MySpace buys Photobucket: What do they get for $300M?

Photobucket acquisition rumors have been circulating for months, but now it seems that the most recent rumor is a confirmed reality: Photobucket has been bought by MySpace for ~$300M (includes earn out). We have dug into our numbers here at Compete to read into the photo-sharing site’s trends and outlook for the future to see exactly what $300 million gets you.

Photobucket’s visitor volume for March ’07 was 25M uniques, up an impressive 70% over the past year. Combine this with a 120% year-over-year growth in sessions and over one billion page views in both February and March.

Photobucket is growing quickly, but was actually outpaced by Flickr over the last year who posted year-over-year visitor growth of 132%. However, Flickr’s traffic totals are only 60% of Photobucket’s, so despite it’s growth Flickr continues to trail Photobucket in terms of adoption.

Is Photobucket surging across all performance metrics? While we have seen increasing people counts for Photobucket, engagement on the site has also improved — albeit to a lesser degree. The average stay of a Photobucket visitor surpassed Flickr in November ’06, increasing the time users stay engaged on the site by nearly 15%. Flickr has recently reclaimed its engagement advantage, but it is encouraging to see Photobucket improving both the quantity and quality of its traffic.

So is all of this worth $300M? Although the two outfits benefit from a symbiotic relationship, Photobucket is more dependant on MySpace than MySpace is on Photobucket. Ultimately it comes down to size. The stacked Attention chart below illustrates how much of our collective time is spent on Photobucket vs. Flickr. There were days in March where 0.25% of the collective time on the internet was spent on Photobucket. 0.25% of the internet is huge"¦ its (loosely) analogous to saying Photobucket accounted for 0.25% of our nation’s GDP. I guess you could argue that’s worth a few hundred million.

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