Sony buys $65m for

The entertainment arm of Japan's Sony agreed to pay $65 million to buy Web video-watching site, marking the growing embrace of the user-generated video craze by big media, a Reuters report said.


The report said California-based Grouper was one of a number of Web start-ups operating in the shadow of, the most popular destination for user-generated videos, which played host to an average 100 million video showings a day.


Grouper had attracted a following of millions of its own fans not just as passive viewers of Web-based videos but also as creators of their own videos, which could, in turn, be shared by users or downloaded to portable video-playing devices, the report said.


The report said the acquisition by Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), the Hollywood movie and television production unit of Japan's Sony, aimed to infuse the studios with new ideas and talent for movies, television shows and games, according to Sony's top executive.


The report quoted Michael Lynton, Sony Pictures chairman and CEO, as saying that user-generated content as a complement to professionally produced media had been a hot topic within Sony's different businesses for more than a year.


Sites like Grouper gave big media companies like Sony a ready-made network to deliver both Hollywood-produced content and niche-market consumer-created videos using viral distribution where users shared favorite items with friends, the report further said.