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foxytunes logoAmid turbulence of acquisition by Microsoft, News Corp, Private Equity funds and now a ‘help’ offer from  Google, Yahoo! is not resting on its laurels. Following almost a month of rumors, PaidContent confirms that Yahoo! has bought Israel-based FoxyTunes, for an undisclosed amount. This is part of a larger move that Yahoo is making around its music properties.

Foxytunes is a browser plug-in for Firefox and IE that enables users to search for music and lyrics online, and also control their media player from within the browser. The creators of the popular plugin are two brothers, Alex and Vitaly Sirota. Silicon Wadi reports that it all started from a personal frustration of the founder – changing songs required constant interruptions, and interaction with an mp3 player. Next, the Sirota brothers raised a small undisclosed investment from Israel’s famous Angel investor, Yossi Vardi, and developed a browser plugin to control MP3 files while browsing the web. Once added to the plugin directory, Foxytunes quickly became one of the top downloaded browser applicatios.

The acquisition of FuxyTunes is just one piece of the musical puzzle being orchestrated by Yahoo. Last month, Yahoo announced the release of a web based MP3 player that can be embedded to any site with a single line of JavaScript.  Now, Yahoo is selling its recently closed music service Yahoo Unlimited to Rhapsody America, a joint venture between Real Networks and MTV.

UPDATE: The Marker reports (Hebrew) that FoxyTunes was sold for $30-40 million,  providing 1000% return to its original investors. Yahoo got more than just a plugin. FoxyTunes also developed FoxyTunes Planet, a vertical search engine for music and lyrics that given the name of a band, returns all the digital media related to that band including video clips, history from wikipedia, Flickr images and so on. Note, that Ask.com has a similar feature with its Smart Answers product.

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Eze Vidra

Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe and Campus London at Google
Eze is the Head of Google for Entrepreneurs Europe and Campus London. In 2005, he started VC Cafe to shine a spotlight on startups and Venture Capital in Israel, and in 2012, Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for-profit that supports education through cycling challenges for techies.
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