Yahoo! is reportedly chatting up the folks at online video service News Distribution Network for a potential acquisition worth $300m.
Sources whispered to the Wall Street Journal that the Purple Palace is in talks to slurp NDN for around $300m, although the negotiations are only in the early stages so they could still fall apart.
Yahoo! first touted the idea of acquiring NDN before current chief exec Marissa Mayer joined in 2012. Mayer's strategy since she joined the firm has been to try to get more services across Yahoo! linked up and filled in so that users spend a long time on its system watching ads. Additional video along with services like email and search would help the company keep eyeballs for longer.
The company has been attempting to expand its video offerings for a while now, with a number of potential acquisitions coming and going. The firm tried to get a stake in French video site Dailymotion last year, but talks with owner France Telecom eventually petered out, reportedly because the French government didn't want an American web firm controlling a French internet success story. Yahoo! was also keen on bidding for Hulu, but its owners eventually decided not to sell the video-on-demand service.
NDN would have something to offer both in terms of video and to Yahoo!'s effort to beef up its news offering. The firm gathers videos from partners like local TV news stations and then syndicates them to bigger news outlets like the Associated Press. To make money, it sells ads along with the videos, keeping a portion of the revenue.
Mayer has already started work on improving Yahoo!'s news and video, surprising a lot of people when she spent a reported $6m hiring talk show host and ex-evening news anchor at CBS Katie Couric to become the first ever global anchor for Yahoo! News. ®