AOL Inc has acquired US-based StudioNow for $36.5 million in both cash and stock, Computer World reported. StudioNow was founded as a virtual community of freelance video editors in 2007, it released a beta in March and raised $1.5 million in seed funding in June 2007 in a round led by PE firm Claritas Capital. In August 2008, it received another $2 million from Clayton Associates.
What StudioNow Does
StudioNow facilitates the creation of video ads and content for websites, helping freelancers upload their content, edit and syndicate videos to companies that publish them online and for the mobile media. StudioNow’s clients are blue chip, medium sized corporates and local businesses and include Clear Channel Communications, Maxim, Simon & Schuster and Citysearch.com.
What AOL Gains
AOL expects that the acquisition of StudioNow will help boost the amount of video content it is producing currently through its content management solution Seed.com, which pays freelancers to deliver photos, videos and articles used on its websites. Seed.com will leverage StudioNow’s technology and network of 3000 freelancers to develop and produce videos for around 80 of its own sites as well as its online advertising and content partners. AOL’s sites produce videos for music video of live performances AOL Sessions, interviews of celebrities on Unscripted, the 60 second daily movie news show Moviefone Minute and the Engadget Show.
Online Video Scene In India
Online video aggregation and distribution is gaining momentum in India right now, with firms like A2Media (iStream.in) signing deals with MSN, Sify, Bebo, YouTube and Dailymotion and News Corp owned Star India promoting its STAR Player on social networking sites. With the increasing focus of broadcasters and Internet firms on video content, the acquisition will help AOL gain an early advantage in attracting advertising revenue. AOL will pay a portion of the cash over the next few years for the acquisition, which was closed on January 22, 2010.