CBS Interactive Music Group has purchased the top lyrics site on the web. Based in Vancouver, Metrolyrics is the third largest music site in the world in terms of traffic. Founded in 2002, it has a database of more than 700,000 songs and 48 million unique users per month. The site was built initially by a high school student who discovered that “song lyrics” was one of the most popular search terms on the web. In addition to its deep catalog, one of the strengths of Metrolyrics is that all of the content use is properly licensed.
This is an impressive move for CBS IMG at a time when they had appeared noticeably quiet amid a flurry of activity surrounding some of their competitors. In recent months they had lost a deal with AOL Radio which moved to Slacker, and faded into the background while Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman and his team made a big splash relaunching iHeartradio. CBS IMG services such as Radio.com and Last.fm were noticeably missing from facebook‘s recently announced integration of third party streaming services.
But coming up with the purchase of one of the top ten music sites in the US and top three globally is an impressive move. Metrolyrics is already integrated with CBS IMG’s other anchor services including Radio.com, Last.fm and mp3.com. It’s clear that they see the opportunity that this massive amount of traffic presents for their platform. Metrolyrics users that search for a certain song’s lyrics will have links to personalized Last.fm stations returned along with their results, along with recommendations for similar artists. Free mp3.com song downloads will be offered on the Metrolyrics site as well. Content developed by any Radio.com music station will be featured on the Metrolyrics page as well.
“Searching for lyrics is a core behavior of both the casual and passionate music fan,” says David Goodman, President, CBS Interactive Music Group. “MetroLyrics is the leader in the category, and has methodically built a loyal following by embracing the inherent social intentions of the music community. Our assets integrate naturally into the existing framework of MetroLyrics and vice versa. The immediate back and forth effect between the premier online properties will have overwhelming benefits to users.”
One interesting note is that Metrolyrics has a partner deal with AOL Music and claims to represent 30% of their traffic. I’m thinking that’s traffic that CBS Music would like to see going to its own services at some point in the future..