NEW YORK – News Corp.'s (NWS) Fox Interactive Media said on Thursday it has purchased interactive advertising technology company Strategic Data Corp. to help it improve the way marketers advertise to its members.
The owner of popular online social network MySpace said Strategic Data Corp.'s technology would help Fox automatically match ads with users who are most likely to respond to them.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
"We're hoping through the use of this technology, we'll substantially increase the value of our performance revenue," Fox Interactive Media President Peter Levinsohn said in a phone interview.
The closely watched division of News Corp. put a new shine on the global media conglomerate after the 2005 acquisition of MySpace, purchased for $580 million as part of Rupert Murdoch's $2 billion acquisition program.
News Corp. has used about $1.3 billion of the program, but said Fox was "not tracking against a specific number."
Levinsohn said the company was interested in considering deals like this one that add new tools to help it better "monetize," or generate more revenue, from existing business.
Fox is also interested in new user applications that keep members glued to the service, he said, without giving details.
"We're more focused on building a business," he said. "If there are toolsets or more applications, we'll be very aggressive."
Levinsohn did not rule out "opportunistic" acquisitions that may not add specific new features to existing businesses, but would add new companies to its portfolio. "We're still in that business as well," he said.
MySpace attracted 90 million unique monthly visitors globally in December, with about 60 million coming from the U.S. market, according to comScore Media Metrics.
Fox Interactive Media, which also owns video game site IGN and AmericanIdol.com, has been one of the most closely watched units of News Corp.
The deluge of members and traffic at Fox Interactive properties has made advertising to such a large and diverse audience a complicated task, News Corp. executives have said.
Fox currently relies on some third parties for so-called performance-based advertising, but has shifted much of those duties internally, which boosts profit margins on its advertising business.
Last year, Fox signed a deal with Google Inc. (GOOG) that calls for Google to make a minimum of $900 million in revenue share payments, based on Fox achieving certain traffic targets and meeting other commitments.
FOXNews.com is owned and operated by News Corporation, which also owns and operates MySpace.com and Fox Interactive Media.