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Telstra makes a move in digital video with Ooyala acquisition

In a bid to broaden its digital media offering, Telstra has announced it will acquire video streaming and analytics company Ooyala.


Telstra has announced plans to acquire the Silicon Valley-based video streaming and analytics specialists Ooyala in a deal worth AU$291 million.

Having previously invested AU$66 million in the startup, the proposed acquisition will see Telstra's current 23 percent ownership jump to a 98 percent majority share. Ooyala CEO Jay Fulcher was quick to stress that Ooyala would still be "an independent, disruptive force in the industry", retaining its own board, brand, and management structure under Fulcher himself.

Founded in 2007, Ooyala quickly found international success with its cloud-based platform, allowing broadcasters to deliver video to any device, while providing personalised content and advertising to viewers. Boasting a userbase of 135 million worldwide, Ooyala provides services to over 500 clients, including ESPN, NBC Universal, and -- in an earlier partnership with Telstra -- Foxtel.

"Ooyala enables broadcasters, operators and media organisations to deliver digital TV and video content, across any device to mass audiences, using analytics to provide recommendations, personalised content and advertising to the end user," said David Thodey, CEO of Telstra.

Telstra isn't being coy about its motivation. The move is another calculated foray into the growth market that is digital video distribution. In a press release, Thodey said the acquisition was "an opportunity for Telstra and Ooyala to establish a consolidated leading global company to deliver platforms and services on which the next generation of TV and video will be built."

Ooyala seems to be on the same page. "Our shared vision is one of a seamlessly converged broadcast and broadband television landscape," said Fulcher.