March 5, 2008 / 2:09 AM / 10 years ago

Demand Media buys Pluck Corp

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Demand Media, run by former MySpace Chairman Richard Rosenblatt, said on Tuesday it has purchased Web media syndication company Pluck Corp, as part of an expansion of its Internet social media business.

A source familiar with the matter said the Pluck deal was valued at between $50 million to $60 million.

Reuters is a customer and minority investor in Pluck.

Pluck said it operates the world’s largest blog syndication network, called BlogBurst, that connects newspapers and other media sites to selected blogs.

“Pluck lets us spread social media across the Web,” Demand Media Chief Executive Rosenblatt said in an interview.

Rosenblatt left MySpace after News Corp’s 2005 purchase, and founded Demand Media.

Since 2006, Demand has acquired a collection of relatively unknown sites and relaunched them with social networking features and video capabilities that serve specific niche interests such as ExpertVillage.com that features “how-to” online videos.

In January, Rosenblatt’s company struck a deal with the Lance Armstrong Foundation to create, Livestrong.com, a social network for health and fitness.

Santa Monica-based Demand Media said in a statement it has raised over $350 million since 2006. Rosenblatt said the company generates about $150 million annually and is “very profitable.” Its network of sites has attracted 64 million monthly unique visitors, the company said.

Founded in 2003, Pluck has built up a portfolio of media clients aiming to add its service to their Web sites. These clients include media conglomerate News Corp, world affairs and business media website, Economist.com, Gannett Co Inc and The Washington Post Co.

Pluck also offers SiteLife, a set of Web services for media publishers and broadcasters to add interactive features to their own sites.

Pluck’s other investors include venture capital firms Mayfield Fund and Austin Ventures. Digital media blog paidContent.org said Pluck has attracted about $17 million in funding. Reuters invested about $7 million in 2006.

Reporting by Kenneth Li, editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Carol Bishopric

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