Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The Rest of MOG Finds a Home: Radio Chain Townsquare Buys Ad Network

In July, headphone-maker Beats bought MOG’s music streaming service. But it didn’t buy all of MOG — the company still operated a Web ad network focused on music blogs.

Now that has been sold, too. Radio chain Townsquare Media has picked up the MOG Music Network, according to multiple people familiar with the transaction.

No comment from MOG or Townsquare, but I’m told Townsquare, which owns radio stations in 51 markets, paid around $10 million for the ad net.

The ad network used MOG’s own site as a base, and then repped hundreds of small music sites as well. ComScore says the network has 30 million unique visitors worldwide and 14 million in the U.S.

Traffic was up more than 450 percent in the last year, presumably because of Facebook’s “frictionless sharing” campaign, which pushed lots of new visitors to the streaming service.

This deal makes sense from the outside. In addition to its radio properties, Townsquare also owns a network of music Web sites, most of which support its stations. But it has been trying to build that business out for a while.

Two years ago it hired Bill Wilson, a digital media veteran who had most recently been at AOL. Wilson then hired several of his old AOL co-workers and put them to work building out new sites.

It’s also good news for MOG’s investors, who put around $30 million into the music company. The deal won’t make them whole, but combined with the $14 million-plus they got for the streaming music service, it gets them pretty close.

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— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”