Yahoo! may be going through a rough patch at the moment (read understatement of the year), with Microsoft launching a hostile takeover bid worth $45 billion, and staff being culled left, right, and centre, but that hasn’t stopped it from carrying on business as normal.
Today, they have formally announced the acquisition of Maven Networks, an online video platform which offers video hosting and distribution services, as well as a targeted video advertising system.
The deal, which has been rumoured around the blogosphere for the last fortnight, right before Microsoft threw a spanner in the works with its bid, is worth an estimated $160 million, about $10 million higher than was first thought.
A Sweet Deal For Yahoo!
Maven themselves has already raised over $30 million in funding since its launch in 2002, making this a pretty sweet deal for Yahoo!. But what exactly are they getting for their money?
Maven Networks is in essence a provider of an online video platform set up for medium to large businesses. It offers video syndication, content management, and most importantly for Yahoo!, an integrated advertising solution for online videos.
Rather than having to set up an online video or television channel, companies can use Maven’s knowledge and technology to easily, and quickly create and distribute their content on the web.
The Maven Internet TV Platform
The Maven Internet TV platform is already used by industry leaders such as CBS Sports, CNET, The Financial Times, Fox News, MediaNews Group, Ogilvy, Sony BMG, and TV Guide, making it a market leader in the field.
Yahoo! spoke of the deal in a press release:
“Yahoo! already has the largest library of professionally produced legally licensed video content and has video advertising relationships with over 75% of the top TV advertisers.”
“Yahoo! intends to invest in the growth of Maven’s overall video business, continuing to provide premium publishers with both publishing and new advertising solutions.
Yahoo! intends to expand on the Maven offering with video monetization services allowing publishers to take advantage of Yahoo!’s industry leading display sales force and advanced technologies for delivering consumers more relevant advertising experiences, both of which help them maximize their video advertising dollars.”
Advertising and Monetization
The key point seems to be the advertising and monetization details which Yahoo! are already discussing, as there’s no doubt that content creators being able to make better money from their online creations is the next big step online video is going to have to take to really become a future medium of choice.
I would suggest that more targeted ad campaigns will be a direct result of this deal, and that could could make Yahoo! a massive player in the emerging online video industry.
With start ups falling by the way side recently, it seems the big boys are now making their march toward owning a controlling a hefty portion of the Web TV market. Who’ll be next to bite?
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