service with a share of 32.6%, according to ComScore. Fox Interactive Media was a distant second with 358 million videos viewed, or 3.5% of the market, and Yahoo third with 340 million views, or 3.4% of the market. Nearly 141 million U.S. Internet users watched more than 10 billion videos during the month.

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