Reports: Google zeroes in on acquisition of Next New Networks for YouTube

Looks like the rumors from mid-December about Google trying to acquire online video-creation company Next New Networks are for real, or at least they're gathering steam as they surface for the first time this year.

A bevy of reports are saying that, according to sources, Google is in talks to buy the producer of online video hits like "Barely Political" in an effort to bring more professionally produced video to the still-UGC dominated YouTube website. The impetus, of course, is Google's hope of increasing ad revenue.

The New York Times said the asking price is in the "tens of millions of dollars" for the company, which is based in New York. The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, said a deal could be popped in the next week or so.

Content, of late, increasingly has become king, with the bid for NNN following on the heels of AOL's aggressive buying binge of professionally-produced online video content over the past few months (and, of course, AOL's $315 million grab of the Huffington Post this week).

If Google does pull the trigger, it would be the first time it acquired a company that actually developed original content.

Next New Networks calls itself "TV for the Internet," and its 65 independent content creators roll out a ton of programming for the 16-channels the company operates. It saw more than 1.2 billion views last year.

For more:
- see this WSJ article
- see this NYT article

Related articles:
YouTube targeting Next New Networks for acquisition
Rumor mill: Google TV looking to launch YouTube TV channel
YouTube jumps into round-the-clock video streaming of live programming
AOL signs content deal with Heidi Klum, Full Picture Entertainment
AOL: 5min Media acquisition helps build 'video ecosystem'

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