Yahoo! announced today they have acquired Maven Networks, a Boston-based startup that provides video-hosting and advertising for big media sites such as Fox, CNET, and CBS Sports. NewTeeVee reports the price to be in between $160 – $170 million. TechCrunch broke the story earlier rumouring BrightCove to be the likely contender.
It’s possible Yahoo! has plans to integrate advertising inventory and technology from Maven with some of its other properties — its own video service and Jumpcut, an online video editing startup it bought shortly after the Google/YouTube deal, being two strong contenders. A demonstration of their ad network capabilities can be found on the foodnetwork.
While I can see Maven Networks fitting in nicely Yahoo!’s other properties, I must admit I am a little surprised that it’s not AOL that got away with the sale (thought, rumours say, it was a part of the bidding war.) With AOL trying to initiate their Platform-A idea, Maven would have been a great addition.
It’s safe to say that Yahoo!’s playing catchup in what seems to be their very dark days. They’ve missed the boat on almost everything that has taken place in the last few years — from search to online video to social networking — and their attempts seem half-hearted and simply unsuccessful. Though with a supposed restructuring in the works, you can’t say the same thing about their up and coming antics. Or can you?