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Yahoo's acquisition of streaming platform aims to strengthen the company's video offering

December 10, 2013

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Yahoo's acquisition of streaming platform aims to strengthen the company's video offering

Yahoo acquired online live concert streaming platform Evntlive for an undisclosed amount. Evntlive is seven months old, having launched only in April 2013. In addition to its live streaming capabilities, the consumer-facing service provides concerts on demand for free and through pay-per view. It also offers extra features such as backstage interviews, interaction with other fans, and a marketplace for songs and albums.

Evntlive has shut down following the acquisition. It will be integrated into Yahoo Screen and Yahoo Music.

This is the second video acquisition by Yahoo this week, following the acquisition of Ptch, a Dream Works-backed mobile video company. It provides further evidence of Yahoo's efforts to improve its video offering. The executive team's strategy around Yahoo Screen, Yahoo's video platform is focused on two elements:

•1)      Content

•2)      Technology

Content: Yahoo has demonstrated its commitment to expanding its video product by investing in content. In 2011 and 2012 the online company forged content sharing deals with CNBC and ABC News for news and with NBC Sports Groups for sports events. In 2012, Yahoo also signed a deal for exclusive streaming rights of all past episodes of "Saturday Night Live" (SNL), an American sketch comedy show. Additionally, the company launched five new original series in September 2013 ("Losing it with John Stamos", "Ghost Girls", "The Fuzz", "We Need Help", and "Tiny Commando") produced by Hollywood stars like Jack Black and Ed Helms and starring actors like John Stamos. In November 2013, Yahoo hired Katie Couric, a popular media personality in the United States, as a weekly news anchor for the Yahoo website. The executive team has indicated that it will continue to aggressively invest in content partnership deals and develop original content as it aims to shift eyeballs away from YouTube, Netflix and Facebook and towards its own service.

Technology: In addition to developing its content, Yahoo has also focused on improving the delivery of its content. The acquisition of Evntlive, Ptch and earlier in the year Qwiki, an app that helps users create movies out of their videos and photos, are examples of Yahoo's efforts to enhance the delivery of their video. Yahoo received heavy criticism in May 2013 after the patchy streaming of its announcement of the Tumblr (a microblogging platform) acquisition. As the company expands its live video footage, it must ensure the delivery of video content is unflawed both on desktop and mobile. The acquisition of Evntlive will help Yahoo augment its live streaming services.

Online video is expanding very fast and promises to be a great generator of advertising revenue. IHS forecasts online video advertising to increase 21.9 per cent in the US and 28.0 per cent in Europe in 2013 and to continue increasing double-digit through 2017. Google has recognised this and is aggressively expanding YouTube content and video ad trading technology; AOL acquired earlier this year to leverage the video advertising opportunity; Facebook also announced the launch of video advertising on its platform in late 2013; and broadcasters are augmenting their online video presence. Is Yahoo doing enough to benefit from the online video surge? The company's approach to video seems sound and comprehensive. However, in an increasingly crowded landscape, Yahoo's efforts may be too little too late.

USA World
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