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Posts Tagged ‘video


Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), which just announced buying online video tech provider Maven Networks, has quietly relaunched its consumer video service. The service, which has been retooled a few times and hasn’t been a big competition to the likes of YouTube and others, still has the traffic funnel of Yahoo, so has to be taken into contention. The service has a bigger player, better resolution, a better upload tool, and has some new tools for organizing content. This relaunch does not yet incorporate anything from Maven’s acquisition, but one would expect it to be part of the service down the line…which would probably mean an even higher quality video experience.

One missing thing for Yahoo is any kind of premium downloads. Would expect this not to be done in-house, and someone like Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) through its Unbox service could be a partner…after all Amazon has been looking to do such powered-by deals of late.

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As reported on paidcontent.org

Here’s the article on Yahoo’s Maven acquisition on paidcontent.org

Life goes on at Yahoo: the company has confirmed its previously rumored acquisition of online video platform Maven Networks, although the price tag of “approximately” $160 million is a bit higher than the previous $150 million estimate. The reports first surfaced on New TeeVee and TechCrunch on Jan. 31, the night before Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) launched its bid for Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO). It’s not clear if the delay, however, between the initial reports and the official announcement had anything to do with the bigger issues facing the company. Cambridge, MA-based Maven offers a platform for high-res video hosting and distribution, as well as a system for video advertising. Release.

— Maven, which has raised $30 million, has relationships with a number of major content providers, including Fox News, Sony BMG, and “CBS” Sports. Backers include Prism Ventures, Accel Partners and General Catalyst. By comparison, Brightcove, whose CEO Jeremy Allaire was the EIR at General catalyst when the firm invested in Maven, has raised $80 million, since its launch in 2004.

— The company, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo, will remain in Cambridge but becomes part of Hilary Schneider’s Global Partner Solutions group. Yahoo says it plans to invest in the growth of Maven’s overall video business and to expand Maven’s suite with “video monetization services” and “advanced technologies for delivering consumers more relevant advertising experiences.”

David adds: I spoke with Maven CEO Hilmi Ozguc and Rebecca Paoletti, Yahoo’s director of video strategy/sales. More after the jump…

Both offered details of the complementary aspects of working together, especially as Yahoo prepares to relaunch its video network on Thursday. Both also said that the discussions between Yahoo and Maven occurred month’s before Microsoft’s $44.6 billion bid for Yahoo was floated. Ozguc said he regards the Microsoft talk as a side issue far removed from his and Yahoo’s current plans. As for how a Microsoft takeover might affect Maven down the road, Ozguc would only say, “Your guess is as good as mine.”

A playing field of titans: The nascent stage of online video, which was dominated by startups, has passed, Ozguc said. Now it’s a “playing field of titans and we thought the time was right to become one of the biggest players in online advertising. It’s not just Yahoo’s display and search capabilities, but their deep relationships with publishers that made this such a good fit for us.”

The combination: Maven manages the video distribution and ad trafficking for over 30 media companies with hundreds of affiliate sites within them. And Yahoo has licensing deals with roughly 75 percent of the major TV ad spenders. “It’s not that Yahoo didn’t have deals with many of the players that we do, but we’ve five years on creating a video publishing system. That technology is the other half of our value proposition. We’re a pure technology provider. We never got into ad sales or creating portals. It’s a very clean relationship from that perspective.”

Maven brand stays (for now): Ozguc: “We’re still a well-known brand and there’s no reason to do away with it. That’s not to say that Yahoo won’t rebrand it. But the plan right now is to keep the name in place.” And even though the two companies are working on integrating each other’s workforces, Ozguc added that no layoffs are imminent. “That issue has been talked about and decided. Yahoo did not acquire this company to lay people off.”

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YouTube may have captured the largest video audience, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of niches to exploit. AniBoom is tapping into an impassioned community of video animators to create content that will, occasionally, capture some of that YouTube-sized audience.

A competitor for the video award at tomorrow’s Crunchies, AniBoom is different from most other video sites in one important respect: Almost all of its content was created by members, whereas video sites like YouTube are famed for having content ripped off from other sources.

AniBoom, by comparison, even has its own software tool, Shapeshifter, that can be used to make professional-quality animations. For fun, it also has the recently created Micro-Smotion tool, which can add simple animated tidbits to regular video. The site says it is growing rapidly in popularity.

Like other sites, most of the existing content is stuff you wouldn’t want to bother watching. However, AniBoom is counting on the star factor — from any large group of people, several exceptional individuals are bound to come forth.

AniBoom’s CEO, Uri Shinar, likes to compare the possibilities of his site by referencing Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who were unknown talents making short clips until a Fox executive groomed them, leading to the hit cartoon South Park. AniBoom attempts to replicate this success in its Creator’s Series, although none that we saw had gotten more than a few thousand views.

However, the South Park comparison is apt in more than one way. The Stone and Parker creation that led Fox to contact them was a quirky student animation of Jesus killing a deranged snowman. Many of the videos on AniBoom are similarly odd. One of my personal favorites: “Rabbit: Terror of the Wood,” a series of very short clips about a desperately horny rabbit.

The site also runs contests offering cash prizes, which seem to attract quite a few submissions, proving that the world’s junior animators are eager for both fame and money.

Although there are other animation sites around, like Crunchyroll (coverage here), AniBoom is one of the only sites encouraging indie content. Another is MyToons, which just launched.

AniBoom is located in Israel. The site took $4.5 million from Evergreen back in the beginning of 2007.

Reported on Venturebeat

Scobleizer(Robert Scoble‘s Blog) Reports

Is YouTube working on streaming video?

“We’re working on a lot of interesting things,” Chad Hurley, one of the co-founders of YouTube told me yesterday when I met him and Steve Chen on the show floor and showed them Qik’s ability to stream video live from a cell phone (something that YouTube can’t do). Watch the rest of the interview here. I also ask them when they’ll do high def on YouTube.Why were they at CES? To check out the new 150-inch Panasonic plasma. I tried to invite myself over to their house to watch the Super Bowl.