AOL in talks to acquire Bebo:
AOL has entered into an agreement to acquire Bebo for US$850 million in cash, but the deal could upset Yahoo!7’s Australian ad-sales partnership with the third-ranked social networking site.
Bebo grew its worldwide monthly audience 76% to 22 million in the year to January 2008, but still lags far behind Facebook’s 100 million visitors (up 305% year-on-year) and MySpace’s 109 million visitors (up 15% year-on-year), according to international online measurement firm comScore. (read more at AdNews)
Little fishies, little fishies, swim faster. Big ol’ sharks are circling. 😛 When they say “cash” they don’t mean a suitcase full, right? They mean, not shares, not options, not a cheque? Ok, I’m joking. Honest!
But the deal could be bad news for Yahoo!7’s plans to establish its own ad network. Bebo was Yahoo!7’s first partner site, signing a deal in November last year that effectively doubled Yahoo!7’s available ad inventory. Yahoo!7 has since entered into a similar partnership with Walt Disney Internet Group and has at least two more partnerships coming on board in the next week or two. (read more at AdNews)
This line at the end caught my eye:
As much as US$4.1 billion will be spent worldwide on social network advertising, according to eMarketer, up dramatically on the estimated US$480 million spent in 2006. This year, ad spend on social networks is predicted to rise 75% to US$2.1 billion.
yay! a new place to advertise, yay! /sarcasm Remember, the other big players that don’t get mentioned, like the SKTelecom Cyworld (80% of Koreans are members) don’t have any advertising at all, and they have more members than Facebook. And greater revenue than those with a purely advertising model.
Gonna go pack.