Yahoo (YHOO) will close its video ad network Maven Networks just 17 months after acquiring the startup for a rumoured price a $160 million, reports TechCrunch.
A TechCrunch source “who works for a large media company” says Yahoo emailed Maven clients to say it will cease development on the platform now and stop supporiting it in 2010.
In a statement, Yahoo says it’s integrated much of Maven’s technology into its video player and the Yahoo Video Advertising Platform. Yahoo denied rumours that it laid-off people closing Maven.
We applaud Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz for ditching products that aren’t working. But it is odd that Maven is the third video property Yahoo has shuttered in the last 8 months.
Video advertising is where most everybody else thinks the money is going online. The idea is that old-fashioned brand advertisers used to TV commercials find Web video ads easier to understand. AOL and MSN executives tell us video programming will be a big focus for their sites going forward.
On the other hand, if Yahoo has fully integrated Maven tech, we can’t say we disagree that the world could use one less ad network of any sort.
Here’s the statement Yahoo sent TechCrunch on the news:
“Since acquiring Maven Networks in 2008, Maven has played an important role in our video strategy, providing essential talent and core technology that has helped Yahoo! to enhance its consumer and advertising offerings. Maven technology is used in the Yahoo video player, as well as in the Yahoo Video Advertising Platform that is being used to serve both on- and off- network advertising for Yahoo! partners.
While video initiatives remain a priority for Yahoo!, both for its consumer and advertising experiences, we are increasing investment in some areas while scaling back in others. After careful consideration, Yahoo! is planning to wind down its Maven Networks customer base. This decision will allow us to focus our resources on the continued improvement of our core video offerings, such as enhancing the consumer video experience on Yahoo!. Since Q4 2008, we have closed or announced our intention to close, nearly 20 Yahoo! services– such as Yahoo! 360, GeoCities, My Web and Yahoo! Briefcase. We continue to evaluate our portfolio of products and services on a regular basis, and plan to share details of further changes with people who use our products in the months ahead.”