Telstra ramping up IPTV focus with Ooyala acquisition.
At their recent annual general meeting Telstra revealed plans to increase their ownership in the video streaming and analytics firm Ooyala from 23% to 98% with an investment of USD 270 million. Ooyala will become a subsidiary of Telstra but operate as a separate business unit, led by its current team. The Ooyala brand will be retained.
This move is expected to provide a unique opportunity for Telstra, and Ooyala, to create a consolidated, leading global company to deliver the platforms on which next generation TV and video services will be built.
With the online video landscape becoming increasingly complex, Telstra sought to leverage existing digital media expertise in order to get ahead. Ooyala has been a market player for several years, providing personalized video experiences across all device types. It is a leader in online video management, publishing, analytics and monetization. This investment puts Telstra in a powerful position to boost their video capabilities, especially ramp up their IPTV focus with the T-Box, and perhaps even Video on demand capabilities.
Ooyala provides real time analysis and are one of the few with a live dashboard, Ooyala Now. This provides content owners, and now Telstra, to gain deep insights to expand their audiences and drive viewer engagement. This will help Telstra increase their revenues from video.
In some circles, the buyout is also seen as a measure to counter threats posed by US-based AT&T and Verizon. Combined, they had more than 5 million IPTV subscribers in 2013, which was almost ten times Telstra’s IPTV service on the T-Box. Based in the US and with 55% of their customers also co-located in the US, Ooyala can potentially give Telstra a footing in the American markets. Whether Telstra decides to pursue it, is yet to be seen.