A site that was once competition to the now-ubiquitous YouTube has been acquired by a Hollywood management company with plenty of YouTube stars under its name. Which is rather fitting.
A Little Metacafe Background
YouTube may now be ubiquitous and the one video site everybody on the Internet has heard of, but that wasn’t always the case. As hard as it is to imagine as things stand now, there was once a time when YouTube was just one of a host of sites that people headed to in order to upload videos.
Metacafe was one such site. Founded in 2003 with similar intentions to YouTube, it eventually ceded the UGC market to the Google-owned site and began focusing instead on professionally-produced content.
This has worked out to a point, but Metacafe is very much a niche site now. Traffic appears to be steadily falling, with the site claiming 12 million unique visitors a month at the last count.
The last time I wrote about Metacafe on WebTVWire was back in September 2010 when I noted that it has “now conceded defeat to YouTube,” but added that it’s “building vertical channels and nurturing content.”
The Collective Acquisition
Almost two years on and we’re talking Metacafe again, this time over reports that The Collective, which has YouTube stars including Annoying Orange, Freddie Wong, and Lucas Cruikshank on its books, is acquiring the site.
Peter Kafka suggests that the deal has essentially been completed but there has been no comment from either Metacafe or The Collective as yet.
There is also no word on any details of the deal. Metacafe almost sold to Yahoo in 2006 for $200 million. The value of the site will now likely be a lot less than that.
The reasoning behind this acquisition could be Metacafe’s ad sales infrastructure, which The Collective could use itself in the future. The workforce will also have experience in this field, which will help the talent currently on the agency’s books. As for the direction of the site itself only time will tell.
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