Yahoo! acquires online video platform for US$160m


13 Feb 2008

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Yahoo! has acquired online video platform provider Maven Networks for US$160m.

Yahoo! will use Maven Networks’ platform to expand consumer video and video advertising on Yahoo.com and across its network of online video publishers.

Yahoo! already has the largest library of professionally-produced, legally-licensed video content and has video advertising relationships with over 75pc of the top TV advertisers. It also has advertising relationships with a growing number of premium publishers including eBay, Comcast, Newspaper Consortium, Forbes.com and others.

Maven’s platform is currently used to manage, distribute and monetise premium online video content for over 30 major media companies, including Fox News, Sony BMG, CBS Sports, Hearst, Gannett, Scripps Networks and the Financial Times, as well as hundreds of their affiliates.

Yahoo! intends to complement Maven’s platform with video monetisation services, allowing publishers to take advantage of Yahoo!’s display sales force and advanced technologies for delivering consumers more relevant advertising experiences, both of which help them maximise their video advertising revenue.

With Maven, advertisers will be able to buy across Yahoo!’s extensive premium library, as well as other publishers, simply and efficiently.

“Video is projected to be the fastest-growing segment of the online ad market and Maven will significantly help advance Yahoo!’s strategy, expanding the video opportunity for publishers and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness for advertisers,” said Hilary Schneider, European vice-president, global partner solutions, Yahoo!

“Over the past year, Maven has emerged as the market-leading video and advertising technology platform, serving some of the largest global media companies,” said Hilmi Ozguc, CEO, Maven Networks. “By combining our capabilities with Yahoo’s own technology resources, publisher and advertiser relationships and vast audience reach, we will deliver an unmatched video content syndication and advertising solution to the market.”

Forrester estimates that US online video advertising will grow to more than US$4bn in 2011. This rapid growth in the online video market from both users and advertisers is escalating the demand for targeted premium content.

Maven has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo! with this acquisition.

Yahoo! also unveiled Yahoo! OneConnect at the Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona yesterday. This new service will aggregate mobile communications around a socially-connected address book.

OneConnect is the first mobile service with an open architecture that aggregates email, instant messaging (IM), text messaging (SMS) and social networks.

“Last year we set out to re-invent mobile search with Yahoo! OneSearch, and today with 29 operator partnerships around the world covering more than 600 million subscribers, we believe we have certainly succeeded,” said Marco Boerries, executive vice-president, Connected Life, Yahoo!.

“Now, we intend to re-invent mobile communications through Yahoo! OneConnect, a revolutionary new mobile communications service that will combine integrated mobile messaging with a socially-connected address book.”

Yahoo! OneConnect is expected to become available in the award-winning Yahoo! Go 3.0 and Yahoo!’s new mobile homepage in Q2 2008.

It will incorporate a socially-connected address book, enabling users to integrate activity from popular social networks, professional networks and communities and view recent activity of contacts across all their networks.

It will also feature integrated mobile messaging that will utilise threaded conversations. Users will be able to integrate a host of popular messaging services such as Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, AOL Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger.

By Niall Byrne

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