News Corp Not Interested in Buying Yahoo

Fox Interactive Media collected $233 million in revenues in Q2 2008, up 87 percent over the same period last year. FIM parent News Corporation touted strong growth in search ad revenues, as well as higher CPM rates garnered through its HyperTargeting ad platform.

News Corp is among a handful of companies floated as potential Yahoo suitors, following Microsoft’s bold $44.6 billion offer for the struggling Web firm. Asked about the possibility of a News Corp bid for Yahoo, chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said, “We’re definitely not going to make a bid for Yahoo.” We’re not really interested at this stage.”

As for whether News Corp is considering an AOL purchase, Murdoch response was curt: “That’s an even easier question. No,” he said.

Approximately $60 million of FIM’s revenues were derived through its multi-year deal with Google, the exclusive provider of search results and paid listings on FIM including MySpace, IGN.com, and Gamespy.com.

“We improved our working relationship over the past year with Google,” said Peter Chernin, News Corp president and COO.

The company’s relatively-new HyperTargeting offering, used to target ads to MySpace users, contributed to momentum in Q2, according to Chernin. “Advertisers are beginning to understand and see the value of social networking,” he added, noting, “e-CPMs were up close to 50 percent, and advertisers using this [type of targeting] are spending twice as much.”

FIM expanded its HyperTargeting platform for display ads in November, along with adding several new audience segments. The goal has been to refine audience segmentation in the hopes of driving higher CPM rates for display ads. MySpace has admitted those rates typically have been low because the social networking site has so much inventory.

Since November, FIM extended its targeted user segments to include sub-segments representing, for instance, fans of specific sports teams rather than a more generalized sports enthusiast category. The company plans to offer 1,000 user segments by July.

Advertiser verticals including fashion, consumer electronics, and financial services have shown particular interest in the targeting platform.

FIM is also banking on interest from small business advertisers, including the 10 million Chernin said have MySpace profiles. A self-serve display ad creation and targeting tool for small advertisers is set to launch in beta during the current quarter.

Overall, News Corp’s net income came in at $832 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to $822 million in Q2 2007.

UPDATE: The original story stated approximately 60 percent of FIM’s revenues were derived through its multi-year deal with Google. The story has been corrected to state approximately $60 million of FIM’s revenues were derived through its multi-year deal with Google.

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