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Should Viddler Be AOL’s Next Acquisition?
Earlier this month AOL (NYSE:AOL) acquired the Huffington Post blog for $315 million. I posted on Twitter that I wondered if online video hosting service Viddler would be next for the “new” AOL. I still think the acquisition makes sense for both companies.
AOL has a large number of brands (and will be even larger once the above acquisition is complete) and I have to imagine that video will be a large piece of AOL’s pageview generating strategy going forward. Today AOL has a video site and they also own the Truveo video search engine.
Viddler currently works with AOL’s Engadget tech blog for their gadget videos. AOL’s Techcrunch blog uses Ooyala for their video hosting and this hosting could easily move to Viddler if there was an acquisition. It appears that the videos on AOL’s video site are self-hosted.
I am not 100% sure but I think Viddler has only raised some angel funding (which is quite impressive considering they are in the video hosting business). Viddler also received $50,000 from Ben Franklin Technology Partners last April. Viddler lists a team of 16 people based outside Philly and in Poland.
My guess is that AOL could acquire Viddler for a very reasonable price and bring a strong base of video hosting, video analytics and monetization inside the company. If there was an acquisition, Viddler would become the corporate hosting platform. This central repository would help AOL cross-promote videos across all of their channels. There is tremendous opportunity in cross-promotion that AOL is losing everyday by hosting with so many different video partners. For example, when you are finished watching the latest iPad 3 unboxing video on Engadget, you could jump over to Techcrunch to watch the latest TechCribs video.
AOL would also gain the ability to use their internal ad sales team to sell and integrate video ads across all of their properties.
The only question I am left with regarding a potential acquisition is whether Viddler would remain open to other companies to use — they currently host video content from a variety of companies including Gawker and the Cheezburger Network.