Looking to strengthen its position in online video, Yahoo is in talks to acquire video syndication service News Distribution Network for $300 million, according to a report published Monday by The Wall Street Journal.
The service, which was founded in 2007 and syndicates video clips to newspapers' and outlets' Web sites in content areas like news, politics and sports, could fit into a larger push into media by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. The chief executive has been investing heavily in online content -- snapping up talent like anchor Katie Couric and former New York Times columnist David Pogue to run news properties for Yahoo.
The company also is actively trying to poach YouTube's biggest stars and producers for its own video competitor, according to a report published last week by the blog Recode. The draw would be better economic terms, like improved ad revenue or guaranteed ad rates.
There has been an uptick in YouTube-related businesses of late. Last week, Disney bought YouTube programmer Maker Studios for $500 million.
Researcher eMarketer in August forecast that video ad spending would more than quadruple from 2011 to 2017, making it the fastest-growing format of digital ads throughout that time period.
The Journal report cautions that the discussions are still early and talks could fall apart. "We are not in talks to get acquired by Yahoo at this time," Krystal Olivieri, a spokeswoman for NDN, told the Journal. Tried by phone, CNET could not immediately reach Olivieri for comment. A Yahoo spokesperson declined to comment.
This isn't Yahoo's first try at an online video-related video property. It's not even the company's first try at NDN. According to the Journal, Yahoo had begun talks in 2012, before Mayer took the job as CEO, but nothing came of the discussions. Under Mayer, Yahoo tried unsuccessfully to buy a stake in the French video site Dailymotion.