Yahoo explores online video with NDN acquisition talks

Reports suggest that Yahoo may be considering a YouTube-style rival with the potential acquisition of online video service NDN.

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Reports suggest that Yahoo is in talks to acquire online video service News Distribution Network as the firm looks to take on YouTube and take advantage of online ad revenue.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo could potentially acquire the video syndication service for up to $300 million.

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News Distribution Network (NDN), founded in 2007, syndicates videos to Web sites owned by news outlets in areas including technology, politics, home, business, and entertainment. NDN has built a collection of over 100,000 videos supplied by other parties, and sells advertisements packaged with the content -- of which the firm keeps a slice of the generated revenue.

Such a deal could not only provide Yahoo with additional advertising revenue and an opportunity for marketers to work more closely with the company, but could also pave the way to rival YouTube -- by offering less, but tailored video content to online users. 

The publication says that a deal was originally placed on the table in 2012, but nothing came of the discussions. While talks are still reportedly in fledgling stages, NDN spokeswoman Krystal Olivieri said "we are not in talks to get acquired by Yahoo at this time."

NDN says it reels in 146 million unique visitors a month and ranks as no.1 in comScore's ranking of online news and information properties. NDN claims that, on average, each unique user of the service watches 92 minutes of video per month, which offers vast potential if Yahoo wishes to monetize such a service through advertizing revenue.

Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer has been investing heavily in Web-based services and content recently. In May last year, reports circulated that Yahoo was in talks to purchase video streaming service Hulu. While the deal never came to fruition, Yahoo purchased blog network Tumblr for $1.1 billion last year and Ptch in December, a startup which offered a mobile app that combines user-generated photos and videos in to movies.