Yahoo buys startup RayV to bolster online video streaming
The Internet portal shores up the technology behind its aggressive push into the online media scrum.
Richard NievaFormer senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Yahoo on Friday took its push into online video one step further. The company announced it has acquired Israeli startup RayV -- whose technology will help Yahoo stream its new entertainment efforts to viewers.
RayV specializes in streaming high-quality video to online and mobile audiences on a large scale. The eight-year-old company's team will join Yahoo's research and development center in Tel Aviv. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The buy comes as Yahoo has aggressively moved into the online media scrum, with glitzy talent and content announcements. Most recently, the company said it would revive Community, a popular ex-NBC sitcom with a cult-like following. In April, it announced two 30-minute original series, including one helmed by Paul Feig, director of the film "Bridesmaids" and creator of the TV show "Freaks and Geeks."
In addition to those TV offerings, Yahoo announced in April a partnership with live events promoter LiveNation. Under the deal Yahoo will stream one concert per day for the next several years, with sponsorships from Kellogg and other companies. Yahoo said on Friday that the new music channel, which will launch on July 15, will include performances by Dave Matthews Band and John Legend.
Yahoo has also added well-known personalities to its roster, including Katie Couric who conducts video interviews with high profile guests like Michael Bloomberg or actor Bryan Cranston. Yahoo's impressive lineup of talent is only one piece of the puzzle at it attempts to compete against on-demand TV incumbents Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and even Microsoft with its Xbox Originals studio. Partnerships and talent don't mean much if Yahoo doesn't have a good way to get content to users.
"The RayV team shares our passion for innovation and commitment to build a video infrastructure to deliver the ultimate video experience to our users," P.P.S. Narayan, Yahoo's head of cloud platforms, wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition. "We are focused on building a video offering that delivers best-in-class quality and content, and can be streamed on-demand and live, on all platforms."