Yahoo Buys NDN To Build Online Video Business
Yahoo is in talks to buy online-video service News Distribution Network (NDN), according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The report citing anonymous sources mentioned that Yahoo could pay up to $300 million in the deal.
In January, NDN was the 4th largest online video property in the United States — attracting more than 573 million video views per month from 51.3 million unique viewers, according to comScore. NDN ranked ahead of Yahoo sites, Vimeo, Amazon sites, Microsoft sites and Turner Digital. Yahoo is reportedly fifth, with 384 million views. However, it doesn’t make any of its own videos despite having a collection of 100,000 videos, and makes those clips available to sites such as Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News and Bloomberg.
Founded in 2007, NDN is a video syndication service provider and a generator of content for newspaper publishers. The company has an eclectic group of investors, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, actor Bill Murray, and baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson. Television personality Jane Pauley is a board member.
The WSJ report states that the move would help Yahoo expand its videos to thousands of new sites. However, when contacted, an NDN spokeswoman denied that the company is in talks with Yahoo at this time.
Recode reported last week that Yahoo was approaching popular YouTube stars and networks, trying to poach them for its own online video service. Again reports reveal this isn’t the first time Yahoo has tried to make a name for itself in the video world. The company hired Katie Couric last year. It also put in a bid to buy Hulu last year, before it dropped out of the bidding. It was also looking to buy Dailymotion last year, before the talks fizzled out last year.
Experts believe Video is one of the pillars of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s strategy to boost the company’s growth. Last year, Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Tumblr is a ‘land of opportunity’ that allows brands to be creative, says its global head of brand partnerships, Lee Brown, said at a recent Yahoo event.
NDN would be a major component in Yahoo’s strategy to build its online video business — a priority for Yahoo CEO. Video generates greater user engagement on web sites, which translates into higher ad rates that brands are willing to pay. NDN could be Yahoo’s second largest acquisition under Mayer, says the report.
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