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Last month AOL made three large acquisitions: video service 5min, tech blog network Techcrunch and Thing Labs (makers of the Twitter client Brizzly).
Louis Gray reported that the Thing Labs acquisition price was $18 million with a total including earnouts of $30 million. Peter Kafka reported that the 5min acquisition was an all-cash deal valued at somewhere between $50-65 million. Most have suggested the Techcrunch sale price at between $25-40 million. (Om Malik originally broke the news of the Techcrunch acquisition.)
Assuming all three acquisition reports are correct, that would mean a total acquisition price of ($18 + 50-65 + 25-40) between $93-123 million. So assuming the lower numbers are correct, that would fall in line with today’s announcement.
Update: the AOL 10-Q notes the 5min sale at $64.7 million (that’s what Kafka initially reported) which leaves $32.4 million for Techcrunch and Thing Labs. If Gray is correct that Thing Labs was acquired for $18 million, that would leave $14.4 million for Techcrunch, a much lower number than the $25-40 million reported by some outlets. But the only confirmed number at this point is the 5min acquisition price so the other two are still a mystery. These amounts don’t include the earnouts – much of which I assume goes to TC because it’s critical that some of their staff stay on board.
AOL has released their Q3 earnings today and the announcement includes a short brief regarding the acquisitions. Total price for all three: $97.1 million plus $23.1 million in earnouts over the next three years. They were able to lump all three acquisitions together which means we may never know exactly what each acquisition price was.
Here’s the bit regarding the acquisitions, “In late September 2010, we completed the acquisitions of 5Min Media, Thing Labs and TechCrunch for $97.1 million in the aggregate, net of cash acquired. In addition, we have agreed to pay an aggregate of $23.1 million in total to certain employees of the acquired companies over the next three years contingent on their future service to AOL.”
NY-based Magnify.net has announced three new search partners for their video search product. The partners include NY-based 5min, ViewDo and Expert Village. 5min provides how-to videos and they will now be included in the video search available to Magnify.net publishers. Magnify.net self reports 35,000 publishers in their network.
It will be interesting to see if Magnify follows a Blinkx strategy with regards to partnerships. In fact, maybe there’s value in both companies working together as Blinkx appears to have a strong video search network.
Check out our look at the NYC online video market which includes 5min and Magnify.net.
Earlier this week was the NY Video Meetup. Somewhere around 250 NY’ers attended and viewed a variety of demos and a healthy video discussion. One thing rang true throughout – online video is HOT here in the city. So many companies, so many ideas and a amazing level of excitement/passion around online video.
Here are just a few of the companies in the online video space in the NYC area. I certainly forgot a bunch, so please leave them in the comments.
- Magnify.net – providing video upload, encoding, storage, delivery, and rev share mainly for video clips (CN Coverage)
- Blip.tv – a leader in episodic content (CN Coverage)
- 5min – moving offices to NYC next month – knowledge sharing (CN Coverage)
- Rocketboom – daily video show about anything with host Joanne Colan (CN Coverage)
- For Your Imagination – creating a variety of online-only video shows
- WallStrip – filming in NYC about stocks with host Lindsay Cambell
- Vimeo – video hoster and community creator (CN Coverage)
- ExpoTV – video reviews (CN Coverage)
- Kaltura – video collaboration (CN Coverage)
- Joost – NYC office is North American HQ – television replacement (CN Coverage)
- SavoryNY – restaurants video reviews (CN Coverage)
- WineLibraryTV – ok, he’s in Jersey but we will allow it since he lives in the city – daily wine video show
While other areas of the country and the world are creating online video, NY is where it’s at. Innovation, technology, people, community, it’s all here. And Madison Avenue and Google are here to monetize it all.
Tonight I attended what I believe is the 2nd largest NY (tech) Meetup group – the NY Video Meetup. The group continues to get larger month over month and I am guessing 200ish came out tonight. Tonight’s presenters were: HeyCosmo, Joost, 5min and blip.tv. I am assuming that the Ustream recorded show will be available later this evening.
Before I provide some comments on the demos, tonight I had the chance to meet one of the hottest video show hosts today, Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary runs a daily video show called WineLibrary.TV. I wrote about Gary on my Vimeo vs. Viddler post and Gary has been on mainstream tv (Tonight Show and Ellen) recently and his video shows continue to explode in visitors.
So many times when techies talk about video bloggers it’s always the same crowd. There are plenty of great video bloggers outside the tech market. If you plan to get into the video blogging space, check out WLTV. Gary has 50k+ viewers daily and what’s more important is that each day he has 300+ comments on his video. And what’s great is that even though Gary owns a large wine store, he never “forces” viewers to buy from him (yet I am sure they do!). Anyway it was great to meet him this evening.
And now on with the recap.
First up was HeyCosmo. The demo was pretty tough to sit through yet it worked, which means the product sells itself. The guy who presented (I didn’t catch his name) is the brother of the CEO who was unable to make it so I can’t be too negative about the presentation :). He was hilarious. HeyCosmo offers a variety of applications on a community video platform. One of the demo’d apps was a live texas holdem app. I have to say, it’s hot. Each player uses a webcam and so it’s as close to sitting at the same table as possible. They are working on Sudoko which is in development currently. I am working on getting some invites for CN readers.
David Clark, North American VP presented Joost and if you haven’t tried Joost recently, I would suggest you give them another try. The app has lots of improvements from say early summer versions. David noted that they are a small company with big ambitions and they want to create a product that people love to use. Currently they host 15,000 shows and just launched a Facebook widget. I asked about their thoughts on Hulu and David responded, “We like Hulu – and we are looking to move to live and Web down the road as well”.
The Joost advertising platform combines all of the current Inernet technologies serving approximately 1.5 minutes of video ads per hour along with other interactive ads. From a peer-to-peer standpoint, currently 70% of the bandwidth comes from p2p and 30% from their server farm.
By now I am guessing most of the CN readers have seen the Israeli actor who discusses how to get VC funding – if not, I have embedded it at the end of this post. 5min is currently located in Israel but is planning to open a NY office in a month. They currently have one million unique visitors for October with 700-1000 uploaded videos per month. Their motto is “helping each other to share knowledge”. The idea is simple – you are an expert at something. You create a video about that knowledge that’s less than 5 minutes in length and upload it to 5min.
Their business model is to get “sponsored knowledge” where say Absolut would sponsor videos on how to create a great martini or LA Fitness might sponsor videos on how to lose the freshman 15. It’s an innovative revenue model.
Co-founder Justin Day presented Blip.tv. Blip has really picked up steam since their partnership with Rocketboom earlier this summer. Basically Blip is for show creators who create episodic content. Not much else to say here – though Alec from For Your Imagination noted that with Blip you can “replace” a video which is something you can’t do on most of the other services.
Check out my photos on Flickr