Telstra Subsidiary Ooyala Agrees To Acquire Video SSP Videoplaza

VideoplazaThe turf war for programmatic video technologies wages on.

Video distribution and analytics platform Ooyala, acquired by Australian telco Telstra in August, revealed Monday it would purchase London-based video supply-side platform Videoplaza for an undisclosed sum. Read the release.

This is a critical move for Ooyala, which focuses on helping publishers run and operate their video business by managing content, metatags, encoding, content recommendation and analytics, while Videoplaza is a publisher ad server and programmatic marketplace.

Ooyala is typically used by broadcasters like ESPN and Univision to stream, analyze and monetize video content. Traditionally, however, Ooyala partnered – rather than owned – exchange-based capabilities.

“The most interesting intersection point is the kind of data we both respectively bring into this relationship,” said Belsasar Lepe, Ooyala’s cofounder and director of solutions. “Ooyala has always had a very good view into content, engagement and performance and Videoplaza brings the advertising component. When we look at the real benefit here, it’s creating a complete, 360-degree view of the end user based on ad and content insights.”

Through Videoplaza, Ooyala inherits the sell-side ad-serving platform “Karbon” (see AdExchanger coverage) as well as trading platform Konnect, which was released in early October. Videoplaza also rolled out Aunia, a private video marketplace offering for premium broadcasters to deliver and monetize IP-based content with additional controls over pricing and inventory quality.

Jonathan Wilner, Ooyala’s VP of products, described how the combined capabilities of the two companies will benefit clients: “[We can demonstrate] why one publisher’s male 18-54 audience is more valuable than another’s because [we can show them] why and for how long people engaged with a video.”

Ooyala and Videoplaza share a number of customers, including media and broadcast companies like IP Deutschland and MediaCorp in Singapore. While the companies don’t foresee discontinuing standalone businesses, they alluded to developing a “unified platform” encompassing ads and content.

Parent company Telstra’s moves in programmatic video recall similar deals, including Facebook’s summer purchase of LiveRail, Comcast’s acquisition of FreeWheel and RTL Group’s majority investment in SpotXchange.

Sorosh Tavakoli, founder and CEO of Videoplaza, told AdExchanger that Telstra is “dead serious” about the digital video market opportunity ahead of it. The Ooyala investment was staggered (Telstra first invested $61 million in the company and then placed an additional $270 million bet on Ooyala when it acquired 98% of the company).

Although Telstra did not disclose what it paid for Videoplaza, Tavakoli called it a “significant” investment into its balance sheet that will continue to fund expansion.

“In terms of the US, we are now aggressively moving into this market and that will accelerate this further,” he said. “Moving on, in time, we will have a joint proposition around analytics and insight.” He said the data piece will help publishers tie content consumption habits back to campaign uplift.

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