Google, Facebook Mull Acquisition of Vevo Stake (Report)

3:58 AM PST 05/31/2012 by Georg Szalai

The online music joint venture is exploring its options, which also include an IPO and a sale.

Online giants Google and Facebook are looking at a potential investment in online music joint venture Vevo that could be part of a broader advertising partnership with the music service, the New York Post reported Thursday.

Quoting sources, the paper said Google, led by CEO Larry Page, and social network Facebook, led by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have held talks with Vevo about acquiring a stake of unspecified size.

Vevo recently hired investment bank Allen & Co. to explore various options, including bringing in a new investor, selling outright or going public, according to the paper.

An investment could allow Vevo, a joint venture of Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Abu Dhabi Media, to fund an expansion onto further platforms and the purchase of additional music rights, according to the Post. It cited estimates that put Vevo's value at about $1 billion.

Vevo, led by CEO Rio Caraeff, currently has a deal with Google's YouTube to host its videos in exchange for about a third of the ad revenue. Vevo is hoping to reduce YouTube's ad revenue cut when the current agreement ends at the end of the year and has started talks with Facebook.

Vevo is YouTube’s top partner channel, attracting 48 million unique viewers in April, the Post said citing ComScore.

Representatives for Vevo and its backers declined to comment, the Post said. Google wasn’t available for comment. A Facebook spokeswoman told THR that the company doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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