updated 10:45 am EDT, Tue April 1, 2014
Acquisition could lead to YouTube competitor from Yahoo
Yahoo could be looking to acquire video service News Distribution Network for $300 million, according to a report. The acquisition, which is said to be in preliminary talks at the moment, could lead to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer taking on her previous employer by creating its own video sharing service similar to the currently-dominant YouTube.
Two sources of the Wall Street Journal claim the talks are early, but indicate that a deal could be reached in several weeks if it does not fall apart. Yahoo apparently talked to NDN about an acquisition before Mayer became CEO, with the talks only restarting in the last few weeks.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer
NDN is not the typical online video service, at least when compared to YouTube. Collecting 100,000 videos per month sourced from local TV stations, it licenses its clips to newspapers and web publishers rather than operating as a news service in its own right, offering advertising alongside clips. Despite not directly facing end users, it is still the fourth-largest video site with 573 million views of videos, with the Google-owned YouTube receiving 12.6 billion views in January and Yahoo seeing 384 million for the same period.
Buying the already-profitable business could provide Yahoo with a few benefits. Yahoo's own video content could be combined with NDN's collection, expanding the amount offered to newspapers and websites. The extra NDN content will also help Yahoo's own services, adding more timely content. Recode also claims Yahoo is looking to attract popular YouTube users to its platform, with joint efforts between the two groups set to take place in the coming months.
This is not the first time Yahoo has attempted to add to its video capabilities. It attempted to gain a stake in Dailymotion last year, but failed, with a bid for Hulu also ending similarly after its owners changed their minds over selling the service.