Yahoo was in talks to buy as much as 75 percent of Dailymotion, with an option to buy the remaining 25 percent at a later date. The deal would have valued Dailymotion at around $300 million — but it wasn’t meant to be: Regulators resisted the idea that Dailymotion would be owned by an American company, and wanted to restrict Yahoo’s ownership to 50 percent. Yahoo declined.
This puts an end to what would have been Yahoo’s first major acquisition since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO last July, and it would also have been the company’s first major attempt to compete with YouTube (s GOOG) since it shut down its own video hosting service in 2010.
So where is Yahoo going to look next to boost its online video business? Here are a few ideas:
Blip: Blip is one of the few remaining independent U.S. video platforms, and the service has undergone an ambitious transition from a catch-all for online video to a platform for premium serialized content — the kind of stuff advertisers like. This could be a good match for Yahoo, which has eyeballs, but needs inventory to place ads against.
Ustream: The one area in which YouTube is still vulnerable is live video. Granted, the Google-owned video service has been offering live streaming to select partners for some time. But it’s live video section is a mess, and the only bright spots have been large live events. Ustream could help Yahoo to get a headstart in live video, while at the same time providing the company with a site that already offers offers hosting for recorded videos as well.
PPLive: The Chinese video market is huge, with billions tuning in every month. It’s also not exactly profitable, which has led to consolidation, and could help Yahoo to buy one of the country’s many video providers on the cheap. Standalone video properties like PPLive and Xunlei are the most likely targets, and could help Yahoo to build a video business across Asia and beyond. Of course, there’s that whole China thing, but Mayer has proven that she’s not afraid of unpopular decisions.
Flickr: The Yahoo-owned image hosting site has enjoyed a bit of a comeback in recent months. And guess what: Flickr has been offering video hosting for five years already. Video has been a bit of an afterthought for Flickr, but Yahoo could certainly change that if it wanted to. The advantage of this approach would be that all the resources are already part of Yahoo — and historically, integrating acquisitions has been one of the things that Yahoo has struggled with a lot.
Who do you think Yahoo should buy instead of Dailymotion? Leave your thoughts in the comments!