Sony / Grouper.com

Grouper.com, a web video-watching site, is to be purchased by Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), the entertainment unit of Sony Corp, for USD65m.

The Grouper website, which is based along the lines of the YouTube.com site for user-generated videos, is reportedly used by millions of people. It allows users to create videos and share them with other users for viewing or download to portable video-playing devices such as Apple Computer Inc's iPod music and video players and Sony's PSP device.

Unlike other companies Sony does not have its own broadcast network, and Grouper is expected to provide Sony with a ready-made network to enable consumer-created videos and Hollywood-produced content to be distributed.

According to Sony no immediate changes are planned for the Grouper site, although ad-supported and premium content businesses may be added in the future. Grouper will work within Sony Pictures, keeping its existing management structure.

(c) Internet Business News