Sony Gobbles Grouper for $65 Million

You’d think they’d learn, but Big Media has opened its checkbook for a new-fangled Internet whatsit one more time. Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today that it has acquired online video-sharing site Grouper for $65 million. Grouper claims to be the second-largest user-generated video community on the Intenret—number one would be the broadband-busting YouTube—and offers the ability for users to share, edit, and organize video, plus ownload them to portable devices like iPods and PSP handheld deices.

Sony says the Grouper acquisition is a strategic move in line with Sony’s efforts to make Sony entertainment and content accessible to consumers across a wide variety of platforms and channels. Grouper’s management will stay intact at their current Sausalito, California location, and that the company has no immediate plans for changes to the Grouper site. Sony Pictures Entertainment’s chairman and CEO Michael Lynton also noted his studio is always interested in finding new ideas and talent for movies, TV shows, and games: “A site like Grouper allows people to showcase their creativity to a vast audience. It’s like a virtual, global audition, and a great source of entertainment.”

“When you pair Grouper’s innovative video sharing platform on the web and the desktop with Sony’s connected devices and copyrighted media you create a dynamic and exciting environment for consumers,” said Grouper CEO and co-founder Josh Felser. “We have an opportunity, as part of the Sony family, to bring together user-generated and copyrighted content across platforms and devices for the first time.”

[Answer: One of of the possible synergies between Sony and Grouper. Question: What are Alex Trebecks’ behind-the-scenes-at-Jeopardy cell phone movies?]

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