Control of online video advertising begins to take precedence for OTT players

Over-the-top providers are apparently taking into their own hands the growth of online video advertising, with Ooyala as the latest to acquire an advertising services platform. The provider announced this week that it had entered an agreement to buy Videoplaza, which offers premium video ad serving platforms and programmatic trading to companies in the Asia-Pacific and Europe regions. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Ooyala--itself recently acquired by Australian incumbent Telstra for $270 million as an extension of its business--said the buy was the "first step in a multi-step strategy aimed at establishing global leadership in personalized cloud TV and video" and that Videoplaza would help it expand across the United States.

Buying online video ad platforms isn't unique to Ooyala. Facebook acquired LiveRail in July for a reported $500 million, ostensibly to marry up its ad targeting technology with theirs but also clearly to have the capability to grab a chunk of the online video ad market.

And Yahoo is rumored to be in talks to buy Brightroll, a video advertising platform provider, for about $700 million.

The ad platform acquisition trend is happening partly to stem its inherent problems--such as less-than-ideal analytics, glitchy interfaces and bad positioning--as well as gaining a solid revenue source.

"I think it is a natural extension of the business," said Mark Goldman, co-founder and CEO of, in an interview with FierceOnlineVideo. develops campaigns for local advertisers that include both linear TV and online video placement and tracking services. "What you're seeing is companies that have very large audiences now buying the technology that allows advertisers to easily access those audiences. They don't have to go thru a sales force anymore, they can buy access to that inventory directly, and they can also pair the advertising opportunity with a lot of data to make it more efficient. That's why you're seeing on a national level a lot of activity, because it's a very efficient way of buying media."

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