Jupitermedia records string of acquisitions in online music, imagery

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Jupitermedia’s recent acquisition of is the latest move by the online media company to position itself as a major player in the field of digitized royalty-free music and electronic imagery.

This year the company has acquired a bevy of niche properties to expand its online content. The deal to buy includes a music library with more than 1,100 tracks of royalty-free themes, underscores, voice-overs, beats, loops and bumpers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition of followed Jupitermedia’s purchase in April of the assets of Steve Shapiro Music, which includes a music library with more than 2,200 royalty-free music themes encompassing most every musical genre. In March, Jupitermedia bought Crank City Music, which owns more than 1,300 royalty-free music themes.

The music clips are generally in the 15- to 60-second range. They can be accessed through any of the major online search engines, such as Goggle or Yahoo!, by plugging in keywords associated with the musical genre.

All told, Jupitermedia has about 5,200 tracks of music spanning almost 50 different musical genres. The company is currently compiling all of the tracks on its Web site. In the early fall, it will relaunch a redesigned site under the brand and later this year will start to integrate the selling of images and music. In addition to its music clip holdings, Jupitermedia owns about 700,000 online images.

With the March sale of JupiterResearch to MCG Capital Corp. for $10.1 million and the 2005 sale of its search-engine strategies trade show division to Incisive Media for $42 million, Jupiter has been able to focus on boosting its digital content.

“The model is to dominate niche services and, through the W, sell them in many different forms and varieties,” said Alan Meckler, chairman-CEO of Jupitermedia. “The use of images and music online is going to grow almost exponentially, and Web sites in the future will be the first place every company markets itself.”

Meckler expects b-to-b publishers—particularly those in the legal and travel markets—to have an increasing appetite for online images and royalty-free music. “There’s no limit to how images can be used across a variety of topics,” he said. “B-to-b publishers will be no different than any other group in selectively using images and music in appropriate areas on Web sites to help make the user’s Web experience more enjoyable.”

Jon Schaaf, media director at ad agency HSR Business to Business, said the b-to-b market for online images and music, while modest now, will eventually burgeon. “Once b-to-b advertisers see more value of using more broadband in their marketing messages, you’ll see a higher migration for these types of services,” he said.

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