Parks Associates Blog

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Yahoo Acquires Maven Networks

Even though Yahoo’s struggles are well known today, its presence as a leading portal is huge. Yahoo is one of few sites on the Internet that has the scale of linking together lots of content and services, and its presence will grow, particularly in Web video. Yesterday’s announcement that Yahoo's acqusition of Maven Networks for $160 million will be key to Yahoo’s long-term strategy in Web video. Maven is a Web video platform provider that gives it strength in publishing and aggregation on the Internet. This will allow Yahoo to provide more services to Web video providers, particularly Hollywood studios who seek support in syndication. Maven's platform is currently used to manage, distribute and monetize 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.

Among the three major portals - AOL, Google, and Yahoo - I'd give Yahoo the edge as a company that may be in a good position to take advantage of the convergence between Internet-connected devices and content. The Maven acquisition is one part of this analysis - we sense that AOL and Google may be more content to operate behind the scenes in ad serving and brokering services, whereas Yahoo will offer more in the way of consumer-facing applications.

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